We're having some rather dubious weather here right now, and so some co-workers and I found ourselves with some excess down time today because even if we had to leave the building, no one wanted to go out in the icy mess. So like the intellectuals we obviously are, we sat around a table with hot tea and discussed terribly interesting things...like how swear words became swear words. Now I don't know about you, but I have often wondered this. Who decided that you can't say "shit" in civilized company without being reprimanded? Why are euphemisms for the male and female anatomy considered uncouth? And why is the most used and taboo word, "fuck," considered so taboo? So we did what any educated group would do: we consulted the internet. And lo and behold, we found something that explained all anyone might want to know about the origin of the f-word. Here's the info:
Probably the most used and common swear word is the F-Word (FUCK). Many others as the M-Word (MOTHERFUCKER) derive or are complemented by the F-Word, and most of the others (like Ass Hole) and (cunt) have an actual meaning but have become swear words.
So, the only interesting one to research is the F-Word. Here some theories about its origins:
1. The American Heritage Dictionary says its first known occurrence in English literature was in the satirical poem "Flen, Flyss" (c.1500), where it was not only disguised as a Latin word but encrypted "gxddbov" which has been deciphered as fuccant, pseudo-Latin for "they fuck."
2. When doctors wrote a diagnostic notation on the documests of soldiers in the British Imperial Army reporting sick and found to have Sexual Transmitted Diseases., the abbreviation F.U.C.K. was stamped on his documents. It was short for "Found Under Carnal Knowledge."
3. In the 15th Century, when a married couple needed permission from the king to procreate. Hence, "Fornication Under Consent of the King" (F.U.C.K.).
4. May be an acronym of a law term used in the 1500s that referred to rape as "Forced Unnatural Carnal Knowledge" (F.U.C.K.).
5. Referring to the charge for prostitution in
Interesting, isn't it?