"flying fuck"

William Salmon william.salmon at YALE.EDU
Fri Apr 18 14:02:22 UTC 2008

>> On Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 01:01:31AM -0400, Sam Clements wrote:
>>>  Newspaperarchive has from 1952 a cite for "take a flying jump at a rolling
>>>  doughnut" and from 1972 "take a flying leap at a rolling
>>> doughnut."  So the
>>>  expression no doubt goes back a ways, not that we'll find "flying fuck" in
>>>  print very easily.
>> I know the whole thing of looking things up in the OED is
>> somewhat out of favor, but I do want to point out that in our
>> latest update, we published a 1938 example from John O'Hara of
>> "take a flying fuck at a galloping rooster".

The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang has a nice
section on negative adjective 'flying'. There are a couple of examples
which intimate antedating the John O'Hara 1938 example, but don't quite
gives us a cigar:

1932 (from movie Scarface):
They said you could take a flyin' --
That's enough of that!

1934 W. Saroyan (New Masses):
I didn't obey my mother or my teachers and I told the whole world to
take a flying you-know-what.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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