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The F-Word  RSS feed

 
master steward
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, it is an acronym from the old days and that "F.U.C.K.=Fornication Under the Consent of the King."



I was always told it's an Anglo-Saxon word.  After the normans conquered England in 1066, people wanted to curry favour with the french speaking rulers so they adopted many Norman words.  Anglo-Saxon words were considered low and base (fuck became intercourse, shit became manure, and so on).  They were peasant words.  Using 'proper' 'English' was a sign of status.  Combine that with the social structure in England being a rank system (up to the mid 19th C when it transformed to a class system similar to what we have today) where people could migrate up (and down) the ranks, people who had a chance of gaining status would avoid using 'low' words like bloody (which became sanguine).
 
master pollinator
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etymology of that word:  http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=fuck
 
pollinator
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Travis Johnson wrote:Every time I hear someone speak or write the F-Bomb, I kind of laugh inside. I was always told it is not even a word, it is an acronym from the old days and that "F.U.C.K.=Fornication Under the Consent of the King." In other words, if the castle had a party going on, and the King made this deceleration, people could openly fornicate under his consent without repercussions. So 99-1/2% of the time, when I hear or see the F-Bomb, it is out of context and makes little sense.



You might want to research that a bit. http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/fuck.asp or https://solongasitswords.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/on-the-origin-of-fuck/

The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (Random House, 1994, ISBN 0-394-54427-7) cites Middle Dutch fokken = “to thrust, copulate with”; Norwegian dialect fukka = “to copulate”; and Swedish dialect focka = “to strike, push, copulate” and fock = “penis”. Although German ficken may enter the picture somehow, it is problematic in having e-grade, or umlaut, where all the others have o-grade or zero-grade of the vowel.

As for if it is a word or not. Language is not a static thing. New words are added to language all the time, borrowed from other languages, altered and adopted, or even just completely made up. They start out not officially being a word, until one day they are recognized as being words due to such heavy common use. Ain't, ain't a word until it ended up in the dictionary because it was used as a word so much it had to be recognized as a word. To try and dismiss a word that has been used at least since the 15th century and likely much older as it was likely used just not written long before that is rather silly. It is obviously a word, or we would not be talking about it. Even a word not officially recognized as a word, if used to communicate a meaning in a language, is a word by all counts officially recognized as one or not.

Billy Connolly take on swearing and the word Fuck
 
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Swearing goes even more mainstream! (I am not intending to advocate nor advertise for boxed macaroni and cheese, or censoring like this...though I did still find it fun!)


 
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Hmmm... i have a question! This thread has been around a long time, i hope i am not too late. =)

I have a tiny daughter, 3yrs old, and her friends of nearby ages who i would love to show Paul's videos and podcasts to. At this age, it's still hard for kids to really understand appropriate word use. I could get these kids in big trouble, and/or my daughter could lose friends. i love permaculture and Paul's podcasts and videos and would love to share them with visiting kids on occasion- without risk of drama.

My original thought was to bring the podcasts etc into a video / audio editor, paste over any swear words with something creative and fun such as "pudding". Maybe if i managed to get the time to do that for many of them and i do a good job, i could send them over to Paul in case he wants to have a school-appropriate version someday without having to do the work. I don't know when i will find the time to fiddle, but i wouldn't mind listening to them all again! Seemed like a good, do-no-harm option.

However after reading this thread, I am thinking Paul that you might not like me to do that. So that is my question. Would you be upset by this, or pleased?



Personally, I occasionally swear, and think it's pretty funny when Paul swears in the podcasts. I don't mind hearing swearing when it is not used in a mean way (and i have never heard Paul swear in a mean way!) Hearing swearing in angry ways reminds me of bad times, but joyful swearing likewise reminds me of fun, happy times. I certainly do *not* want Paul to change.

Some people I love do not prefer to be around swearing. They speak and treat others in a gentle way, and swearing feels violent to them. They don't get down on the person doing the swearing, but they go somewhere else if it is more than occasional. I feel like they are not harming anybody, and i respect and support their freedom to create a gentle space for themselves. I also respect people creating a feeling of comfort and safety in rough places, linguistically! I hope both ways can coexist!
 
raven ranson
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I think this podcast with Paul had little or no swearing in it.  https://permies.com/t/65582 It's hosted by Permaculture voices.  

