I have to swear when I lift weights at the gym, not just to piss off
tools or the mangers, but it invokes strong emotions and pump up my
nervous system so I can get ready to kill people. My favorite cuss
phrases when I lift are:
“Get this shit” and “Fuck this shit up”.
Usually the heavier a weight is, the more profanity I like to use and
the louder I say them, and the more weights I can fire up. The other
day I almost got kicked out by this fagot at Rio for cussing so I
replaced the swear words with family-gym-friendly words and yelled
“Get this stuff!”, or “Fire this thing up!”
That really fucked me up because I missed all my lifts. I didn’t get
that emotional boost that I usually get from blurting out cuss words.
Then I started to think that maybe cuss words are unique and different
from other words in language and that they somehow evoke strong
So I went and did some research on swearing and emotions and it turns
out that brain scans show that the part of our brains that we use to
cuss is different from the part that we use for everyday speech. People
who suffer from aphasia, a loss of language, can still swear.
We use mainly the left side of our brain to process language and
speech, but when we cuss, we are activating parts of our right brain;
the hemisphere that processes emotions.
You know the outer most part of our brain that’s all wrinkled up?
That’s the neo-cortex, and it is the most advanced part of the human
brain and was the last part to evolve. It’s the “thinking” part of your
brain that we use for cognition, memory, everyday speech,
reasons…basically all of the smart stuff.
When we cuss, we don’t really use our neo-cortex. Instead, we tap into
the “ancient” part of our brains that we share with lower animals like
reptiles – the limbic system (deals with emotions) and the amygdala
(anger). This explains why we cuss when we are angry or emotionally
disturbed or when we are having sex.
We cuss when we talk to people who piss us off in order to invoke
strong negative emotions and make our listeners feel that emotion.
Usually the more profane the word is the more negative emotions we are
able to evoke. When I argue with somebody, my opponent is going to feel
worse when I say “Fuck you”, than “Damn you”, and if I replace the
swear word altogether and simply say “Darn you”, I probably wouldn’t
evoke much emotions at all. So if you really want to piss off somebody
or get your message across, always pick the most profane words.
99 percent of all swear words fall under the following three categories:
Excretion/bodily fluid/Organs (evokes disgust).
Supernatural or Religion (evokes awe).
– Jesus Christ.
– Holy Mary.
Sex (evokes negative emotions)
– Blow, Suck, Cocksucker (oral sex)
– Motherfucker (incest taboo)
So I looked up the evolution of swearing, and it turns out that root of
swearing is religion. (we even use religions terminologies like
“swearing”, “cursing”, “blasphemy”, to describe the act of cussing
Centuries ago when most people still believed that God actually listens
to our prayers and when hell was a real place, religious taboo was the
most common form of swearing. Phrases like “Damn you”, “Go to Hell”,
“What the Hell”, “Holy Mary”, “Jesus Christ”, and Goddamn” were
effective when you wanted to threaten people or piss them off and scare
them and make them go “Oh my God I am really going to Hell”
However, in today’s world, religious taboo words are the mildest form
of cussing and the negative emotions evoked by those words have dimmed
significantly. People no longer react strongly to religions taboos
because people today just don’t worry about getting sent to Hell, being
thrown into flames, or offending God anymore, so what makes you think
telling somebody to “go to hell” is going to provoke anything
So what do people do when religious taboo stops working? As creative as
human beings are, they began to substitute religious words them with
sexual terminologies like “Fuck”. All we are doing is substituting one
word that used to evoke emotions to another word that means something
else, but still evokes strong emotions.
“Damn you” became “Fuck You”
“Holy Mary” became “Holy Shit” and “Holy Fuck”
“Who in the hell are you” became “Who the Fuck are you”
“Turn off the damn light” became “Turn off the fucking light”.
“Horny as hell” became “Horny as a motherfucker”.
This, along with the fact that we don’t tap into the language part of
our brain to cuss explains why taboo expressions have messed up syntax
and semantics, and are usually ungrammatical.
