Discovered: First Use of the “F Word” May Date Back to 1310


We pre­vi­ous­ly thought that the first use of the “F word” dat­ed back to 1528 — to when a monk jot­ted the word in the mar­gins of Cicero’s De Offici­is. But it turns out that you can find traces of this col­or­ful curse word in Eng­lish court doc­u­ments writ­ten in 1310.

Dr. Paul Booth, a for­mer lec­tur­er in medieval his­to­ry at Keele Uni­ver­si­ty, was look­ing through court records from the age of Edward II when he acci­den­tal­ly stum­bled upon the name “Roger Fucke­bythenavele.” The name was appar­ent­ly used three times in the doc­u­ments, sug­gest­ing it was hard­ly a mis­take. Accord­ing to The Dai­ly Mail, Booth believes “Roger Fucke­bythenavele” was a nick­name for a defen­dant in a crim­i­nal case. And, going fur­ther, he sug­gests the nick­name could mean one of two things: ‘Either this refers to an inex­pe­ri­enced cop­u­la­tor, refer­ring to some­one try­ing to have sex with the navel, or it’s a rather extrav­a­gant expla­na­tion for a dimwit, some­one so stu­pid they think this that is the way to have sex.’ Booth has noti­fied the Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary of his dis­cov­ery.

via The Dai­ly Mail

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Very First Writ­ten Use of the F Word in Eng­lish (1528)

Steven Pinker Explains the Neu­ro­science of Swear­ing (NSFW)

Stephen Fry, Lan­guage Enthu­si­ast, Defends The “Unnec­es­sary” Art Of Swear­ing

Medieval Cats Behav­ing Bad­ly: Kit­ties That Left Paw Prints … and Peed … on 15th Cen­tu­ry Man­u­scripts

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