The F-Word

The F-Word

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0195393112

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


We all know what frak, popularized by television's cult hit Battlestar Galactica, really means. But what about feck? Or ferkin? Or foul--as in FUBAR, or "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition"?

In a thoroughly updated edition of The F-Word, Jesse Sheidlower offers a rich, revealing look at the f-bomb and its illimitable uses. Since the fifteenth century, no other word has been adapted, interpreted, euphemized, censored, and shouted with as much ardor or force; imagine Dick Cheney telling Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy to "go damn himself" on the Senate floor--it doesn't have quite the same impact as what was really said. Sheidlower cites this and other notorious examples throughout history, from the satiric sixteenth-century poetry of James Cranstoun to the bawdy parodies of Lord Rochester in the seventeenth century, to more recent uses by Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Ann Sexton, Norman Mailer, Liz Phair, Anthony Bourdain, Junot Diaz, Jenna Jameson, Amy Winehouse, Jon Stewart, and Bono (whose use of the word at the Grammys nearly got him fined by the FCC).

Collectively, these references and the more than one hundred new entries they illustrate double the size of The F-Word since its previous edition. Thousands of added quotations come from newly available electronic databases and the resources of the OED, expanding the range of quotations to cover British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, and South African uses in addition to American ones. Thus we learn why a fugly must hone his or her sense of humor, why Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau muttered "fuddle duddle" in the Commons, and why Fanny Adams is so sweet. A fascinating introductory essay explores the word's history, reputation, and changing popularity over time. and a new Foreword by comedian, actor, and author Lewis Black offers readers a smart and entertaining take on the book and its subject matter.

Oxford dictionaries have won renown for their expansive, historical approach to words and their etymologies. The F-Word offers all that and more in an entertaining and informative look at a word that, while now largely accepted as an integral part of the English language, still confounds, provokes, and scandalizes.

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of Kiska a new word was born: JANFU (“Joint Army-Navy foul-up”). 1944 Newsweek (Feb. 7) 61: Janfu: Joint Army-Navy foul-up… Jaafu: Joint Anglo-American foul-up. 1944 in American Speech XX 148: JANFU. Joint army-navy foulup. 1945 in Verbatim XVI (Autumn 1989) 6: Janfu… “joint army-navy fxxx up.” A failed amphibious military operation considered badly planned and/or executed. 1946 American Speech (Feb.) 72: JANFU (Joint Army-Navy FU)…became fairly common in [the Pacific] theater, especially around

Mother Wit from the Laughing Barrel (1990) 288: An upper-class Negro woman [in a northern city] said…[that] in her high school group…a simple reference to “your ma” or “your mother” was a fighting challenge. The woman herself did not know why one had to fight when she heard this but did know that fight one must. 1953 “F. Paley” Rumble on the Docks 86: “Your mother!” Pooch murmured with thick lips. 1957 H. Simmons Corner Boy 79: Your mother, your mother. 1968 K. Hunter Soul Brothers 39: If a

fucking a man dry by using her vaginal muscles and thighs; the word on campus was that she was tired of macho studs and had developed her muscle fuck as revenge. 2001 in C. Taylor Brown Sugar 116: Just stopped, altogether, and muscle fucked me, contracting and relaxing while I grew inside her, harder, longer. 2005 W. Christie Threat Level 145: First time I got muscle-fucked, I almost married the girl right then and there.… She had an act. Slipped a banana right into her pussy and it came out

airbrushed in complimentary [sic] pairs. 2004 H. Walsh Brass i. 21: A simple course of lazer treatment would kill the problem forever and thus transform her from an unfuckable attractive lady to a fuckable stunner. 2. sexually available. 1889 Capt. C. Devereaux Venus in India 142: I should never at any time object to so great a pleasure as having my prick and my balls handled by a very pretty girl, whom I knew to be fuckable. 1972 B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 25: Available open for sexual

Kiernan Low Red Moon 44: You want to suck on my fuckstick, faggot? fuckstrated adjective sexually frustrated. a1990 P. Munro Slang U 86: Biff broke up with his girlfriend and hasn’t had sex in three weeks; he’s so fuckstrated. 1995 D. E. Kaun Ru$$ia 136: I’m so totally fuckstrated I got cobwebs. 2007 in “Zane” Dear G-Spot 216: Feeling fuckstrated, my yearlong “no job-no pussy” drought felt like decades. fuckstress noun a woman who copulates. 1883 R. L. Stevenson Letter (May) in

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