Words like 'shit' are called 'you know what'.  
 
master pollinator
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For me I am decidedly different anyway and like to be different so I have found by not swearing I can substitute words that make people laugh. Like the word "shit"...I might say, "boy you are just full of ka-ka aren't you?" Now you probably snickered, and that is okay, because what 43 year old guy says "ka-ka"? One of my favorite lines when I make a mistake is to say, "Ka-ka pants; ka ka pants in the snow." I have no idea why, but it lightens the mood and people around me laugh.

So I use the lack of swearing to be different, to get a laugh out of people, and change up the normal day to day life that can be dull...
 
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Could someone please explain to me what "appropriate language" is? I have never heard a single sensible explanation of why fuck or shit or ass or damn or bitch are inappropriate and yet all other words are. Someone please bring me up to date on this. Language's function, in my mind, is to convey meaning from one being to another. The only 'inappropriate' language I can imagine is using words that don't accomplish that conveyance of meaning. I suppose I can see how the breadth of usages that fuck has could contribute to a vaguery of phrase that may render the language inappropriate by my own definition but that is all circumstantial and not an inherent feature of the word itself.
Aww fuck it, maybe we should just let eachother talk the way we want.
 
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There was a great law case in the UK . On a building site it was raining so the forman told the bricklaying team " Fuck off as its raining " one of the men claimed he had been sacked by this speech . The man lost his case as the judge agreed it was appropriate language for a building site :-) All the other men came back the next day when it was dry .

David  
 
pollinator
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stephen lowe wrote:Could someone please explain to me what "appropriate language" is? I have never heard a single sensible explanation of why fuck or shit or ass or damn or bitch are inappropriate and yet all other words are. Someone please bring me up to date on this. Language's function, in my mind, is to convey meaning from one being to another. The only 'inappropriate' language I can imagine is using words that don't accomplish that conveyance of meaning. I suppose I can see how the breadth of usages that fuck has could contribute to a vaguery of phrase that may render the language inappropriate by my own definition but that is all circumstantial and not an inherent feature of the word itself.
Aww fuck it, maybe we should just let eachother talk the way we want.



In my mind, it's much like appropriate behavior.  Culture decides if it's appropriate or not.  Why is it appropriate if I go to the beach with my shirt off, but inappropriate if I go to a nice restaurant that way?  For that matter, why is it appropriate for me to walk around without a shirt on, but inappropriate for my girlfriend to?  Many things cultural don't have "sensible explanations", they are just agreed upon, at least by the majority of people.  Most people agreed that certain language is inappropriate, and they understand which words or phrases those are, even if they don't understand the reason behind it.
 
stephen lowe
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Todd Parr wrote:

stephen lowe wrote:Could someone please explain to me what "appropriate language" is? I have never heard a single sensible explanation of why fuck or shit or ass or damn or bitch are inappropriate and yet all other words are. Someone please bring me up to date on this. Language's function, in my mind, is to convey meaning from one being to another. The only 'inappropriate' language I can imagine is using words that don't accomplish that conveyance of meaning. I suppose I can see how the breadth of usages that fuck has could contribute to a vaguery of phrase that may render the language inappropriate by my own definition but that is all circumstantial and not an inherent feature of the word itself.
Aww fuck it, maybe we should just let eachother talk the way we want.



In my mind, it's much like appropriate behavior.  Culture decides if it's appropriate or not.  Why is it appropriate if I go to the beach with my shirt off, but inappropriate if I go to a nice restaurant that way?  For that matter, why is it appropriate for me to walk around without a shirt on, but inappropriate for my girlfriend to?  Many things cultural don't have "sensible explanations", they are just agreed upon, at least by the majority of people.  Most people agreed that certain language is inappropriate, and they understand which words or phrases those are, even if they don't understand the reason behind it.



That's certainly a good response, but I suppose what I was trying to ask is why/when our society decided these words were inappropriate? To use your examples, we agree that shirtless in a restaurant in inappropriate for primarily sanitary reasons that don't apply at the beach. We 'agree' (there's a little more diversity of opinion here I'd wager) that female public shirtlessness is inappropriate because we are culturally objectifying and protective of our women and don't trust men to be able to contain themselves at the site of boobies. So when/why was it decided that fuck was bad but fornicate was ok? Earlier in the thread someone mentioned that it came about during a continental invasion of the british isles where latin derived words were considered highclass while germanic ones were low class? Which begs the question to me, why do we still stick to this convention? do we still exalt our collective southern european cultural heritage above our collective northern/central european cultural heritage? I feel like younger folks, myself included, have a much different opinion on this matter but it certainly seems to have a lot of cultural inertia. Which brings me back to my original question, why?
 
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