Hmmm... there may be a biologial root to profanity after all.
According to this Vancouver Sun article (which I can't find a link to... why is it that some articles are out there for free and others are subscription only?) SIGH
...anyway, according to this article, swearing originates in the right brain, as opposed to most language which arises in the left, and the use of profanity seems to increase our pain tolerance.
Researchers at the school of psychology at Britain's Keele University conducted an experiment where they had volunteers hold their hands in ice water as long as they could while chanting a swear word of their choice. They repeated the experiment, the only difference being the second time around they used a non-profane word. You guessed it - they were able to stand the cold water longer while they were swearing.
(Judging from my husband, it must also help with getting the PDR to record properly, in addition to various other tasks ;)
Fyi, the name of the Vancouver Sun article is: "Naughty Word Helps Make The Pain Go Away", in case you want to try Googling it....