For a good look at swearing and what it means (one word in particular), I recommend "Fuck: A Documentary"*. It's available presently on youtube.
*Rated R for offensive language
[YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HJ3iPXQYag"] Here it is[/YouTube]
Also, much shorter but still kind of relevant:
[YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbALbZ9bHFU"]The Folly of Euphemisms[/YOUTUBE]