(Reinstated) Earliest Version of "Motherf*cker / Motherf*cking"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 26 02:52:01 UTC 2013

On Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> Right, but consider the possibility that "motherfucker" arose in the first place as a misreading of the mocking but not obscenely offensive "mothersucker" (or "mammysucking" > "mammyfucking"), all because of those d----d long S's.

Won't work for the colored. They couldn't read in those days. Recall,
also, e.g. that P[arliament]-Funk[adelic] uses "sucker" and
"mothersucker" as "clean" replacements for "fucker" and
"motherfucker." This is not to claim that "*mammy*sucking/-er"
wouldn't have been insulting, then, since it certainly is, today,  as
a consequence of the presence of "mammy," because of its association
with the stereotype of the black wet-nurse and the song, "Mammy" as
(in)famously sung by Al Jolson down in one knee in his legendary
blackface get-up and immortalized for subsequent generations of
colored by the movie based on his life.

As I understand it, Jolson didn't go to do nothing wrong. But, in the
words of Stewie Griffin, "It's done."

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list