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5 Ways Cussing Benefits People

Updated on March 14, 2018
Unsure how to react to bad words
Unsure how to react to bad words | Source

What are Cuss Words

Chill … They’re just f_ _king words.

What Makes a Word Bad

In the preceding sentence, the word "Chill" is used in a condescending way to give the reader the impression they have no right to feel the way they do. The word “f_ _king” simply added another layer to it. However, “Chill” didn’t make the naughty word list, therefore, nobody bats an eyelash when it’s spoken with the intent to insult. It’s perceived to be less offensive than the adjective “f_ _king”. However, the forbidden word doesn't say anything negative toward the reader. It gives the reader an idea of how the writer feels. Without that word the sentence fails to depict the intensity of feeling about the subject. While an acceptable substitute word such as “freaking” might work in the sentence, it’s far from portraying the depth of emotion and the conviction of the speaker.

How Cuss Words got their Bad Name

Confused? Let me fill in the blanks. You see, (here’s what I think happened) many years ago somebody somewhere invented a word or used a word already in production to express negative emotions or to describe somebody or something in a vulgar manner. For some unexplainable reason, this word, as opposed to many other words with the same negative overtones, inspired somebody to start a naughty word list … and so, it began.

Words aren’t intrinsically bad. The word in and of itself was simply made up of one or more morphemes. They're not expletives at conception. The meaning it carries comes from a person’s intention for it or interpretation of its relationship to the context surrounding it and/or the tone in which it is delivered. Any words used to intimidate people or put them down are not just words. They’re weapons. And, when they’re being used for that purpose that’s what makes them bad. Sometimes these words are branded as cuss words holding the forbidden status. Amazingly, many of them didn't make the naughty list.

Why and How Cursing Benefits Us

For a long time swear or curse (cuss) words have been getting a bad rap. Like many mean words not on the naughty word list, they can be used to disrespect or hurt people; however, people also use them without any intention of harming others and they find many benefits in their use, perhaps as a result of their somewhat outlawed status. Therefore, bad words need to retain that status to continue to provide the benefits many people get from using them. In contrast to the negative feelings and judgements cuss words often provoke, they can also inspire positive reactions when they grab attention, cause distraction, stimulate obedience, relieve pain, anxiety, and tension, and trigger laughter.

Should cuss words be canned?
Should cuss words be canned? | Source

The Use of Profanity to Shock People

When people use cuss words all the time around the same people, they lose some of their effectiveness. However, when they are used sparingly the shock and awe or shock into action effects meet their full potential. If the sentence of the first paragraph was used as the title of this article, it would have served to grab the attention of more people. Why? The sight of the swear word in the title shocks people because it’s a rare sight to see. Many people become intrigued by the audacity of the author to use a forbidden word. The reader who can relate to its purpose might find it refreshing to see somebody acknowledging that people often overreact to profanity. The reader who determines swear words serve no good purpose probably wants to find an explanation, draw up a debate, or chastise the writer.

How Does Cursing Cause Distraction, Grab Attention, and Stimulate Obedience

Many parents use cuss words to prompt their children to do what they demand of them. For example, a parent might say five times or more, “Get in there and clean your room” with no reaction from their child; however, when the same parent says, “Get your ass in there and clean your room”, the child might instantly spring into action and head off to their room. The intensity and emphasis on “your ass” distracts the child from what they’re doing and makes them more aware of not only what’s being said but also what the speaker might be feeling. Some opponents to parents using this tactic might say that’s bad parenting. Certainly, there are other ways to get the desired result. No matter how parents arrive at how they communicate with their children, if they find something that works, they usually stick to it.

Stubbed toe man in pain
Stubbed toe man in pain | Source

How Profanity Lessens Pain, Relieves Anxiety, and Releases Tension

Anyone who has ever stubbed their toe and yelled, “Daaaaaaamn!” or “Fuuuuuuuck!”, knows the healing powers of using cuss words. By the time the word breaks off at the end most of the pain has already subsided. Perhaps some deep seated thrill of using forbidden words causes our brains to release more endorphins. Somehow “Ouuuuch!” doesn’t work quite as well. That might be why people have to repeat that word several times. Maybe we don’t exert ourselves as much when belting it out. The pain tends to linger a little longer. For some people, saying cuss words is like feeding an addiction. It calms their nerves. When some people feel angry, cursing often relieves much of the tension. They may even feel euphoria. Most of us have at least one friend who curses excessively. For example, they might say something like this, “F_ _king, that f_ _king was the worst f_ _king day of my f_ _king life." Cursing this way must kick in the brains natural opioid dispenser because by the time the person gets to the end of the sentence, they're smiling and you're left wondering, 'What the hell just happened?"

When Cuss Words Make You Laugh

Cuss words have been known to stir up quite a bit of laughter especially when it’s delivered by somebody unexpected such as a soft spoken elderly woman or a toddler. It’s not too funny when your child uses naughty words at school and you’re being chastised by a kindergarten teacher because every time he or she colors outside the lines, the whole class hears, "Shit!" When the teacher informs you and you instantly blurt out,” Oh shit!”, then blame "Gramma" for your child’s foul language.

Away you turn stifling the laughter pushing on your guts, seeping through the corners of your mouth, and making you snort. How appropriate that word would have been in those circumstances if it had not had the negative stigma behind it. Nevertheless, you let your little potty mouth child know that “shit” is a bad word and not to say it anymore, especially, at school. The negative stigma must be passed down for the words to continue to have the effect they have.

Where do Cuss Words come from

Take a few consonants, toss a vowel in the middle, and label it “bad”. That’s what little cuss words are made of.

Are Cuss Words always bad

Chill … When they’re not being used as weapons, they’re just words.


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    • HoneyBB profile image

      Helen Laxner 13 days ago from Illinois

      Thanks Jean, I rarely swear myself but you're right I can say that I also swear more around people who swear more. I don't think any less of people because they use cuss words but I do have a problem with when people use words to hurt others whether they're curses or not...that was the main reason I wanted to write's also kind of an eye opener to how some things get a label that doesn't always fit and some things could fit into a description and never get the label.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 13 days ago from New Jersey


      I saw you on the forum. I'm glad you decided to publish it. Sometimes it's the company you keep. I find I swear more depending on who I am with. But it's not a big deal. It is also a distraction, as you described, when you step on something painful in bare feet!