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a fuck is an amorphous unit of measure who's quantity can apparently be modifided with colorful descriptions:

the fuck in i don't give a flying fuck carries more weight than in i don't give a fuck. Be careful not to fall into the trap of trying to lighten it too much by simply saying i don't fuck, because that'll just make you look silly and potentially lose dates.

The exception to this rule is whan one has only the time or the patience or controll to utter nothing but the all-powerful Fuck You.

Actually, it's commonly (although incorrectly) assumed that 'Fuck' is an acronym meaning either "Fornication Under Consent of the King" or "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge." These are not the case.

Tracing the history of the word 'Fuck' has proven difficult over the years, as it has been a taboo for most of its existance. Citations are also quite rare. According to "American Heritage", the earliest known use predates the year 1500. It is used in a poem written in both English and Latin called "Flen flyys."

"Non sunt in celi quia fuccant uuiuys of heli."

Translates to:

"They (the monks) are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely (a town near Cambridge)."

(Fuccant is a pseudo-Latin word.)

The earliest citation of its current spelling is from 1535.

The root of the word is almost definitely Germanic. Proof of this lies in the fact that it has cognates in other Northern European languages - for example, Middle Dutch fokken meaning to thrust, to copulate with; dialectical Norwegian fukka meaning to copulate; and dialectical Swedish focka meaning to strike, push, and copulate, as well as fock meaning penis. French has the word foutre, while Italian has fottere - both of which are derived from the Latin word futuere.

Fuck are an Indie band originally formed in Oakland, California, but now living in San Francisco (though their singer lives in New York City). Their first release was the single, "Monkey Beauty Shotgun", which was followed by a string of compilations and other singles, until their first album, "Pretty...Slow", released in 1996. Their second album was released the same year under the name "Baby Loves a Funny Bunny". Their best album, in my opinion and others', was the third, "Pardon My French", released in 1997. "Conduct" their fourth album was released in 1998, and this year, 2001, they released "Cupid's Cactus". Despite their name, Fuck are very mellow rather than punky. Also in contrast to their name, they are not a joke band or a piss-about band, but write serious and jokey good songs about stuff. If anything, check out Pardon My French, which has a hand-drawn cover of the word "fuck" in big pink letters on rolling green meadows surrounded by lots of different things. These include a happy tiger on a tricycle, an unhappy gingerbread man, a walking saw, a mouse having sex with a turtle, a unicorn, a dish running away with a spoon, a happy crucified monkey, actually far too many things to list. Brilliant album.

Fuck 101

(or: killing myths about the history behind a naughty word describing our all-time favourite pastime)

The word's fucking meaning today.

Fuck means many things. Primarily it is describing the act of copulation, or sex, if you like. However, it has gained a multitude of other uses over the years, all of which are considered rude and indecent by the majority of those people who believe using swearwords is indecent.

A famous comedian whose name I cannot recall has written a show about the uses of the word fuck (George Carlin and Monty Python have been suggested, but nobody seems to know who did the thing.. strange.). To not break his copyright (although an extract is available here on E2), I have paraphrased some of them here:

The word Fuck can be used as:

*) This is probably a well known usage of the word fuck, but does usually not imply a desire for sexual intercourse with the person this is said to.

**) See the section on early roots

As explained in the earlier mentioned node, Fuck can be used to express dissatisfaction, dismissal, difficulty and trouble, among other things.

Where the fuck did this fucking word come from?

Eloquently stated question.

The etymology (roots of a word) of the word fuck are unknown. There are, however, several myths and truths to be found. The word (fuk) has alledgedly been around since around 1400. The earliest occurrence of the current spelling was recorded in 1535.

Early roots:

As noted above, the transitive verb of the word fuck is usually used about something a male does to a female, or another male. This could lead us to believe that some time in the past, the word "fuck" had a meaning of something that a male does to a female during intercourse.

Indeed, the root of the word "fuck" is believed to be the word "fokken", which is to beat something against something else, to thrust, to poke, or to push. All of which is relevant in the mentioned current meaning of the word fuck.

At the same time, it might be worth noting that "fokken" is a word that is currently in use in Dutch, meaning to raise pigs and other livestock. Therefore, in Dutch, "varkens fokken" is not fucking pigs, but rather raising pigs for sale on the market. However, the word "fokken" also implies the overseing of the act of the livestock's mating - again related to the current use of the word fuck.

It might not be of importance (I have not found this in any sources) but the old Dutch word for Jib (the front sail of a sailing boat) is called a "fok". Considering that this sail (on large boats) is often fixed on a protruding boom, and also considering that the golden age of sailing boats happened around the same time as the word fuck was first recorded, it might be a possible explanation. (as I mentioned, I cannot back this tidbit up - it is purely speculation)

Early meanings:

From multiple sources (among others the translated writings of De Sade, the french writer from whose name "sadism" is derived), it is believed that the word fuck once meant sperm / semen

Myths

As someone who speaks Norwegian fluently (and as confirmed by Nordicfrost), the word "fukka" is completely nonexistant in the Norwegian. I have not been able to trace it to any dialect, and it does not exist even in the largest dictionaries. There are no words that are closely related meaning the same thing, and according to a professor at UIO (Oslo University), Icelandic - the only true norse language still remaining - has no similar words either.

In most sources "dialectical Norwegian" is cited as the source for the word "fukka". Considering the language situation in Norway (see this WU), this could mean pretty much anything. It is, however, fair to assume that for the word to spread to the germanic languages, it would have to come from the areas around Bergen. This is because the time area in question is part of the Hansa trade period, involving shipping and trade, primarily witn Germany. In this area, however, the word (or similarities) have not been found.

The common "knowledge" of the word fuck being an acronym are most likely to be false, for a variety of reasons. The most prominent reason for this being false, is that the existance of the word would be dependant of the word replacing something naughty. "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (Carnal = "of the flesh") and "Fornication Under Consent of the King" (Fornication = sex). Neither of these two would be in need of a more innocent acronym, even in Victorian times.

Is this word overused in the language?

Most definitely. It is about time that people found a new word usable to shock and disturb moralists.

Why does it insult people?

Hard to tell. Some believe that the reason people are offended by the word is the trivialisation of sex. The word "fuck" has no emotional connotations whatsoever. At least not when it is used about copulation (it might have strong emotional connotations when used as a curse; "FUCK YOU", but that is, as mentioned, non-sexual).

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