“Fuck You” is ungrammatical because it should really be “Fuck
yourself”. And if you really think about it, and as a comdedian pointed
out that “Fuck you”, doesn’t really make any sense because it’s a good
thing that somebody wants to fuck me, so shouldn’t it be “Unfuck You”
But why should thoughts about sex be negative you ask, isn’t sex a wonderful thing? Why use sex taboos to cuss out somebody?
Sex feels good (sometimes), but if you look carefully at human
sexuality at its entirety, sex for the most part, is bad, and has very
high stakes. With sex comes rape, child abuse, incest, chances of
unwanted pregnancy, STDs, and unwanted emotions such as jealousy or
guilt when you are having sex with somebody you are not supposed to
have sex with, like screwing your best friend’s girlfriend, etc. Sex is
actually very emotionally disturbing if you think about it, so it’s not
a surprise that people continue to use sexual taboos words to evoke
strong, negative emotions.
Another thing we swear about is excretions and bodily fluid.
What kind of emotions do “shit” and “piss” and “cunt” and “bloody”
evoke? Well, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out why effluvia invoke
strong, negative emotions. Bodily fluids, sexual organs, waste
products, blood and feces are some of the most disgusting and dangerous
substances on the planet because they carry viruses, diseases,
bacteria. So human beings have evolved a very specific emotion to
defend themselves against viruses and diseases to increase their
chances of survival: the emotion of disgust.
Another interesting thing I learned about swearing is how it’s
sometimes involuntary and under certain circumstances, you just can’t
help but swear. You know how when somebody cuts you off during traffic,
when you dropped something, or when you step on a nail, you can’t help
but crying out “Oh Fuck!”, or “Oh Shit!”?
We can’t help ourselves to cuss when we are suddenly injured or
startled because a reflex in our brains is triggered. A “rage-circuit”
is evolved in the brains of all mammals to emit loud angry noises to
startle an attacker when they are suddenly confined or injured. Try
triggering this reflex in other mammals by stepping on a rat’s tail or
by kicking your dog, chances are, they will shriek or cry. But in
humans, this reflex also triggers language, so we articulate and the
yelp with a cuss word like “Oh shit!” or other response bawls such as
“ouch”, “oops”, “wow”, “yes!” and so on.
Another thing I notice is that men tend to cuss more than women. It is
generally more acceptable for men in our society to cuss, and when you
see a woman who cusses a lot, you tend to think badly of her.
This might have something to do with natural selection. Men tend to
cheat more often than women because they make like a zillion sperms a
day. A woman on the other hand, only carries one egg a month, and has
limited eggs in her lifetime. So compared to a sperm, a woman’ egg is
much more expensive and precious. Therefore, a woman is hardwired to be
much more selective when it comes to finding a mate and who to have sex
with, and on the other hand, it is hardwired for a man to want to have
sex with as many women as possible. A male can have more babies if he
screws around, and can pass on their genes with just 10 minutes of sex,
but a woman needs to be committed because they must bear a child for 9
months, plus an extra 2 to 4 years to take care of her offspring until
he is old enough to protect himself.
So one night stands and casual sex are advantageous for a man , but not
for a woman. as a result, men of all cultures want sex and take sex
more casually than women. We can also conclude that men TALKS about sex
more casually and openly than women, thus they cuss more often and get
away with it more than women do. When a man goes around, blurting out
fuck this shit and that shit, motherfucking this and motherfucking
that, he is hardcore, and if you are a rapper you get paid for cussing.
But when a woman does the same thing, she is bound t have a bad
Swearing is a mystery. You can be an entertainer and call politicians
or whoever retarded on the television as long as you keep your language
clean. But according to Congress’s Clean Airwaves Act, once you blurt
out ANY of the following words on live television: Shit. Piss. Fuck.
Cunt. Asshole. Cock Sucker. Mother Fucker. Asshole, you better get
ready to pay fines or get your tongue cut out.
So you are allowed to call George Bush a moron, but you can’t say
“George Bush is fucking awesome”
Here , that was your 10 minute crash course on the psychology behind
swearing, not like it will help you get a date, but at least now you
know more about cussing than you ever did.
As for me, I tried to quit cussing when I was 18 and did it for almost
a year, then i gave up because this bitch I dated wouldn’t stop cussing
at me for accelerating over the speed bumps.