How 7 Popular Curse Words Originated, So You Can Feel Even More Satisfied When You Let One Rip

Swearing might not always be the most polite thing to do, but there are times when letting out an angry string of obscene, profane syllables feels like the best thing in the world. And we’re not just imagining those good feelings: Scientists report that swearing is good for us (Fuck yeah!), A 2009 study, for example, had subjects dip their hands in icy water; Those who were allowed to swear were able to keep their hands in the water for longer and experienced less pain than those who had to stick to a friendlier vocabulary. The origins of swear words are varied, but, unsurprisingly, most are related to bodily functions and body parts. Others have religious connections. (Where I live in Quebec, there’s actually a whole category of swear words related to the Catholic Church. For example, the word “Tabarnac” ­— French for the innocuous English word “tabernacle” — here means “Fuck!” The more you know, right?)

Every culture has it’s favorite swear words. In the U.S., we really love the 7 listed below; According to a 2013 study by Slate, the most popular curse words used on Facebook are “shit,” followed by “fuck,” "damn," and "bitch." The rest of these words make the top 15. Read on for the origins of these uniquely satisfying words, so that next time you find yourself yelling, “@#%());