Saturday, May 24, 2008

Origin of the F-word

Variant #1:
Email example contributed by T. McInnis, 22 March 2001:

In ancient England a person could not have sex unless you had consent of the King (unless you were in the Royal Family). When anyone wanted to have a baby, they got consent of the King, the King gave them a placard that they hung on their door while they were having sex. The placard had F.*.*.*. (Fornication Under Consent of the King) on it. Now you know where that came from.

Variant #2:
From a Usenet posting, 1 November 1990:

The word fuck comes from colonial times, when someone would be punished for 'prostitution' It was an acronym for the words

'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge'

FUCK was written on the stocks that held these criminals because For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge was too long to go on the stocks.

Variant #3:
From a Usenet posting, 12 October 1990:

I always heard that "F.U.C.K." originated in the 1800's in London, when they used to charge prostitutes "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge". So officer got sick and tired of writing those, um, lessee, 26 characters, not including spaces, so it got abbreviated FUCK and stuck.