1. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    When was the word fu** widely used

    Discussion in 'Research' started by sereda008, Oct 26, 2010.

    Sorry for posting again in such a short time, but I decided to ask before I forgot.
    When was the word fu** (You do not need the last 2 letters to know what I'm talking about) widely used. I tried to find it on the internet but could not.
    All I really need to know is if it was used widely in 1964. This is essential knowledge and I cannot be certain about my next line without it.
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any time in the 1900s? Presumably as much as we use it today... Probably a few centuries before that as well, among common folks. :p
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I found a Time magazine article online that claimed it was first printed in a Scottish poem in 1503. So it's been around a very long time. (I googled "f-word" to find the article.)
     
  4. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    That is one of the things I have read during my search, the Scottish poem. I mean, I would rarely ask something without checking whether it is written all over Google.
    But thanks anyway. If the word was in use in 1964 then it is fine by me. I previously thought that it originated from the German WWII planes called fokers or something (I am not sure).
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It has appeared in the written form in the English language for at least the last 400-500 years (or maybe more).
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The German Fokkers were in World War I (the Fokker D-VIII triplane was flown by the legendary Red Baron). They were called Fokkers for the company that built them, which I believe was named for an old Prussian family. The other word has lots of supposed origins. My fave has it that, in midieval England, when adulterers were prosecuted, the formal charge was entered as For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, later abbreviated to...
     
  7. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    It was possibly more widely used before it was deemed foul language.
     
  8. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believed that was the true origin. I didn't realize there were other theories.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    No, that's a myth. Although an entertaining one.
     
  10. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most likely explanation I've heard, is that it's derived from the German verb "fokken", which means "to hit". It's not very far-fetched, since "hit" can have the exact same meaning in English ("I'd hit that").
     
  11. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what my professor taught us when I took a history of the English language class.

    Well...it was either German or Anglo Saxon, I didn't pay as close attention to that class as I should have...but it was definitely derived from "fokken."
     
  12. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    The F word and another word beggining with B are words in the English language meaning exactly what you think they mean. In the past they were used in the proper context.
    However, these words started to be widely used in a derogative way and they became offensive. So more polite alternative words were found to have the same meaning.
    F word - sexual intercourse
    B word - illegitimate
    This was to make it difficult to use these words in an offencsive manner.
    You are hardly going to scream at someone 'Sexual intercourse off' or 'You pure illagitimate' are you. Of course not. The original words are still used offencsively.

    I believe it was the Victorians that brought in the alternatives.
     
  13. cmcpress
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    cmcpress Senior Member

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    From wikipedia (i know, i know):

    The first accepted use is in code, in a poem in a mixture of latin and english composed sometime before 1500:

    The poem which satirises the Carmelite friars:

    decoded as:

    "They are not in heaven because they **** the wives of Ely".

    Latin has the verb: Futuere - meaning to ****

    Shakespeare made use of the "focative case" in Merry Wives of Windsor (Worldplay on ****).

    Where i grew up **** is pronounced "Fock".
     
  14. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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  15. iambrad
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    iambrad Member

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    A Christmas Story was set in the 1940s, and I don't think a single person over the age of 12 thought Ralphie really said "fudge" when they saw it. No one ever questioned whether the word we all know he really said was in common usage or not.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I realize that 1964 may seem like the ancient past to some, giving rise to questions like, "Did they go to work aboard dinosaurs back then like Fred Flintstone?" but 1964 is very much the modern era. They even had computers. So, yes. The F word was in use with the same frequency and impact as today.
     
  17. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    But not in the same places. You certainly wouldn't have heard it on TV or Radio, whereas now it's fairly common after the watershed -- at least in the UK. But you'd have heard it on a building site or in a school playground (as long as they didn't know you were listening -- that's something else that has changed).
     
  18. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    The film (I take it, it is a film) set in the 1940s is irrelevant. What matters is era in which the film was made. If the set in the 40s was made today then it would be quite acceptable to have four letter words in it. I don't know of any films made in the 40s with the f word in.

    When I was a child, and a teenager for that matter, even words like pregnant and sex were looked upon as unsuitable language.
    I remember a day in the late 50s when two door to door sales women approached my mother and her friend in the street and tried to sell them dusters impregnated with furniture polish. Both my mother and her friend were shocked and as they put it 'They seemed two respectable young women and they just came out with it, like God bless you!'
    Women were never pregnant they were 'expecting' even then the word expecting was only mouthed in silence with exaggerated grimacing.
    Women never had hysterectomies they had 'women's' trouble'.
    Men never had prostate problems they had 'trouble with their water works'.

    This was not just my mother and her friends this was prevalent at that time.
    If a man let a vulgar word slip in mixed company at that time he would apologize straight away to any females present.


    That is how I remember it.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That's awesome! :D

    I translate medical calls all day that often concern issues with the prostate. I'm going to have to hold back and not say water works when I translate from Spanish to English for the doctor. ;)
     
  20. iambrad
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    iambrad Member

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    It is a film that was released in the mid 80s and set in the 1940s, but I think that makes it even more appropriate an example. Aren't we talking about a story that is written in 2010, but set just over 40 years prior? It seems very similar.

    The point is that no one looks at the film when they see it and says "Hey he wouldn't have said that back then!"

    They chuckle some and never give it a thought. I would imagine it would be the same with the story in question. If done well, most people will never question whether the language is appropriate to the time frame.

    I guess another example could be Catcher in The Rye. The F bomb is dropped enough times in that book to wipe out a small city. It was released in 1951.
     

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