F*** with = have sex with?

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Dec 12 20:24:23 UTC 2005

Wonderful examples, thank you, Jesse!

They all look like careless slips to me, probably based on analogy to the
idiom "to have sex with" and the fact that the semantically different idiom
"to fuck with" exists. Still, though, the 1983 and 2004 examples do not look
as bad as the others.

My comment about whether "fuck with" is an idiom is simply that I wondered
whether "fuck with" has another idiomatic meaning, for example, date, which
would have fit the context of "Gold Digger".

A few people (LH, BL, WG) have mentioned meter in the song being the reason
for slipping in "with", but I think there is plenty of room to rearrange
words and still fit it in the meter. I think this is a careless mistake that
just got by.

"From what I heard she got a baby by Busta
My best friend say she use to fuck with Usher I dont care what none of y'all
say I still love her"

For example, "she use to fuck with" -> "she always fucking" or "she use to
do it with". I think if someone had noticed this that Kayne could have fixed
it better than me.

I wonder if we'll be seeing this as an example of grammar corruption in the
newspaper grammar columns...

* * * * *
Benjamin Barrett
Baking the World a Better Place
* * * * *

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jesse Sheidlower
> 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.
> 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.

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