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Uttering expletives when you hurt yourself is a sensible policy, according to scientists who have shown swearing can help reduce pain.
A study by Keele University researchers found volunteers who cursed at will could endure pain nearly 50% longer than civil-tongued peers.
They believe swearing helps us downplay being hurt in favour of a more pain-tolerant machismo.
The work by Dr Richard Stephens' team appears in the journal NeuroReport.
Dr Stephens, from Keele's school of psychology, came up with the idea for the study after swearing when he accidentally hit his thumb with a ham
But he cautioned: "If they want to use this pain-lessening effect to their advantage they need to do less casual swearing.
"Swearing is emotional language but if you overuse it, it loses its emotional attachment."
Rohan Byrt of the Casual Swearing Appreciation Society said he thought the study was the first time swearing's benefits had been proved.