Please excuse my French, but isn’t the word ‘fuck’ the greatest weapon in the arsenal of English? Well, that’s actually a lie, ‘cunt’ is, after all, the mother of all V2 rockets waiting to be launched at a capitol target, but ‘fuck’ is surely a well-maintained Stuka dive-bomber. In honour of our good friend Fuck, I would like to propose a toast, and dedicate this column to one of our most valuable and versatile words. Fuck, this is your life.
Fuck’s origins are dubious to say the least. His mother was German, the old word ‘ficken’, meaning to penetrate. Her husband was a Dutchman named Fokken, which meant breed, but was also a term applied to cattle. Ironically, his wife turned out to be a bit of a cow, whoring herself out to the milkman, a handsome young Swede also called Fokken. His name was more forthright though, meaning to insert one’s penis into a vagina. Young Fuck was not going to watch his three parents quarrel, waiting a thousand years for the DNA test results to come in. He decided instead to hitch a longboat ride and fuck off, as it were, on a voyage of rape and pillage to Scotland.
It was via the Highland trail the Fuck eventually made his way down past Hadrian’s Wall (a two-foot high obstacle designed to keep filthy barbarians out of England) and was soon interfering in the Anglo-Saxon vocabulary of the Medieval period (the Romans obviously not counting on filthy words getting past their fearsome wall). In England, armed with a growing reputation for indulging in Viking hobbies, Fuck’s celebrity grew for the wrong reasons. It wasn’t long before his status had become that of the official acronym F.U.C.K – For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Unsavoury men who followed Fuck’s bad example soon found themselves with Fuck’s name tattooed on their forehead. This was no doubt an interesting conversation starter…
Fuck would have to fight harder than Mike Tyson to redeem himself in the eyes of the public. Luckily for him, and luckily for the public, it was about this time that the Plague arrived in England. This deadly affliction struck an unprepared populace killing everyone in its path. It even killed more people than the SARS. With dwindling numbers of peasants to execute, the King became desperate. He would have to call on the misunderstood hero of the story for help. Fuck now found himself the voice of repopulation: F.U.C.K – Fornicate Under Command of the King. Men and women of all ages, creeds and backgrounds would now literally have to fuck in order to save the realm. Somewhere amid this pornographic proclamation, Fuck found himself to be a sexual idol. He was a scrotum pole.
And so this was to be his profession for many a long hard year. But by the time the ‘80s reared it ugly face, with its capitalist undertones, Fuck decided to conglomerate and branch out in search of greater vocab market share. Fuck could be found on the tongues of every street corner occupant. Aside from the common noun, verb and adverb, he was now an exclamation (“I just got kicked in the scrotum and it hurts like fuck!”), and explanation (“Honestly, it was fucked before I touched it.”), a place name (“My grandfather lives in Fuck-atani.”), a way to accuse a friend of dabbling in incest (“You are such a mother-fucker.”), a handsome Christian name (“Hey, look, here comes fuck Face.”), a method of telling the time (“It’s three-fucking-thirty.”), a directional device (“Fuck off over there.”), a suggestion (“Why don’t you go and get fucked?”) and even a way of offending one’s mortal enemy (“Fuck you in an un-literal way, you shit-for-brains cunt.”).
Fuck has indeed graced and shaped our language in many ways over history, and I know that by now you are probably wanting a moment to reflect on this marvellous word’s life. I shall leave you to ponder what has been said. You should probably thank Fuck I’ve finished.