Published on by Darcey Haynes (editor), Jonaqline Addai (writer)

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Even though swearing is considered a taboo in our society, 7 out of 10 people regularly swear in their daily conversations. Recent research has revealed that there is a significant link between swearing and straightforwardness. Researchers of the new study revealed that their aim is to provide an empirical answer to conflicting views regarding the relationship between swearing and honesty.




The research was conducted by Work and Psychology Lecturer Gilad Feldman from the University of Maastricht. The basic proposition put forward by the researchers is that people who use expletives, are more reliable, direct and trustworthy.

Nadine Vieira, 21-year-old university student said “I think it definitely makes you seem more honest because even though it is rude, it just sorts of comes out. It is a way to express yourself ”.


After examining 70,000 social media exchanges between participants, researchers concluded that the presence of expletives in status updates conveyed more honesty compared to the use of words like “I” or “Me” which have been associated with candidness in previous studies.

The study also found out that people frequently curse when they find themselves in heated situations they feel particularly strongly about.

Media Researcher, Dr Leighton Evans said “People who swear more in my opinion are often emotionally engaged with a particular issue or a particular topic therefore maybe express a more honest view. However, it is important that we don’t conflate honesty with truthfulness, this is an emotional honesty, rather than a factual honesty”.

Although these findings are not entirely accepted by the science community, it is still food for thought.

So, Next time someone tells you to watch your language, you might want to argue otherwise. 


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