I have been told the word originated in early english times when the people needed permission from the king to have sex. Once permission was obtained they recieved a sign for their house which read Fornication Under Consent of the King--hence F.*.C.K.
Is someone pulling my leg--and speaking of which where does that phrase come from?
Lewis Joplin II
I took a college course called "Study of the English Language." It was a boring class and the only things I retained were a couple of the professor's jokes and his comment that **** came from a word for "plow." But it says here:
"Originally a quite acceptable word, **** was recorded in an English dictionary as early as John Florio's 'A World of Words' (1598). The word doesn't derive from the police blotter entry '(booked) for unlawful carnal knowledge,' as some people still believe. Our word for the act of sexual connection may remotely come from the Latin for the same, 'futuere,' but most probably from the Old German 'ficken/fucken,' 'to strike or penetrate,' which had the slang meaning 'to copulate.' As (Eric) Partridge points out, the German word is almost certainly related to the Latin words for 'pugilist,' 'puncture,' and 'prick,' through the root 'pug,' which goes back to prehistoric times..." And so on. From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

By the way, there is a whole book on the subject: "The F Word." I've seen this in bookstores but I always figure I know more than enough about the subject and spend my money on other books.

And, yes, your leg was probably being pulled.

Mr. Hendrickson suggests a couple of theories for the origin of that phrase. One was that "Early English hangmen were so inept that friends or relatives were permitted to pull on a victim's dangling body to end his suffering." That theory was discounted since the expression only goes back to the mid-nineteenth century. The other suggested origin is "...that British footpads or muggers worked in pairs, including a specialist known as a 'tripper up.' Using a cane with a curved handle or piece of wire, this tripper up would trip his victim..."

This link will expire in early March, 2001: Fuck Lesson. (Terry O'Connor: It did. Maybe someone can find a new link?)
Lewis Joplin II
VERY interesting. And hilarious. The glory and the majesty of the word ****.
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