People who frequently swear are more likely to have abigger vocabulary than their clean-tongued peers, research revealed.
A colourful tongue does not mean the talker is lazy or uneducated, a study published in theLanguage Sciences journal found.
Instead, those who are more confident using taboo words are more articulate in other areas.
The experiment asked participants to say as many swear words as they could think of in 60seconds.
They were then asked to do the same with animals.
Those who knew the most swear words were more likely to name the most animals as well, theresearch found.
Kristin and Timothy Jay, the US-based psychologists who co-wrote the study, said it provedswearing was positively correlated with verbal fluency.
They added that those who used taboo words were able to make nuanced distinctions andcould use language expressively.
They wrote: 'We cannot help but judge others on the basis of their speech.
'Unfortunately, when it comes to taboo language, it is a common assumption that people whoswear frequently are lazy, do not have an adequate vocabulary, lack education, or simplycannot control themselves.'
In their conclusion, they added: 'The overall finding of this set of studies, that taboo fluencyis positively correlated with other measures of verbal fluency, undermines the [normal] view ofswearing.
'Speakers who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well asnuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately.
'The ability to make nuanced distinctions indicates the presence of more rather than lesslinguistic knowledge.'
Forty-nine participants aged between 18 and 22 were used in the experiment.