MILF (was Re: change from the bottom up)

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue May 1 02:36:50 UTC 2007

On Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 09:26:02PM -0500, Scot LaFaive wrote:
> I can say "That test was a motherfucker," but "motherfucker" here means
> difficult, not interesting. Is the example you gave still "current" in the
> dialect? Just curious.

Both HDAS and OED show _motherfucker_ in actively positive
senses referring to people or things from 1958 onwards (OED
taking its first quote from HDAS); OED's most recent quote is

  2001 Village Voice (N.Y.) 22 May 124/1 The Berkeley quartet
  opened its set jamming and vamping... From then on it was a
  motherfucker; nothing like the current wave of junior Black
  Sabbaths and Blue Cheers trudging through the low end.

Granted, we don't have anything grammatically like "That shit
was a most motherfucker!", but unquestionably positive (as
opposed to merely non-negative) examples are by all means still
out there.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list