I was listening to Alan Cross’ ajournalofmusicalthings.com and in his Secret history of Rock series he came upon the earliest use of the F word in an intentional commercial recording. 1965s “CIA Man” by The Fugs. I dunno if he’s right or not. I’m too lazy to confirm it. If there’s earlier examples I dunno, but it led me to wondering where did “fuck” come from? F.U.C.K. was the derivation I learned in junior high school, but not formally. It’s what we kids told each other. Someone heard it from a guy who read it somewhere and we all just accepted it. Sounded like as good an explanation as any, but as today’s reblogged blog post details, if you BELIEVE you know where “fuck” came from, get ready to stop believing.
One origin story for fuck is that it comes from when sex was outlawed unless it was permitted explicitly by the king, so people who were legally banging had Fornication Under Consent of the King on their doors, or: F.U.C.K. But obviously that’s wrong. As are all of the other nonsensical acronyms floating about (anything ending in Carnal Knowledge uses words which wouldn’t be used until AFTER the contents of this blog post). So if you do believe any of that, stop it. Stop it right now.
But right now there’s a post going round with a lovely image of a manuscript from Brasenose College, Oxford, proudly declaring it’s the earliest instance of fuck in English (although, it notes, that is apart from that pesky one from Scotland and that one that says fuck but is written in code). But even if we DO agree to discount those two little…
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