What extra meaning does adding motherfuck***** add? Why would anyone want to call themselves motherfucking? Example, from a song by The Weeknd:

I'm a motherfucking starboy.

  • 4
    Motherfucking is an intensifier, which basically means it is used to make a statement sound strong or extreme. It does not usually literally mean having sex with one's mother.
    – vpn
    Apr 24, 2017 at 15:23
  • 3
    It's just an intensifier, albeit a rude one, but what's rude among some is commonplace among others. A motherfucker doesn't actually fuck mothers, just as a son of a bitch isn't actually the offspring of a canine female.
    – Anonym
    Apr 24, 2017 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


The use of "bad" language ("bad" varies with social group and context) serves as an intensifier. So, a "motherf****** starboy" means the the speaker is claiming to be a really prime example. Note that I'm pretty sure you got your asterisk count wrong.

  • Just assume one or more of the asterisks represents an apostrophe.
    – choster
    Apr 24, 2017 at 15:27
  • Thank you @WhatRoughBeast. But what do you mean by a really prime example? Thanks. I don't understand how they must be meeting their mothers after that.
    – user72227
    Apr 24, 2017 at 15:31
  • @user72227 - See dictionary.reverso.net/english-cobuild/prime%20example third definition Also, as Werrf answered, "motherfucking" has nothing to do with actually having relations with one's mother. It has become a generalized bit of bad language. Just as "badass" doesn't mean you have an anal disease. Apr 24, 2017 at 21:10

"Motherfucking" rarely actually references a person's literal mother, any more than "badass" references someone's digestion. Rather, a motherfucker is a person who defies social convention and norms - originally as a generic insult, then as a reference to something being tough or difficult, which then morphed into a description one might give themselves to show how unconventional and tough they were.

Here's a short Slate article discussing the progress of 'motherfucker' from insult to badge of honour.

So in the line I'm a motherfucking starboy, "Motherfucking" serves as an intensifier indicating that one is not just a starboy, which could have rather effeminate implications, but one is a tough, strong, unconventional person who is also a Starboy.

  • I must say, I never expected to see such a scholarly answer, including a citation, about "motherfucker".
    – fixer1234
    Apr 24, 2017 at 20:16

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