"MOTHER FUCKER" transparent? [was: Percentage point--missed word in dictionaries]

carljweber carljweber at MSN.COM
Fri Dec 28 02:17:55 UTC 2001

Thomas Paikeday wrote:
When the phrase is applied to one's mother, I suppose the
uncollocational semi-transparent idiomatic term "mother fucker" comes to
mind. But it could be argued (English word composition being what it is)
that the phrase doesn't make it transparent whether "mother" is the
fucker or the fuckee. I suppose "m.f." is entered in most dictionaries
of slang because of this nontransparency.

I would say, IMMFHO, being a trans parent is a different issue. Notice in
your "x x" compound term that if you delete the agentive in the second item,
and replace it with the affix "-ing", it becomes adjectival and, as you'll
see, belies the deep structure. Notice how this parses in bruh-thuh speak
with added noun: "muh-thuh fuh-kin' poophead". If you put them in a tree,
add copulation, and then shake the tree, you get "poophead is fuhkin'
muthuh" (unduh the tree). Whether mom is a "who" or a "whom" becomes
obvious. It could be there's some other reason it's not in the dictionary.


More information about the Ads-l mailing list