Like a mackerel

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Mar 6 13:25:16 UTC 2007

Shall we conclude, then, that the word "fucking" in the phrase "like a fucking mackerel" is not just an intensifier but an actual participle--"like a mackerel fucking"?

A favorite simile of the adolescent folkgroups to which I belonged was "fuck like a snake."  The image always intrigued me.  If a female snake should desire to fuck like a mackerel, just what does she invitingly spread?

Of course, snakiness and fishiness can have their own gender-specific symbolism.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 17:42:19 EST
>From: RonButters at AOL.COM
>Subject: Like a mackerel
I'm amazed that no one else seems familiar with the vulgar American idiom, FUCK LIKE A MACKEREL, i.e., 'copulate enthusiastically and in a way that offers a man great pleasure." I have never heard this used of men (except gay  bottoms), but I recall it from my youth in Iowa. I assumed it derived from a reputation among those who know makerel well that they are ardent sexual cratures. So, for me, the line means much what it would have for Shakespeare if it had referred to sparrows rather than mackerel. I don't find it using a Google search, however. So maybe the idiom is fast  becoming dead as a door knob or whatever.

In a message dated 3/5/07 8:37:42 AM, neil at TYPOG.CO.UK writes:

Again, from Loren D, Estleman, 1996 [Robert Hale, London, 1997],

"I dated an erotic dancer from the Pussycat that could fold both feet behind her neck."

"She any good?" Kubiceck asked.

"Like a fucking mackerel."

Can someone elucidate that last comment for me?

--Neil Crawford

The American Dialect Society -

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