Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

When was the 'F' word first used in the English language?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    There are a great many stories about this they can all be researched online. We went to look it up long ago. I believe one story is at one time a person could get a permission to have sex out of wedlock with permission of the King For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, another is prositutes use to be charged with committing the crime of unlawful carnal knowledge but the oldest ones date back to possibly midevil times when they use to use this term to refer to breeding stock. There does not seem to be any real substantial definitive time or period when this expression was coined from what we could figure out. But it seems to be a fairly old term that got changed and used for another relative human use. It may be that all these useages did occur at different times and they may or may not be related. I am sure you can do a search on the web to find it out. I was curious about it and had asked my sister who has a history teaching degree about it after she had told me what it meant once and we began searching around for answers. That was many years ago.

    Urban Legends and Folklore

    Origin of the F-Word

    Netlore Archive

    Description: Folk etymology

    Circulating since: The 1960s

    Status: False

    Comments: Having consulted the definitive reference work on this subject (yes, there is such a thing: "The F-Word" by Jesse Sheidlower, published by Random House in 1999), we feel confident in dismissing the above claims as imaginative bunk.

    The word **** did not originate as an acronym. It crept, fully formed, into the English language from Dutch or Low German around the 15th century (it's impossible to say precisely when because so little documentary evidence exists, probably due to the fact that the word was so taboo throughout its early history that people were afraid to write it down). The American Heritage Dictionary says its first known occurrence in English literature was in the satirical poem "Flen, Flyss" (c.1500), where it was not only disguised as a Latin word but encrypted — gxddbov — which has been deciphered as fuccant, pseudo-Latin for "they ****."

    According to Sheidlower, the earliest claims in print of supposed acronymic origins for the F-word appeared during the 1960s. An underground newspaper called the East Village Other published this version in 1967:

    It's not commonly known that the word "****" originated as a medical diagnostic notation on the documests of soldiers in the British Imperial Army. When a soldier reported sick and was found to have V.D., the abbreviation F.U.C.K. was stamped on his documents. It was short for "Found Under Carnal Knowledge." Two more variants appeared in a letter published in Playboy magazine in 1970:

    My friend claims that the word **** originated in the 15th Century, when a married couple needed permission from the king to procreate. Hence, Fornication Under Consent of the King. I maintain that it's an acronym of a law term used in the 1500s that referred to rape as Forced Unnatural Carnal Knowledge." Undoubtedly the most famous use of this etymological travesty was as the title of the 1991 Van Halen album, "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Rumour has it that the etymology comes from "Fornicate Under Consent of the King" (BBC says it's under command of the king) or "Forced Unlawful Carnal Knowledge". Although etymology is obscure, most sources believe that it comes from ancient german word meaning to strike. Per an article on the BBC website, the first know useage was in 1278 and the first time it appeared in a dictionary was in 1598.

    Source(s): Some personal knowledge picked up here and there and an article on the BBC at
  • 1 decade ago

    The F word originated back in the days and times of kings and queens. If you got caught having sex without being married you would be charged with Fornication Under the Crown of the King, there for abbreviated as ****

  • 1 decade ago

    [Middle English, attested in pseudo-Latin fuccant, (they) f***, deciphered from gxddbov.]

    Word History: The obscenity f*** is a very old word and has been considered shocking from the first, though it is seen in print much more often now than in the past. Its first known occurrence, in code because of its unacceptability, is in a poem composed in a mixture of Latin and English sometime before 1500. The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, “Flen flyys,” from the first words of its opening line, “Flen, flyys, and freris,” that is, “fleas, flies, and friars.” The line that contains f*** reads “Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk.” The Latin words “Non sunt in coeli, quia,” mean “they [the friars] are not in heaven, since.” The code “gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk” is easily broken by simply substituting the preceding letter in the alphabet, keeping in mind differences in the alphabet and in spelling between then and now: i was then used for both i and j; v was used for both u and v; and vv was used for w. This yields “fvccant [a fake Latin form] vvivys of heli.” The whole thus reads in translation: “They are not in heaven because they f*** wives of Ely [a town near Cambridge].”

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  • 1 decade ago

    Would you believe it was once a legal term? I'm not sure of the date, but it was originally an abbreviation for "Fornication Under Consent of the King." That meant that a couple had been betrothed, but not yet married, so under the eyes of the law, they were not committing adultery.

  • 1 decade ago

    Around 1415. The English cut off the middle finger of the French Bowmen, to hinder their plucking finger on the long bow. The French archers chided the English and yelled slurs at them, "PLUCK YOU" as they plucked their bows, showing that the missing finger didn't matter.

    True story, that's why you always hear people say "excuse my French" when they say the F word.

  • 1 decade ago

    Those who claim it originated as an acronym are wrong. This is an old urban legend that people who don't read very much always believe. The first person who got this right, and the person who should get best answer is chihuahua momma. Her answer is first and correct.

  • 1 decade ago

    became popularized in the 1800s......stands for For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

  • 1 decade ago

    After Adam F$&% Eve.Have a good day.

  • 1 decade ago

    Probably almost immediately after the alphabet was created.

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