Posted by R. Berg on January 14, 2002
In Reply to: Offensive word F. *. *. * posted by ESC on January 14, 2002
: : : OK - This is not one of my favorite expression in spite of the fact that I was once in the Marines and it was part of many phrases and acronyms.
: : : The case is... I once read that this expression came from a puritan practice whereby they carved these letters .... F. U. C. K. on gallows when someone (Mostly women, since people were convinced it was more sinful when women did it than men) were found fornicating. The letters mean .... "Found in Unlawful Carnal Knowledge." Can anyone verify this for me?
: : I can't verify this, but I can debunk it entirely. The word "fuck" is far older than the Puritans. Its roots in English are Anglo-Saxon and therefore from the Middle Ages. Its origins are therefore almost certainly Old German, and it's worth noting that modern German features the near identical and equally coarse verb "ficken", which demonstrates the common origins of the word.
: : So, nice tale, but I'm afraid, untrue :)
: From Amazon.com -- "The F Word" The most famous Anglo-Saxon word ever devised is thoroughly cataloged and cross-referenced by Random House lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower. Lest you think that by century's end this handy verb/noun/adverb/adjective has grown tired from overuse (it was first openly published in the United States as recently as 1926), The F Word proves that this most colorful single syllable still has plenty of kick left.
So where does it come from? The American Heritage Dict. says: "Middle English 'fucken'; a Germanic verb originally meaning 'to strike, move quickly, penetrate' (akin to or perhaps borrowed from Middle Dutch 'fokken,' to strike, copulate with); details uncertain owing to lack of early attestations."