Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language

Emma Byrne (Author)


In this sparkling debut work of popular science, Emma Byrne examines the latest research to show how swearing can be good for you. She explores every angle of swearing--why we do it, how we do it, and what it tells us about ourselves. Packed with the results of unlikely and often hilarious scientific studies--from the "ice-bucket test" for coping with pain, to the connection between Tourette's and swearing, to a chimpanzee that curses at her handler in sign language--Swearing Is Good for You presents a lighthearted but convincing case for the foulmouthed.

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
February 26, 2019
5.4 X 0.7 X 8.2 inches | 0.45 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Emma Byrne is a graphic designer and artist. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design. She has won numerous awards for her design including The IDI (Irish Design Institute) Graduate Designer of the Year, the IDI Promotional Literature Award for her work on Brown Morning, and a Children's Books Ireland Bisto Merit Award for her work on Something Beginning With P: New Poems from Irish Poets. She has illustrated many books, including Best-Loved Oscar Wilde, Best Loved Yeats, The Most Beautiful Letter in the World by Karl O'Neill, a special edition of Ulysses by James Joyce, and A Terrible Beauty by Mairéad Ashe Fitzgerald. She lives in a thatched house in Co. Wexford.


Shit, this book is fascinating.--Elena Nicolaou
A poppy, comprehensive look at an often taboo topic.--Reed Tucker
Byrne makes a strong case.... Perhaps more than swearing's power to help one withstand pain or even bond, it's Byrne's revelations about swearing and gender that make me want to try just a little bit harder to curse.--Danielle Friedman
An impressive catalogue of research showing how effing and blinding helps us deal with pain, bond with others, is associated with intelligence and makes us more inclined to trust each other.... A glorious, uplifting read.--Lucy Kellaway
Byrne, who likes a good swear, relishes her subject and her study of its various forms--bodily, copulatory, excretory and slur based--is playfully astute.--Steven Carroll
Emma Byrne unearths an unorthodox body of research to reveal how swearing helps reduce pain and anxiety and can even bring people together.... Fascinating.
A chatty, humorously informative narrative that rummages through the science of bad language, grabbing at sociology, psychology, neuroscience and anthropology.--Hephzibah Anderson
Swearing Is Good for You is an entertaining and often enlightening book.... Byrne's readers are sure to come away with a fresh appreciation of language at its most foul.