F*** with = have sex with?

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Dec 12 20:03:51 UTC 2005

On Mon, Dec 12, 2005 at 11:29:32AM -0800, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> For the meaning "have sex with", the verb "to fuck" does not take a
> preposition AFAIK.
> It may very well be that "fuck with" is not an idiom here (but perhaps this
> use has an idiomatic meaning other than have sex), but this use with the
> preposition "with" stymies me. Is it new, a mistake...? It reminds me of
> non-native English speakers saying things like "marry with" or "discuss
> about".

An idiomatic meaning doesn't have to be less frequent than a literal
meaning. _to break camp_ 'to pack up one's gear and leave a campsite'
is an idiom, but the literal _to break camp_ 'to seriously damage a
campsite' probably does not exist [Ben will prove me wrong now]. But
if it did exist, it would not be an idiom.

Anyway, here are a few examples of _fuck with_ 'copulate with'. I
would have typed this in more quickly, but I was busy collapsing
with laughter from the Kenneth Koch example:

1983 T. Logan _Hey Cabbie_ 119 Once they were gone, she [sc. a
prostitute] stated that I hope that I don't have to fuck with
nothing but old men tonight.

1984 K. Koch tr. _Io_ in _After Ovid_ 59 The King of Gods espying
her, in her bodacious tresses, Desired for to fuck with her
beside the watercresses.

1996 S. O'Sullivan in L. Lynch & A. Woods _Off the Rag:
Lesbian Writing on Menopause_ 180 More difficult was the
recognition that she wasn't really keen to fuck with her
beloved when she was bleeding.

2000 W. Self _How Dead Live_ 12 Not a good word, that; iss
like callin' sickies who fuck with kiddies 'child-lovers',

2004 A. Dangor _Bitter Fruit_ 37 Soon she went further,
started craving those afternoons in the heat..as a substitute
for fucking with her boyfriend.

2004 B. Lane _Chronicle of Murder_ 212: I didn't fuck with
her. She died a virgin.

Jesse Sheidlower

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