For years, I’ve heard all sorts of urban legends about the origins and meanings of this wonderfully versatile word; the most popular ones being “for unlawful carnal knowledge” and “fornication under consent of the King.”
Most of these theories have been proven to be nothing but myths—as it has been very hard for etymologists to find any written data as to when, and in what way, this word became in use. According to Jesse Sheidlower, the author of the 1995 American book The F Word, the origin of the word “fuck” is most likely Germanic, even though no one can point to the precise word it was transformed to English from.
The first time the “f word” was uttered in television was in 1965 by Kenneth Tynan. His words, “I doubt if there are any rational people to whom the word fuck would be particularly diabolical, revolting or totally forbidden,” created a big scandal. Fuck-ing in polite society, let alone in television, was a big no no, a taboo of massive proportions.
Now, only thirty years later, fuck has become a more tolerated expression in society, even by the most conservative groups. It is widely used in TV, movies and in print. In a 2003 research conducted by the BBC, it says that “50% or more people said the words that should never be broadcast are cunt, motherfucker, nigger, Paki and spastic. Young women also don’t like whore, slag and twat. But fuck wasn’t on the list.”
I don’t know what my everyday vocabulary would be like if fuck was banned from the English language LOL. I use it in so many ways, there would be the very distinct possibility that I would lose at least half my daily word count. *shock*
In regards to flexible use of language, fuck is probably the most versatile word in the whole English language. It can be used in many different ways:
- Noun: Bawdy doesn’t give a fuck.
- Adjective: Harlot is updating the fucking sidebar.
- Verb: Don’t fuck it up.
- Transitive verb: Matt Farrell fucked Trollop.
- Intransitive verb: Tart fucks.
- Part of an adverb: Tom Cruise talks too fucking much.
- Adverb enhancing an adjective: Trollop is fucking amazing.
- Part of a word: Fan-fucking-tastic! Abso-fucking-lutely! In-fucking-credible!
Here are some examples of how the word fuck can be used:
- Aggression: Don’t fuck with me.
- Amazement: Jesus fuck! In-fucking-credible! Fuck me!
- Assurance: Abso-fucking-lutely. Fuck-on.
- Difficulty: I’m having a fuck of a time with this.
- Disagreement: Fuck you! Fuck off! Go fuck yourself!
- Dismay: Fuck it.
- Dismissal: Fuck off.
- Fraud: I got fucked on that deal.
- Incompetence: What a fuck-up.
- Inquiry: What the fuck?
- Pleasure: Fan-fucking-tastic!
- Satisfaction: Fucking A man!
- Trouble: Now I’m fucked.