How The Word ‘F*ck’ Has Come To Mean Anything And Everything In Popular Culture13th September 2018
The English language has changed drastically over the years, and more so in the last century. The internet is full of slangs and acronyms, and they keep cropping up by the dozens every day. ROFL, LOL, TTLY, TIL, HIFW, ICYMI, DKFJGBNKWFNKLWNKLF. One of the biggest giveaways of popular culture has been the omnipresent, all-purpose word ‘fuck’.
So Fuck Everybody 🤣Good Morning People
Geplaatst door Pricy Barros op Donderdag 13 september 2018
Today, the word can be used absolutely anywhere in a sentence. “Fuck” can be a noun, an adjective, a verb, an interjection, an adverb, anything you want it to be. Interestingly, we hardly use it for its literal meaning which is ‘to have sex/intercourse’.
‘Where the fuck is he?’ ‘Fuck! This is great!’ ‘We don’t give a fuck.’ ‘This is fucking awesome!’ ‘Tell them to fuck off!’ Fuck, we can really put the fucking word anywhere in a fucking sentence.
It is the blank letter in a game of Scrabble. In a world that keeps changing with the blink of an eye, we are always looking for shortcuts, for hacks to make life easier and better. And this time we have re-invented a word of the English language and made it into an all-purpose tool.
Is it the lack of good vocabulary? Is it lethargy in finding a suitable word? We are a generation that is consumed by appearances. It matters highly what clothes you wear, what company you keep, what trends you follow, and what language you speak. Using the F-word is cool. It speaks rebellion; it speaks sexual liberality. It means you are no longer shy to say it in polite company, unlike your prudish ancestors. It makes you part of an elitist crowd, mostly young, that knows its Western music, frequents pubs, feeds on Western shows, and swears in English.
Not surprisingly, it is not considered very cool to spit out the Hindi translations of those very same expletives. While ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ are easily acceptable in conversation, their Hindi counterparts have not been able to penetrate that cultural filter. Blame it on colonization.
Never before has an English word assumed such a layered cultural meaning. The word is pretty ancient actually. It has been used as early as the 16th century. One of the first recorded usages of the word dates back to the 14th century when a man was referred to as “Roger Fuckebythenavele” in English Court papers. And no, FUCK is not an acronym for ‘Fornication Under Consent of the King’. Like hundreds of other internet legends, this one is also untrue.
How Then Did It Come To Mean So Much More Than Just Sex?
Sex has been a taboo in most cultures and there have been conscious attempts to de-stigmatize it. And talking about it in public is one of the most obvious ways to normalize something. While ‘fuck’ as a multi-purpose word has been a product of the new age of internet, social media, a culture of sexual liberation, the origins can be traced back to twentieth century USA.
A ruling sentiment in late twentieth-century America was rebellion and anti-establishment. As the youth began to lose faith in the glorious American Dream, the era of the rebellious hippie was taking root. The era where sexuality was worn on one’s sleeve, the era that rejected institutionalization of anything and everything. “Fuck the establishment” was a popular sentiment. Drugs, sex, psychedelics became a rage. The taboo from sex was consciously lifted. It became a symbol of liberation. Add to it a few more decades of modernisation and the F-word gradually assumed mammoth proportions in popular culture.
The word has found frequent mention in music and cinema, and the first instance when the F-bomb was dropped in a song is believed to date back to 1938 in Lucille Bogan’s ‘Shave ‘Em Dry’.