What the Fuck?

What the fuck… don’t fuck with me… fuckin A… flying fuckfuck off… fuck you… fuck….

A google search for historical origins of fuck yields Madfish Willie's Cyber Saloon: Fuck You! as #5 result. Only #5?!? UPDATE: Well, now Madfish Willie's is the #2 & #3 result. In a couple of days, I should be #1! Woohoo!

Here's a recap of some of the top results and we'll all know where the fuck fuck came from.

Here's the last fucking day of fuck:

The F Word

Comments on the author's use of the word "frig" sparked a fascinating discussion about the etymology of the word, which led to further discussion about the origins of my favorite word - "fuck."

For the F word in action...

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From ChocolateKisses
The grapevine has it that the word first came about through the justice system. When there was a case of 'rape'- the action was described as such . . .
*the accused used the victim For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge*

Thus it became an acronym - FUCK. And of course we had our way with it, you know, fucked with it a bit - leading to the way we use it today

From Summanus
Fuck might come from the Latin verb Futuere, meaning to fuck. It was a consider rude to express sex with futuere, like today it might de impolite to say fuck. 't' could easily change to 'ck'.

From Steven
The F word: The origins of our favorite word - "frappachino" right?

From Shawn
Word History The obscenity fuck is a very old word and has been considered shocking from the first, though it is seen in print much more often now than in the past. Its first known occurrence, in code because of its unacceptability, is in a poem composed in a mixture of Latin and English sometime before 1500.
The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, "Flen flyys," from the first words of its opening line, "Flen, flyys, and freris," that is, "fleas, flies, and friars."

The line that contains fuck reads "Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk." The Latin words "Non sunt in coeli, quia," mean "they [the friars] are not in heaven, since."

The code "gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk" is easily broken by simply substituting the preceding letter in the alphabet, keeping in mind differences in the alphabet and in spelling between then and now i was then used for both i and j; v was used for both u and v; and vv was used for w.

This yields "fvccant [a fake Latin form] vvivys of heli." The whole thus reads in translation "They are not in heaven because they fuck wives of Ely [a town near Cambridge]." (dictionary.com)

From Otto
Perhaps one of the most interesting words in the English language today, is the word Fuck. Out of all the English words that begin with the letter "F", Fuck is the only word that is referred to as the "F" word. It's the one magical word that just by it's sound can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. Fuck....as most words in the English language is derived from the German word "Friken", which means to strike.

In English, Fuck falls into many grammatical categories. As a transitive verb for instance, "John fucked Shirley". As an intransitive verb, " Shirley fucks". It's meaning is not always sexual however. It could be used as an adjective such as, "John's doing all the fucking work"; as part of an adverb, "Shirley talks to fucking much"; as an adverb enhancing an adjective, "Shirley is fucking beautiful"; as a noun, "I don't give a fuck"; as part of a word "absofuckinlutely or infuckingcredible" and, as almost every word in a sentence, "fuck the fucking fuckers".

As you must now realize, there isn't to many words with the versatility of fuck. As in these examples describing situations such as fraud, " I got fucked at the used car lot"; dismay, "awe fuck it"; trouble, "I guess I'm really fucked now"; aggression, "don't fuck with me buddy"; difficulty, "I don't understand the fucking question"; inquiry, "who the fuck was that"; dissatisfaction, "I don't like what the fuck is going on here"; incompetence, "he's a fuck up" and dismissal, " why don't you go outside and play hide-n-go-fuck-yourself". I'm sure you can think of many more examples. With all of these multipurpose applications, how can anyone be offended when you use the word.

I say, use this unique flexible word more often in your daily speech. It will identify the quality of your character immediately. Say it loudly and proudly. FUCK YOU!

From J.T.
The way I heard it, somewhere in medieval times, one of the English kings had a brilliant idea to tax prostitution instead of outlawing it. All professional ladies had to apply for licenses to sell their wares, and each one who did received a certificate acknowledging their legal right to conduct their trade. The certificate said Fornicating Under Command of the King. F.U.C.K. Probably about as much validity to it as the other stories I've heard, but I like it.

Incidentally, the best examination of the word I've ever heard was done by George Carlin in his famous "Seven words you can never say on television" routine. He also pointed out that "fuck" is a word for making love, yet it's used when we really want to insult somebody. Carlin said, "I'd rather see a show of two people making love, rather than two people trying to kill one another, but I'd like to take it further. I'd like to substitute the word "fuck" for the word "kill" in all those old movie clichés." for example,

"Okay, sheriff, we're going to fuck you now. But we're going to fuck you slow."
"Careful with that clutch, or you'll fuck the engine again."
"Fuck the ump. Fuck the ump. Fuck the ump."

From John
I have a link here that addresses the question of the origin of the word "fuck." I can state categorically that it is not an acronym of any kind. Even though no one really knows for sure what the origin of the word is, it is a fact of our language that acronyms don't appear before the late nineteenth century. For a word that could have been around as early as the year 1250 (predating Modern English), an acronymic origin is not really possible.

One possible origin for the word I've heard, and isn't mentioned here , is that "fuck" may be derived from the German word "foch," which means "to plow." I kind of like that one.

