Offensiveness The word is considered obscene, but is common in many informal and familiar situations. It is unclear whether the word has always been considered vulgar, or, if not, when it first came to be used to describe often in an extremely angry, hostile or belligerent manner unpleasant circumstances or people in an intentionally offensive way, such as in the term motherfucker , one of its more common usages in some parts of the English-speaking world. Some English-speaking countries censor it on television and radio.
Andrea Millwood Hargrave's study of the attitudes of the British public found that fuck was considered the third most severe profanity and its derivative motherfucker second. Cunt was considered the most severe. Journalists were advised to refrain from censoring the word but use it sparingly and only when its inclusion was essential to the story. Paul Booth claimed to have found " possibly the earliest known use of the word 'fuck' that clearly has a sexual connotation": Otherwise, the usually accepted first known occurrence of the word is found in code in a poem in a mixture of Latin and English composed in the 15th century.
The line that contains fuck reads Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk. Deciphering the phrase "gxddbou xxkxzt pg ifmk", here by replacing each letter by the previous letter in alphabetical order , as the English alphabet was then, yields the macaronic non sunt in coeli, quia fuccant vvivys of heli, which translated means, "They are not in heaven, because they fuck the women of Ely ".
The stem of fuccant is an English word used as Latin: English medieval Latin has many examples of writers using English words when they did not know the Latin word: In the Middle English of this poem, the term wife was still used generically for "woman". There is a theory that fuck is most likely derived from Flemish, German, or Dutch roots, and is probably not derived from an Old English root.
However, there is no clear past lineage or derivation for the Latin word. There are several urban-legend false etymologies postulating an acronymic origin for the word. None of these acronyms was ever recorded before the s, according to the authoritative lexicographical work The F-Word , and thus are backronyms.
In any event, the word fuck has been in use far too long for some of these supposed origins to be possible. Some of these urban legends are that the word fuck came from Irish law. A similar variant on this theory involves the recording by church clerks of the crime of "Forbidden Use of Carnal Knowledge. During the Black Death in the Middle Ages , towns were trying to control populations and their interactions.
Since uncontaminated resources were scarce, supposedly many towns required permission to have children. Hence, the legend goes, that couples that were having children were required to first obtain royal permission usually from a local magistrate or lord and then place a sign somewhere visible from the road in their home that said " Fornicating Under Consent of King," which was later shortened to "FUCK.
This myth states that French archers at the Battle of Agincourt insulted the English troops' ability to shoot their weapons by waving their fingers in a V shape; after the English secured a landslide victory, they returned the gesture. The addition of the phrase "fuck you" to the myth came when it was claimed that the English yelled that they could still "pluck yew" yew wood being the preferred material for longbows at the time , a phrase that evolved into the modern "fuck you".
Linguist Geoffrey Hughes found eight distinct usages for English curse words, and fuck can apply to each. For example, it fits in the "curse" sense "fuck you! Its vulgarity also contributes to its mostly figurative sense, though the word itself is used in its literal sense to refer to sexual intercourse, its most common usage is figurative—to indicate the speaker's strong sentiment and to offend or shock the listener.
The oldest occurrence of the word in adjectival form which implies use of the verb in English comes from the margins of a manuscript copy of Cicero 's De Officiis. A monk had scrawled in the margin notes, "fuckin Abbot". Whether the monk meant the word literally, to accuse this abbott of "questionable monastic morals," or whether he used it "as an intensifier, to convey his extreme dismay" is unclear.
To jape, to sard, to fucke, to swive, to occupy. A poem by George Tucker has a father upset with his bookish son say "I'd not give [a fuck] for all you've read".
Originally printed as "I'd not give for all you've read", scholars agree that the words "a fuck" were removed, making the poem the first recorded instance of the now-common phrase "I don't give a fuck". Its first appearance in the Oxford English Dictionary along with the word cunt was in Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message The modern usage and flexibility of fuck was established by the mid to late 19th century, and has been fairly stable since.
The sexual connotation, usually connected to masturbation in the case of "go fuck yourself" or "go fuck yourself in the ass" , is invoked to incite additional disgust, or express anger or outrage. For example, "Fuck that! In this usage, there is no connection to the sexual meaning of the word implied, and is used purely for its "strength" as a vulgarity.
