In its various incarnations, the F-word can be a noun, verb, adjective, and even an infix. The Crescent wrench of the English language, the F-bomb has been adding emphasis, vulgarity and spice to our conversations for longer than anyone can remember.
Because fuck is the type of word that “wasn’t written in the kind of texts that have survived from Old English and Middle English,” it is difficult to trace it’s origins, although experts believe it is “ancient.”
Some claim that a man went by the name John le Fucker, as early as the 13th century, although the printed version that is generally ascribed as being first, is an attack on the piety of Carmelite friars from the 1400s:
Non sunt in coeli, quia fvccant vvivys of heli… [translated “They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely … ]
William Dunbar, the Scottish poet known for his satirical works, is credited with first printing the F-word in English, sometime in the early 1500s:
Yit be his feirris [behavior] he wald have fukkit-
“Ye brek my heart, my bony ane [one].”
Given Scotland’s early adoption of the word, and its distinct, initial spelling, many think it may be Scandinavian in origin:
Perhaps from a word akin to [the] Norwegian dialectical fukka “copulate,” or Swedish dialectical focka “copulate, strike, push,” and fock “penis.”
Others point to the Middle English words fyke and fike, which meant “to move restlessly” as well as “flirt.” Another possible source is the Low German, ficken, which originally meant to scratch an itch, but later took on the vulgar sense.
Both “Fornication Under Consent of the King” and “[booked] for Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” have been put forward as the inspiration for the F-bomb, but, this is extremely unlikely as prior to the mid-20th century, while abbreviations were prevalent in text, pronouncing them as words was not something people typically did, being something of a very modern phenomenon. In fact, according to linguist David Wilton,
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