Scientists Say People Who Swear A Lot Actually Make Better Friends

Caitlyn Clancey

When we were younger, hearing our friends curse for the first time and realizing we could do the same was liberating.

It opened us up to a whole new world where we could actually express ourselves using those same "dirty" words that would make our moms break out the special soap if they heard us using them.

For most of us, our own desire for cussing probably waned as we got older, but that's not to say our friends' did. And I'm fairly certain we all still have at least one pal who's maintained their colorful vocabulary well into adulthood.

As it turns out, those people actually make the best friends, and we finally have the science to prove that.


According to Distractify, one study actually claims that not only do people who swear a lot make better friends, they're actually more likely to be of a higher intelligence than the average person.

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Not only that, but they were more likely to have a heightened vocabulary.

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So it turns out Mom was trying to prevent us from making really good friends whenever she told us to stay away from that one kid at school who swore all the time.

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Psychologist Timothy Jay from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts authored the study, "Why We Curse: A Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech."

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"Curse words have been only of brief passing interest to psychologist[s] and linguists," he wrote. "The absence of research on emotional speech has produce[d] theories of language that are polite but inaccurate. Curse words are words we are not supposed to say; hence, curse words themselves are powerful."

He's got a point. Sometimes swearing can just feel so good!

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In another study, "The Pragmatics of Swearing," Jay and co-author Kristin Janschewitz say people who curse are more genuine and trustworthy.

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Their study actually found a link between a person's tendency to swear and their innocence. People who cuss more often were found to be more honest, and isn't that the kind of BFF you want in your life?

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Oh, and there's actually another study that claims our cussin' friends are less violent, too.

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Researcher Adrianus Vingerhoets released a study titled, "Swearing: A Biopsychosocial Perspective," which says those naughty words help us to convey our emotional responses to certain topics.

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Basically, we can signal whether we're angry, sad, or frustrated without having to resort to physical violence.

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And let's not pretend that's not a great quality to have in a bestie!

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In their conclusion, Jay and Janschewitz said "offensive speech," like cursing, is an essential element in understanding the link between what we say and how we behave.


And, they continue, swearing doesn't mean those individuals have any less of a vocabulary. The opposite is actually true, and this also means they like to get to the point quicker.

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In fact, there are a whole slew of studies that suggest people who swear are smarter, happier, healthier, calmer, and deal with pain better.

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So make sure you keep those people in your life! And maybe also try spicing up your own speech some time.

h/t: Distractify, The Pragmatics of Swearing, Swearing: A Biopsychosocial Perspective

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