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What is the etymology of that dreaded f- word? I've heard two differemt stories

The search for the origin of the dreaded <f>-word has created some disagreement, but it almost surely comes from an old Germanic word that has descendants in various languages: Dutch fokken "to breed (cattle)" from an earlier Dutch word meaning "push, thrust, copulate"; Swedish fock "penis" and focka "strike, copulate"; Norwegian fukka "copulate"; German ficken "strike". That association with striking is a bit thought-provoking.

Other, less likely, sources have been proposed: for instance, the Latin pungo "to prick" (related to modern puncture, punch; and the French foutre from Latin foutuo "to have sexual relations with". But the evidence for the Germanic source is pretty overwhelming.

Clearly, it is becoming less and less dreaded. A recent news report said that the TV watchdogs are going to allow it to be used on the air, at least when it is used as an adjective. Apparently, it will be a while before it becomes allowable as a verb.

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