Archive for April 9th, 2015

April 9, 2015

Coprolalia

Captain Haddock

Coprolalia [kop-ruh-ley-lee-uh] is involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks. Coprolalia comes from the Greek ‘kopros’┬ámeaning ‘feces’ and ‘lalia,’ ‘to talk.’ The term is often used as a clinomorphism (a┬ásimplification or amplification of the term for a medical condition), with ‘compulsive profanity’ inaccurately referred to as being Tourette syndrome (an inherited neurological disorder characterized by involuntary speech and movements).┬áRelated terms are ‘copropraxia,’ performing obscene or forbidden gestures, and ‘coprographia,’ making obscene writings or drawings.

Coprolalia encompasses words and phrases that are culturally taboo or generally unsuitable for acceptable social use, when used out of context. The term is not used to describe contextual swearing. It is usually expressed out of social or emotional context, and may be spoken in a louder tone or different cadence or pitch than normal conversation. It can be a single word, or complex phrases. A person with coprolalia may repeat the word mentally rather than saying it out loud; these subvocalizations can be very distressing.

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