Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Sat Sep 12 00:33:36 UTC 2009

On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 08:18:46PM -0400, Laurence Horn wrote:
> At 3:43 PM -0400 9/11/09, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>> On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 02:12:47PM -0500, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
>>>  Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
>>>  Caveats: NONE
>>>  Probably too late for the new edition of Jesse's "The F Word", but . . .
>>>  I just read somewhere that "fvck" is a common euphemism for "fuck" at
>>>  MIT, likely resulting from the Latinate spelling on the neoclassical
>>>  buildings.
>> I'm not sure I would include this. My tendency was not to
>> include things that were purely written euphemisms,
>> with a few
>> exceptions (I added an entry for _fug_, though only
>> cross-referencing to _fuck_;
> Can't recall if you have a note on the famous story about how Norman
> Mailer was forced by his publishers to replace "fuck" with "fug"
> throughout _The Naked and the Dead_ (1948) and was later introduced
> to Tallulah Bankhead who supposedly greeted him by loudly asserting
> "Oh, you're the young man who doesn't know how to spell 'fuck'."

Yes, I mention this in the intro. In some versions it's
Dorothy Parker.

>>  and I added an entry for _give a
>> XXXX_ (after a British beer advertisement) because it struck
>> me as being a different "word").
>> But I don't have separate entries for other things that are
>> just graphical variations, whether for purposes of humor
>> ("fvck"), euphemism ("f--k"), or pronunciation ("fookin'").
> Frank McCourt in _Angela's Ashes_ has his family members refer to
> "feckin" this and "feckin" that, which I assume represents the
> Hibernian pronunciation and isn't exactly a euphemism.

No, it is Irish but it's used there as a euphemism for _fuck_,
it's not just a reflection of the pronunciation. So I've added
it as a new entry to this edition. (OED also regards it as a
separate entry.)  The earliest example I have is 1980; it was
popularized on _Father Ted,_ the TV series.

Jesse Sheidlower

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

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