Additionally, other uses are similarly vacuous; fuck or variations such as the fuck or fucking could be removed and leave a sentence of identical syntactical meaning. For example, rap music often uses the word fucking as an emphatic adjective "I'm the fucking man" for the word's rhythmic properties.
Insertion of the trochaic word fucking can also be used as an exercise for diagnosing the cadence of an English-language word. This is the use of fuck or more specifically fucking as an infix , or more properly, a tmesis see expletive infixation. For example, the word in-fucking-credible sounds acceptable to the English ear, and is in fairly common use, while incred-fucking-ible would sound very clumsy though, depending on the context, this might be perceived as a humorous improvisation of the word.
Abso-fucking-lutely and motherfucking are also common uses of fuck as an affix. While neither dysphemistic nor connected to the sexual connotations of the word, even the vacuous usages are considered offensive and gratuitous, and censored in some media; for example, "None of your fucking business! In another usage, the word fucker is used as a term of endearment rather than antipathy. This usage is not uncommon; to say "you're one smart fucker" is often a term of affection.
However, because of its ambiguity and vulgarity, the word fucker in reference to another person can easily be misinterpreted.
Though fuck can serve as a noun, the fucker form is used in a context that refers to an individual. Normally in these cases, if fuck is used instead of fucker, the sentence refers to the sexual ability of the subject for example, "He's a great fuck! Related to fucker is the word motherfucker. Sometimes used as an extreme insult—an accusation of incest —this term is also occasionally used to connote respectful awe.
For example, "He's a mean motherfucker" does not mean "He's abusive, filthy and copulates with his mother," but "He's someone to be afraid of. Jackson , is embroidered with the phrase "Bad Motherfucker". Also contributing to its use in aggressive, high-energy music is the fact that it includes a hard "k" sound in its third syllable, making it easy to exclaim, particularly when pronounced as "mutha fucka".
Despite these rhythmic qualities, motherfucker has not become as accepted in English usage as its root fuck. The word was used to induce stress during military recruit training  and became a dominant element of an English military dialect identified by Tom Wolfe as Army creole.
In his book, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, Paul Fussell , literary historian and professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Pennsylvania , recounted Once, on a misty Scottish airfield, an airman was changing the magneto on the engine of a Wellington bomber.
Suddenly his wrench slipped and he flung it on the grass and snarled, "Fuck! The fucking fucker's fucked.
In polite conversation, these acronyms usually substituted the word "Fellow" for fucker. The phrase "Fuck you, you fucking fuck! Because of its vulgar status, the word fuck is usually restricted in mass media and barred from titles in the United States. Online forums and public blogs may censor the word by use of automatic filters. To avert these filters, many online posters will use the word fvck.
This particular alteration is in common usage at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , where students use it in reference to the inscriptions on MIT's neoclassical buildings, in which the letter U is replaced by V.
A typical coinage in this idiom would be "I'm fvcked by the Institvte. Another way to bypass a word filter is to use leet: Many more recent coinages, such as the shorthand " WTF? Abbreviated versions of the word do not tend to be considered offensive. Although the word is proclaimed vulgar, several comedians rely on fuck for comedic routines.
George Carlin created several literary works based upon the word. Examples of more recent usage In , English writer D. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover gained notoriety for its frequent use of the words fuck, fucked, and fucking. Salinger featured the use of fuck you in print. First published in the United States in , the novel remains controversial to this day due in part to its use of the word, standing at number 13 for the most banned books from to according to the American Library Association.
John Cleese during his eulogy in the memorial service for Graham Chapman was proud to declare himself to be the first person to use the word "fuck" on such occasion. It was used several times in the British film Bronco Bullfrog. Johnson said to the Greek ambassador Alexandros Matsas when he objected to American plans in Cyprus , "Fuck your parliament and your constitution.
America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fellows continue itching the elephant they may just get whacked by the elephant's trunk, whacked good. Ribicoff that he shouted "Fuck you! Afterward, when asked by a television reporter what he had been thinking, Trudeau famously replied "What is the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you say ' fuddle duddle ' or something like that?
Referring to his vote in favor of the resolution authorizing U. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything'? Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did?
I don't think anybody did. Not realizing microphones were recording, he said, "Today? There is no controversy. I've been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You're out of line. I know more about this than anyone else in the room.
In December , recorded telephone conversations revealed Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich trying to "sell" an appointment to the Senate seat that Barack Obama resigned after being elected President.