Welcome news if you’re not averse to dropping F-bombs: you’re likely to have a bigger vocabulary than those who don’t.
A new study published in the Language Sciences journal, which saw participants say as many swearwords as they could think of in 60 seconds, then name as many animals as possible in the same amount of time, found that the most verbal dexterity was associated with those who cussed the most.
Backing up what the famously verbose Stephen Fry has said for some time now, psychologists Kristin and Timothy Jay conceded that being foul-mouthed doesn't equate to being uneducated, but rather the opposite:
'Unfortunately, when it comes to taboo language, it is a common assumption that people who swear frequently are lazy, do not have an adequate vocabulary, lack education, or simply cannot control themselves,' they wrote.
'The overall finding of this set of studies, that taboo fluency is positively correlated with other measures of verbal fluency, undermines the [normal] view of swearing. Speakers who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately,' they added.
Could this explain why your most foul mouthed of colleagues seem to rise to the top faster than you? Or why the guys who swearing at football on the telly in the pub often talk the most sense?
Who needs a f*cking thesaurus anyway?