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  • Writer's pictureJosh Vaisman

Twizpipe! A Surprising Resilience Tool

I'm adding something to the suggestion box of life.

Historically, I’ve heard phrases like, “potty mouth” and “talk like a trucker” and “swear like a sailor”. All meant to convey the same thing – someone who drops f-bombs like rain on the island of Kauai.

Henceforth, in such circumstances, I hereby suggest we simply call it what it is. Talking like Josh.

Case in point: a few days ago I’m pretty sure my wife was convinced I was on the verge of a total breakdown. The string of four-letter words enthusiastically bellowing from my mouth were epic and relentless.


I was installing curtain rods.

Oh, and I wasn’t even that upset.

Some of you reading this are probably nodding your head and smiling. Some of you think nothing of it. Some of you might even be appalled.

Whatever your response, I’m here to tell you the boisterous cussing I do is actually a great source of energy, grit, and resilience for me. It can be for you too.

And it’s backed by science.

In a recently published study out of the University of Oxford, researchers confirmed what I’ve known for years. A good, solid, “FUCK!” is damn good for things like pain relief, resilience, and well-being.

The research psychologists, being the cruel bastards we know psychologists to be, had participants immerse their hands in ultra-cold ice water while repeating one of four pre-selected words.

The control group used a neutral word like “table” while three experimental groups used swear-words of some type.

Side note – a ton of time was put to use creating two new swear words for this study. No joke! A crack team of experts convened to create a swear word “likely to solicit an emotional response” and a second made-up word “likely to solicit humor”. For the first one they came up with “fouch” and for the funny word, “twizpipe”.

What the actual fuck?!?

Anyway, the experimental group were told to repeat the word, “fuck”, “fouch”, or “twizpipe”.

Pain tolerance, perceived pain, and a variety of other variables were measured.

Although “fouch” and “twizpipe” had no appreciable effect on pain tolerance or well-being in general (at least in this study) I, for one, am grateful for these new words and have every intention of using them.

“What kind of fouch does such a thing?”

“Do you actually think I’d take advice from a real life twizpipe?!?!”

And I foresee decades of arguments over pronunciation. Is it f-ow-ch or f-oo-ch?

Anyway...repeating the word “fuck” over and over made a big difference. It resulted in, “…a 32% increase in pain threshold and a 33% increase in pain tolerance, accompanied by increased ratings for emotion, humor, and distraction, relative to the neutral word condition.

So, here’s my advice – the next time you find yourself in “painful” circumstances that are challenging your resilience and ability to endure, throw decorum out the window for a minute or two and talk like Josh.

Let out a good, hearty, “FUCK!”

And don’t be scared to encourage the same in others.

It might just energize you and help you get through.

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