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How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term?
What makes a word offensive?

I recognize that this is similar to Etymology of the term "curse words" and "swear words" and What makes a word offensive? but it's not exactly the same, as the former question is asking about the origin of the term "curse words", not the origin of the curse words themselves and the latter question is asking about what fundamentally makes a word taboo in society. I'm only interested in both the history of a certain word in reference to its meaning, not its usage.


With that out of the way, my question is, how did "fuck" come to be?

I looked up the etymology of "fuck", and this is what is says:

ORIGIN early 16th cent.: of Germanic origin (compare Swedish dialect focka and Dutch dialect fokkelen); possibly from an Indo-European root meaning ‘strike,’ shared by Latin pugnus ‘fist.’

But I don't understand how it came to mean "have sexual intercourse with (someone)" from "strike".

Thanks.

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I know it for the German equivalent, but I'm not sure how far that is substantive to the English word. But you should also have a look at the word fidget –  Em1 Aug 3 '12 at 8:57
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I think the etymology at Etymonline is as comprehensive as you'll get. –  Matt Эллен Aug 3 '12 at 9:08
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marked as duplicate by Matt Эллен, J.R., MετάEd, RegDwigнt Aug 3 '12 at 12:54

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1 Answer

up vote -1 down vote accepted

according to various German online dictionaries, ficken – the German word for it – means both to poke and to rub or move back and forth...

Surely the word became taboo at the when Christianity "outlawed" it. Not meaning to bad mouth Christianity here, but many forms of sexual intercourse were indeed punishable by death in the dark ages.

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But does the english version come from the "ficken"? –  qegal Aug 3 '12 at 9:02
    
@qegal No, both words have the same root. On a German wiki page I just even read that the vulgar meaning first was quoted in English and 100 years later first time in German. –  Em1 Aug 3 '12 at 9:09
    
You're right I think: "The Oxford English Dictionary states that the ultimate etymology [of "fuck"] is uncertain, but that the word is "probably cognate" with a number of native Germanic words with meanings involving striking, rubbing, and having sex. " –  qegal Aug 3 '12 at 9:10
    
etymonline.com/index.php?term=fuck is a better explanation than I can give... –  Born2Smile Aug 3 '12 at 9:10
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