Why made-up swear words are perfect around young ears

It can seem impossible to avoid swearing at times, especially after a toe bump or a parking violation has been discovered.

But for times when swearing isn’t an option, like at work or when a child is responsible for a young child, psychologists may be able to help with some alternatives.

A new study suggests that saying “sugar” instead of the more vulgar alternative sounds less like an insult, as does blighter instead of b*gger.

Brits get the right idea when they talk about someone getting the word “rollicking” instead of the word it rhymes with – ab ****** ing.

The discovery: New study suggests that saying “sugar” instead of the directed alternative sounds less like verbal, as does saying “sugar” instead of b*gger

Parents of young children can call someone they don’t like “bar host” instead of “b*****d.”

And if someone is really angry, the word “fris” may sound cute and harmless.

The theory behind these alternative swear words comes from a study led by Royal Holloway, University of London.

The researchers presented 215 people, who each spoke one of six languages, with 80 pairs of made-up words and asked them which word was being inferred.

Alternatives to the word swearing

  • S ** t – sugar
  • B******ing – Rollicking
  • b ***** d – bar hostess
  • F***ing – frizzy
  • Close f*** – close the front door
  • C**k-ups – colk-ups

They discovered words with the four golden sounds—the “r,” “l,” “w,” and “y” sound—that weren’t thought of as swear words, in nearly two-thirds of the cases.

These soft-sounding letters are more than twice as often found in words used as swear substitutes, such as “sugar,” than in original words.

Dr Sherry Lev-Ary, first author of the study from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, said: ‘This helps us understand why alternative words like slander or rub, which add an ‘r’ sound to an expletive, are more effective. Suitable for a polite company.

Professor Ryan McKay, senior author of the study, added: ‘If we knew that these alternatives did not sound like swear words to people, and also contained soothing sounds, they could be beneficial.

“Perhaps these words are useful during a discussion with your significant other, while dealing with a troubled child, or during a tense negotiation, because they sound far less aggressive and less sentimental than the swear words from which they were quoted.”

The study, published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, recruited 215 native speakers of Arabic, Chinese, Finnish, French, German and Spanish.

The task assigned to these volunteers was called “How good are your allies?”

People have heard pairs of words, apparently from another language, but they are actually made up.

Each pair contained one word with a neutral “ch,” “j,” or “ts” sound, which the researchers’ previous work showed was not found to be more or less common than other words.

The other word in each pair was nearly identical but had a sound called ‘rough’, which is spoken between a small gap in the mouth created by the lips, teeth, or tongue and creates an ‘r’, ‘l’, ‘w’ and ‘y’ sound.

The theory behind these alternative swear words comes from a study led by Royal Holloway, University of London (stock)

The theory behind these alternative swear words comes from a study led by Royal Holloway, University of London (stock)

It was determined not to be the swear word 63 percent of the time.

This means that “shut the front door” is a good alternative to “shut the door,” and parents of young children may want to describe the mistakes as “adventures.”

The researchers analyzed 67 common replacement words, primarily from the Oxford English Dictionary.

It had 29 rough words, compared to only 12 in the original swearwords.

The results show that the word “fecking,” beloved by the Irish and fans of the sitcom Father Ted, still sounds pretty rude and almost like an expletive.

But “forking,” as used on the sitcom The Good Place, because people can’t swear in heaven, works just fine — at least with an American accent.

“The exception to this rule about confidants seems to be the ugliest word in the universe according to The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy – Belgium,” said Professor MacKay.

The use of swear words has fallen by more than a quarter since the 1990s

A recent study found that Britons’ use of swear words has fallen by more than a quarter since the 1990s.

The research also indicates that “f***” has overtaken “b***dy” as the most popular curse in the UK.

It compared the use of 16 of the country’s most common swear words, including p***, c***, and s**g, from the 1990s to the 2000s.

A study found that Britons' use of swear words has fallen by more than a quarter since the 1990s.  Pictured above are the 16 most used words by Brits in 1994 and 2014

A study found that Britons’ use of swear words has fallen by more than a quarter since the 1990s. Pictured above are the 16 most used words by Brits in 1994 and 2014

In all, the amount of oath performance fell by 27.6 percent, from 1,822 words per million in 1994 to 1,320 words per million in 2014.

The study, conducted by Dr Robbie Love of Aston University, looked at how swearing in informal British conversation has changed English over the past three decades.

Dr Love used two large collections of transcripts: the British National Spoken Collection collected in 1994 and the same collection from 2014.

Together, these include more than 15 million words, although swear words account for less than 1 percent.

The research has shown that the type of swear words used has changed over the years, with “b****y” being the most popular in the 1990s and “f***” in the 2010s.

Dr. Love found that this was because the use of “b****y” decreased significantly, while “f***” remained relatively constant.

It was the second most used word in 1994, followed by s**t, p***, b****r and c**p.

Twenty years later, b****r has fallen from fifth most popular to ninth, while b*****d has fallen from seventh to tenth most.

The big climbers are s**t, third to second, a**e, eighth to sixth and d***, tenth to seventh.

T**t also rose from the 16th most popular word of the 1990s to the 13th most popular word by 2010

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