Yes, the Irish swear more than Americans. I hear this a lot from my American friends, who find it disconcerting that Irish in Ireland, especially of an older generation, swear so much.
This is an Irish in Ireland thing, sometimes it seems they are swearing every second word because they actually are. Here are the reasons why:
1. Irrational exuberance:
Being Irish means you use language like a flowing stream of consciousness, every word out of your mouth has to be bettered by the next word.
Hence a string of swear words come ripping off the tongue.
Excited would be a fecking understatement.
2. For effect:
A long string of the f—word seems to get people’s attention, perhaps because they are burnt out from so much swearing themselves.
It helps relieve stress too.
3. One Upmanship:
One guy is shocked , swears and says “Jesus”, the next guy pipes in with “Jesus, Mary and Joseph” or “Holy Mary” is trumped by “Holy Mary, mother of God” and so on.
Well actually I started one upmanship so, um, actually, yeah.
4. Because they can:
The power of the church held swear words and rough talk in check, no more church power, lots of swearing
Feels nice to get it out, y’know?
5. Makes them feel like rebels:
Nothing an Irishman likes more than to be considered a rebel.
6. It disconcerts the snobs:
Those speaking that dreadful upper-class Irish accent will literally run away and call a policeman when you start swearing at them.
You came to the wrong neighborhood, bruv.
7. Terms of endearment:
“How are ya ,ya f..er ya” or “Howya Bolix” are actually terms of endearment in Ireland.
You’re dumber than an oak, but I love you all the same
8: Impress women:
No, I swear, it works, adds to that strong and dangerous man image when you let loose a string of expletives in a burst of verbal diarrhea.
Or if you mind your manners try this (don’t actually).
9. Gets things off your chest:
A good old fashioned outburst of bad language acts like a dose of Epsom salts in purging the system. You feel much better after it.
That’s the spot.
10. Irish Women swear too!
Even more impact when they do. Men will stand proudly by as the wife lets rip. Good for the relationship.
Idea for children’s book: everybody swears.
11. Bonus one...Irish animals understand:
Irish dogs and cats are well conditioned to understand the Irish swearing as in “Get outside ya bollix” after the toilet training fails. Some swearing pet owners swear the dogs and cats swear back at them occasionally.
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