I must have heard or read this somewhere, because I can’t possibly be the first person to ponder the usefulness of the word fuck.
First off, it’s vulgar. We all know and recognize that. But I think we lose sight of that the more we hear and use the word. Rather like swearing in general, it becomes second nature.
I once tried to give up swearing for Lent, and it lasted about 30 hours. First swear word out of my mouth was fuck. Don’t recall the precise circumstance, but it didn’t take a pry bar to come out.
As a young man, I bought into the notion that salty language just added color to one’s voice. Now I have trouble reining in the rainbow in front of Aunt Fran, Aunt Teddy or anyone’s mother. Probably embarrass myself more than I embarrass others. But only when I bother to think about it.
The word fuck has multiple uses, some of them contradictory or confusing.
It can be a noun or a verb or an either/or, as in “So-and-so is a lousy fuck.”
It’s a frank and straightforward word for sexual intercourse. But why then do we “feel fucked” when we’re ailing or when someone does us wrong? Or why is it “fucked up” when something goes wrong? I like to think that having sex feels good. Beyond the glow, however, feeling fucked might be seen in terms of being in a subordinate position. Kind of a domination thing or manipulation, regardless of the activity. I guess being fucked or being a fucker rests on control. And when it’s not going your way, that’s when you can ask, “What the fuck?” in a bid to find out where you stand.
In summary, for those translating earthy English, keep this in mind:
Glossary of “Fuck” Usages
1. Fuck! (Simple expression of exasperation; also a little used and rarely successful mating call.)
2. Fuck? (Uttered in a quizzical sense, it means surprisingly good or at least not half-bad!)
3. Fuck me! (Acknowledgement of a mistake, whether true or not, often tied to slapping your own head; also, a demand for sex.)
4. Fuck this! 0r Fuck that! (Stop; unless spoken in a literal sexual context, when it means just the opposite.)
5. Fuck yes! (Firm affirmation.)
6. Fuck no! (Firm denial, or I wouldn’t do that if you paid me!)
7. Fuck off! Fuck you! or Go fuck yourself! (Leave my presence and go pleasure yourself till you’re raw but don’t enjoy any of it.)
8. Fucked up. (Confused, injured or ailing; also, under the influence of drugs.)
9. Fucking around. (Spousal infidelity, promiscuity or generally silly behavior.)
10. Fucking New York Yankees! (The despised baseball team.)
11. I’m fucked! (Faced with unpleasant consequences.)
12. New York Fucking Yankees! (The lionized baseball team.)
13. Wanna fuck? (Invitation to sexual intercourse; also an invitation to face slapping with Nos. 6 and 7.)
14. What the fuck? (Expression of incredulity)