Swearing May Help Ease Pain

Ever cuss a blue streak after hitting your thumb with a hammer? You may be helping yourself cope with pain:

Holy @$#%! According to neuroscientists from Britain’s Keele University, dropping the f-bomb can actually relieve physical pain. In the upcoming August 5th issue of the journal NeuroReport, the researchers say swearing is a different phenomenon than most language. It activates emotional centers in the right side of the brain, rather than those &#*@ing cerebral areas reserved for regular #$#y communication in the left hemisphere.

The researchers had groups of undergraduate students submerge their hands in a tub of witch$@&#* cold water and repeat the swear word of their choice. And students could tolerate the icy abyss much longer than when they were only allowed to say more socially acceptable words. The researchers say the foul-mouthed students also had increased heart rates, which indicates that swearing activates a &#*@ing classic “fight or flight” response. You know, when you act all bad$(# to downplay the fact that you’re scared @$#%^ss.


Image by flickr user Billie used under creative commons license

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Cool, next time I hurt myself I have a perfectly valid reason for swearing so bad I'd make a trucker blush! I never could help it, since every time I do something that unexpectedly causes me pain it makes me instantly furious and I want to smash something.
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Hopping around clutching the offending part while exclaiming "Oh, golly gosh, that really smarts. How very vexing. Crikey, look a the colour it's going now. However will I keep a stiff upper lip at the pub with this one?" just doesn't relieve the agony half as much as a good swear.
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I'm watching this excellent documentary on the American Revolution, and General Washington is described as being able to "cuss the paint off the wall".

Baron von Steuben, as he attempted to train our men, apparently cursed in both German and French, and demanded his translator to cuss in English when that didn't work.
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