Excuse My French

Since my library pickings are slim this week, I’m left trying to read Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin and even though I consider myself an open-minded reader, this book’s prologue, written from a dog’s perspective, was a major turn off.

I find myself with nothing to read and an idle mind. So what do I do to pass away the time? Well, I looked up the origin of the f-word. Note to my more gentile readers: this post is vulgar, but in my defense, it’s for educational purposes. If profanity offends you, please look away.

The first known occurrence of the f-word was found in a Latin poem composed before 1500 A.D. A stanza translated from the original Latin reads: ‘they are not in heaven because they fuck wives of Ely.’ This poem referred to a sect of Cambridge friars.

Records from 1278 AD France documented a citizen by the name of “John le Fucker.” Something tells me Monsieur le Fucker wasn’t exactly well loved by his neighbors.

Perhaps John le Fucker derived his surname from an Anglo-Saxon land charter, dated 772 A.D., which listed a placename dubbed Fuccerham or “the home of the fucker.” I wonder if the English branch of Fuckers had a castle. Whatever could they have named it?

In 1972, the word ‘fuck’ made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. What took them so long?

There’s also a movie term called a ‘fuck-count’: counting the number of times someone says the f-word. Ever wonder which movie has the highest f-count? The winner goes to the 2005 documentary aptly titled Fuck. Before you raise your eyebrows, this film is about the history of the f-word and has a f-count of 824. I’m curious to see how some of my favorite movies stack up. Alas, Pulp Fiction finishes at a disappointing f-count of 265.

And then there’s my beloved Deadwood, a TV show that profanes so creatively some critics call the language “foul-mouth Shakespeare.” I attribute Deadwood with helping me think outside of the box and swear more poetically. Here is a video (for educational purposes) called “A Blue Tribute to Deadwood.”

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