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Preface: Despite the fact that this question includes vulgar language, it is not intended to be offensive, unprofessional, or humorous, but rather is a serious question.

In the statement, "F**king A", what does the "A" stand for? Most minds quickly jump to "ass", which is also a swear word and is one of the few common ones that begin with "A", but it does not seem to fit very well grammatically. The statement is generally used as a generalized exclamation, to no one subject in particular, where as "ass" is generally used as a noun to refer to an individual; a person would not generally use this word to describe a broad situation or a general state-of-things.

Are there other possibilities for the meaning of this letter? Is there an origin of the statement?

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Some interesting discussion, though no definite answer, here: straightdope.com/columns/read/2077/whats-the-origin-of-fuckin-a –  Mark Beadles Jan 18 '13 at 0:38
    
Not unrelated. –  Robusto Jan 18 '13 at 1:10
    
possible duplicate of Does the Oakland Athletics logo misuse the apostrophe?. My answer there has been deleted, so not everyone can see it. –  FumbleFingers Jan 18 '13 at 3:24
    
Since it generally used affirmatively, I always thought it was an emphatic version of "A-OK" –  Kyudos Jan 18 '13 at 3:53
2  
@FumbleFingers I'm not sure I see the relation. Anyway, if I can't see this deleted answer, then it doesn't give much assistance. –  Southpaw Hare Jan 18 '13 at 4:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Free Dictionary suggests that

f**king A

an emphatic exclamation of approval

which indicates that the letter A can stand for agree, assent, approve, acquiesce, absolutely, or anything that expresses approval.

And Wiktionary suggests that

f**ing A

an expression of triumph, or joy. Usually in response to a piece of unexpected positive news.

which means the letter A can also stand for awesome, amazing, astounding, astonishing, awe-inspiring, appreciate, etc.


If the expression "F**king A" is used as a noun to describe a person,

He is a f**king A.

the letter A is probably an abbreviation of the term a**hole (instead of ass) as it is more commonly used with the adjective f**king.

And if the expression "F**king A" is used as an exclamation to express anger or surprise,

Aw, f**king A!

it can refer to "f**king a**hole" as mentioned above,

Aw, f**king A! (He/she ruined my plan!)

or it can simply mean that the person is too lazy to finish his sentence.

Aw, f**king a ...! (it can be f**king a dog, f**king a balloon or f**king anything you want!)


F**king A is also a play written by American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.

F**king A is inspired by the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. F**king A shares several similarities with this work; both of the main characters are named Hester and are strong females with an unwavering love for their illegitimate child. Both Hesters also bear the letter “A” as a symbol of how society defines them: the modern Hester is an abortionist, the original is branded for adultery.

The idea for the play came to Parks while she was canoeing with a friend, when Parks yelled out, "I'm going to write a play, a riff on The Scarlet Letter, and I'm going to call it F**king A. Ha, ha, ha!" While Parks was initially joking, she couldn’t get the idea out of her mind. She began working on the play, but after 4 years of drafts and rewrites she still hadn’t come up with a workable plot. She threw out everything except the title and the name Hester, and considered throwing out the latter as well, but the voice of Hester filled her mind and persuaded her to retain it and write "her" story.

So when a person mentions F**king A, he/she may be talking about this play.

John: Do you know what I watched in the theater yesterday?

Sam: F**king A?

John: Yeah, F**king A.

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Fucking-A has the following entry in the book, The F-Word:

fucking-A adverb, adjective, interjection, & infix [FUCKING + a (origin unknown; perhaps taken from a phrase such as "you're fucking A-number-one right!")]

1.a. Especially Military. yes, indeed; absolutely (correct); especially in phrase: [you're] fucking-A, occasionally with elaborations, especially fucking-A [well] told.

1948 N. Mailer Naked & Dead 21 [refers to WWII]: "You're fuggin ay," Gallegher snorted.

IMO, if a book dedicated to the word says that the origin/meaning is unknown, it very likely is.

Another theory floating about on the Internet which suggests a military origin reckons that the A might be short for affirmative.

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On a field, sable, the letter A gules.

F - - king A

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan Lori-Parks' new play with music. (The actual title has all eight letters.)
... In this otherworldly tale, Parks rips the A from The Scarlet Letter’s Hester Prynne and brands it onto the chest of Hester Smith, the Abortionist. Against all odds Hester Smith, believing her only son is wrongly imprisoned, devotes her life to securing his freedom. The result is a darkly comic and profound look into the domino effect of revenge and the lengths a mother will go for the love of her son.

For Hester, the scarlet letter functions as "her passport into regions where other women dared not tread", leading her to "speculate" about her society and herself more "boldly" than anyone else in New England. (The Scarlet Letter)

[emphasis mine]

A is just A:
Etym.,
noun 1966
adv adj interj infix 1948
[Jesse Sheidlower p.144]

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protected by RegDwigнt Jan 18 '13 at 10:06

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