Recently, I started noticing the word cuck appearing in internet discussions as a pejorative. I first encountered the word after a news media discussion on the term cuckservative last year, which was claimed to be a portmanteau of cuckold and conservative, denoting those in U.S. politics who claim to be conservative but give in to some demands of liberals.
However, upon further investigation, it seems like the derivation of cuckservative and its use likely relate to a pre-existing internet tradition employing the word cuck (rather than cuckold). Though the exact connotations seem to vary, cuck generally seems associated with a weak or emasculated male, often in a sexual and/or racial context related specifically to a white male. Unlike with cuckold, it seems the implication is not necessarily literal sexual abandonment: cuck (as in cuckservative) can also denote a metaphorical or generic weakness. It also often seems connected to political correctness.
I've seen discussions claiming a number of different possible etymologies:
- There's clearly a relationship to the term cuckold, but I don't know if the derivation is direct to the current popular slang term.
- I've seen repeated claims that the term is more directly derived from cuck fetish, apparently a type of fetish (and pornography) characterized by a female lover abandoning a male lover to seek sexual gratification elsewhere, frequently abandoning a white male for a black male. (If true, this seems obviously related to the previous derivation, but it would be an intermediate step.)
- Some have claimed a connection to the archaic term cucking stool, which denoted a punishment (often for dishonesty) via public shaming.
- Lastly, I've seen claims directly connecting the word to the near-obsolete cuck, referring to excrement.
Does anyone know when this modern slang term emerged and how it became popular? My first guess was that it was just an abbreviation of cuckold, but the racial connotation the term sometimes seems to carry makes me wonder if there's any truth to the second etymology, or if it comes from elsewhere. (The other theories intuitively seem less likely, but I've seen them and mention them for the sake of completeness.)