From Anonymous
the word comes from Latin.....facies: to make or do, English cognate is fuck

From Karly
I like this Robin Hood type story. It's a nice twist having the main characters be woman. I noticed a few things....<> frig??

From Jean Roberta
Your question ("frig?") deserves an essay on archaic terms for sex. (There is probably a book on this somewhere.) "To frig" is a nineteenth-century term for masturbating (usually someone else), or to be more precise, finger-fucking. I like the word because it seems more precise than any currently-used term for this activity. Since my story is set in the past, I used the old word, even though it probably isn't old ENOUGH to give an accurate flavor of "days of yore" (the Robin Hood era).

Another nineteenth-century word that, for some reason, seems to have disappeared is the French-flavored "gamahouche" (or "gamahooch") for oral sex, i.e.: 69, giving head, going down on.

You can find these words and many more in paperback reproductions of THE PEARL, a racy magazine that flourished briefly in Victorian England (1880s, I believe). I can't remember the publisher, but you could find publishing info under the title in BOOKS IN PRINT in any library.

I don't see why perfectly useful words have to die, but if readers don't know what I mean when I write, I suppose I might as well frig myself.

From Siobhan
I have heard this word used in an epithet--"that frigging idiot!"--but not very often. Have always thought it was supposed to be a more polite way of saying "fucking", but now I see it has a meaning all its own, though not that much different from the word fuck.

And speaking of the word fuck, since we have been discussing words lately, isn't it interesting how that word can be used to mean making love (although it's not a very, erm, romantic word for that delightful pastime), and also as one of aggression and heavy-duty insulting?

From Volponia
Sure is, Siobhan, almost as interesting as the way fucking has been employed (not solely by men!) primarily to exercise power over the fuckee. And what's the deal with so many of the words dealing with sexual parts and acts, anyhow? Why are they so dry and hard, when we are so soft and wet (well, *some* of us... ) I mean, really, the word "cunt." It sounds like a good alias for a sledgehammer. And "prick"? Something slender, sharp, pointy, hurtful? No thanks.

From Shivaji
Years ago, I had to take History of the English Language course to complete the requirements for the doctorate degree at Columbia. Although I resented taking it then, I was most fortunate that a renowned American lexicographer (writer of dictionaries) gave this course. At that time he was on the board of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

Professor was a short, little bald man, at the edge of retirement, and extremely polite and formal. His lectures were fascinating because, instead of sticking to linguists' mumbo-jumbo, he used to talk about historical, social and cultural influence on and of words. Then one day, when a student wanted to know why OED did not publish curse words, Reed corrected him and said it's OED's policy not to publish meanings of words if their etymological history (i.e., how words came into a language) was not formally determined. Most curse words have a problem of origin, he said. Then, surprising every one, in his gentle, polite way, he said, with just the slightest impish smile, that he was about to break the etymological history of the word, "fuck." He actually pronounced the word, with the most delicate little pronunciation, wispy and gentle! The almost silent word could be heard in the class like a pin dropping. Students were stunned. (This was 1973). Thereupon he gave the most erudite lecture on "fuck" that I've ever heard!

It seems that there was a word in Old English, used by farmers, that was a direct descendent from the Latin, "pug," the infinitive form of "pugnare" meaning "to hit aggressively," but also "to pierce." During the Great Western Migration many European words mixed with each other. Some words were imported in their original form, but many began to be used with distinctly different sounds. The great fairy tale writer, Grimm, studied these sound shifts, and observed that these sounds changed according to certain phonemic (i.e., sound) patterns and actually created a formula to trace the sound shifts.
According to Professor, "fuck" comes from an Old English word "fuk" meaning, "to plant." I am not an expert in Old English, but Reed quoted from OE texts to illustrate the meaning of the word. Reed says the word "fuk" was a result of a sound shift from "pug" because the p-sounding words often changed to f-sounding words (for instance, the Latin 'pater' meaning father, changed to the English, 'father'), and the g-sounding words changed to k-sounding words (the Latin 'genu' meaning knee, changed to the English knee. Up to the 18th century the English word was actually pronounced with the 'k').

So, "pug," changed to "fuk," meaning, "to plant." Professor Reed said that around the tenth century, in Medieval England, the word somehow took on a sexual meaning. Apparently, Chaucer may have been one of the first writers to use the word sexually. Planting left agriculture and took on a human behavior, Reed said, panting!

Steven, the whole class was mesmerized by this lecture. Walker said he had written a 22 page paper for the Journal of American Linguistics, "My tour de force was that I never once mentioned the word in my paper!" he said with the cutest smile. Finally, with the same modest demeanor, Professor Reed announced that he was currently hard at work on "cunt." The whole class burst out laughing

From Pan
I'm late in catching up with the fuck thread, but I don't think anyone has mentioned the book, THE F WORD, edited by Jesse Sheidlower and pub. by Random House three or four years ago (Available at Amazon.com & Amazon UK). The book contains just about all you might care to know about the word. (Not the subject, of course, which is endlessly fascinating.)

Sheidlower writes that the word "fuck" derives from several Germanic languages and words that have sexual meanings as well as meanings such as "to strike" and "to thrust." He believes that the claim for acronymic origin of "fuck" began sometime in the '60's and says he thinks the claim is false, since "Acronyms are rare before the 1930's, and etymologies of this sort--especially for older words--are almost always false."

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