"flying fuck"--something of negligible value

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Apr 18 22:59:36 UTC 2008

At 4/18/2008 03:33 PM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>I think we have now, right, Larry? "Take a flying fuck at a running rooster"
>= "Go do something totally stupid"; "not worth a flying fuck" = "not worth as
>much as a totally pointless and fruitless enterprise"

While this hypothesis has probability for me, it still does not I
think educate us on why "flying".   The alliteration may be why it
caught on and persisted, but what did the "flying" mean to the
originators and early hearers?


>In a message dated 4/18/08 9:32:52 AM, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:
> > Nice--but to return to where we started, this doesn't help us make
> > the connection between the flying fuck as a feat hard to consummate
> > and the flying fuck as a something of negligible value and hence a
> > negative polarity minimizer with an implicit "not even ___" as in
> > "(not) worth a sou/farthing/plugged nickel", "(not) sleep a wink",
> > "(not) touch a drop", "(not) know squat"...   The flying
> > leaps/jumps/fucks seem more likely to have originated as members of
> > the "Go fuck yourself", "Fuck you", "Go to hell", "Go fly a kite"
> > family of impolite invitations to get lost than of the "not know
> > fuck/jackshit/squat about" or "not give a shit/fuck/(tinker's)
> > dam(n)" families of minimizers.
> >
> > LH
> >
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