Potty-mouthed profession: Half of lawyers regularly swear at work, research finds

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By Thomas Connelly on


New research has suggested that almost half of UK lawyers swear at work.

The findings reveal 42% of lawyers regularly use obscene language on the job, compared to just 36% of finance workers and 32% of retail staff.

In an industry where professionalism and personal judgement is imperative, are lawyers really effing and blinding around the office? Not wishing to be named, one City lawyer told Legal Cheek that the research has at least some truth to it. He said:

A frequent thing that happens is people mute conference calls to unleash a barrage of obscenities at the inanimate phone and then unmute to continue the discussion as normal

An in-house lawyer, again wishing to remain anonymous, told us that “a lot of the time when you hear someone swear it’s them announcing that they’ve received an email.” He continued:

If anyone ever bothers to ask ‘what’s wrong?’ when they hear a colleague shout ‘For f*ck sake!!!’ it’s more often than not met with ‘oh nothing… it’s just an email from the client’.

But, lawyers aren’t the most potty-mouthed profession. The study polled 2,000 adults, including 125 ‘legal industry’ employees, and found that the energy sector is home to the most foul-mouthed staff (65%). The pharmaceutical industry has the least (29%).

Elsewhere in the report, produced by Soap Supplier, 37% of respondents said they had been on the receiving end of bad language from their boss, with a whopping 71% of those claiming it happens on a regular basis. Thirty-five percent of those questioned said they had, on at least one occasion, sworn at their boss.

More generally, the survey suggests that males swear around 10 times per hour, while females will drop the F-bomb, or something similar, roughly eight times. Geographically, Wales and Greater London were named the sweariest regions (12 times per hour), and the South West and East Midlands the least (seven times per hour).

Sweariest industry sectors

Infographic via Soap Supplier

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