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  #1  
Old 12-07-2010
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Default Word and phrase origins...

This thread is born out of a short conversation between myself and SMC regarding the origins of words and phrases commonly used in the English language today inside of the 'User Titles' thread. Actually, the beginnings aren't that academic. Here's how it really started:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hegirllvr View Post
And speaking of semantics, and the fact the phrase 'that sucks' or 'it sucks' implies something to be a negative thing or action. How did that come to be? Personally, I like the verb in all it's variety: I suck, you suck, he sucks, she sucks, and so on. How can that possibly be bad?
So...let's discuss.
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Old 12-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hegirllvr View Post
And speaking of semantics, and the fact the phrase 'that sucks' or 'it sucks' implies something to be a negative thing or action. How did that come to be? Personally, I like the verb in all it's variety: I suck, you suck, he sucks, she sucks, and so on. How can that possibly be bad?
I'm writing this while in class as my students work in pairs on correcting some of their writing -- some of which, unfortunately, really sucks.

The use of "suck" to mean "bad" or "incompetent" (as in "it sucks that you had to take that test" or "he really sucks at swimming") has no apparent, unarguable origin -- as far as I know.

I do know that in the early 19th century it was a nautical term used on occasion by English sailors to denigrate the sea-worthiness of a given ship. When a sailing vessel is poorly constructed, its aft may produce a backwash as it sails through the sea that causes the ship to be "sucked" backwards as it attempt to move forward. In this case, the use of the word suck refers to the action of the sea that is similar to the action of a human sucking in water, but also in this case it is a bad thing. After all, a sailing ship wants to move forward, not be held back because of a poor design.

In the 1950s, when anti-homosexuality was rampant, "to suck" was associated with cocksucking. Since society deemed that bad, the phrase was used more generally (but not as widespread as today).

I remember when I was running track and cross-country that a runner who was aching and beginning to drop out of the race was said to be "sucking wind" (a good runner doesn't suck wind but breathes it as part of a natural motion with the propelling of the body forward at a running pace). Shortened to sucking, one can see how this would translate into "bad" or "incompetent."

These are just some possibilities.

Also, remember that a "sucker" is a "dupe" -- although as a cocksucker I would prefer to be thought of as someone who has simply made a very good choice.
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Old 12-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smc View Post
I'm writing this while in class as my students work in pairs on correcting some of their writing -- some of which, unfortunately, really sucks.

The use of "suck" to mean "bad" or "incompetent" (as in "it sucks that you had to take that test" or "he really sucks at swimming") has no apparent, unarguable origin -- as far as I know.

I do know that in the early 19th century it was a nautical term used on occasion by English sailors to denigrate the sea-worthiness of a given ship. When a sailing vessel is poorly constructed, its aft may produce a backwash as it sails through the sea that causes the ship to be "sucked" backwards as it attempt to move forward. In this case, the use of the word suck refers to the action of the sea that is similar to the action of a human sucking in water, but also in this case it is a bad thing. After all, a sailing ship wants to move forward, not be held back because of a poor design.

In the 1950s, when anti-homosexuality was rampant, "to suck" was associated with cocksucking. Since society deemed that bad, the phrase was used more generally (but not as widespread as today).

I remember when I was running track and cross-country that a runner who was aching and beginning to drop out of the race was said to be "sucking wind" (a good runner doesn't suck wind but breathes it as part of a natural motion with the propelling of the body forward at a running pace). Shortened to sucking, one can see how this would translate into "bad" or "incompetent."

These are just some possibilities.

Also, remember that a "sucker" is a "dupe" -- although as a cocksucker I would prefer to be thought of as someone who has simply made a very good choice.
I've never heard of the seagoing reference to the term. Interesting, and it makes sense.

As to the others, I've often heard runners reference 'sucking wind', but I never associated with the more brad based use of the word to indicate negativity. However, I can absolutely buy in to it's use a derogatory reference to homosexuals in the '50's.

I also think of myself as you do: someone who loves to suck cock that has made a very, very good choice!
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2010
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Default Here's another...

Fuck. Fuck you. Fuck off. Fucker. Fuckers. I got fucked. I was fucked over.

Again, how did such a wonderful thing as fucking come to be associated with negativity?
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Old 12-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hegirllvr View Post
Fuck. Fuck you. Fuck off. Fucker. Fuckers. I got fucked. I was fucked over.

Again, how did such a wonderful thing as fucking come to be associated with negativity?
Hello Hegirllvr,
Here is my contribution to the word Fuck: a word for all seasons.

Fuck is one of the English language?s most versatile words. By its stress and inflection it can describe many emotions, and is perhaps accurate to say that no other word can be used with so many grammatical nuances. It can be used as a noun, e.g. ?I don?t give a fuck?. It can be used as an adjective as in ?it?s a fucking beauty?. It can also be used as a verb in the transitive form, ?the game was fucked up by the weather?. It can be used in the past tense, ?I was fucked?, the present tense, ?I am fucked?, and in the future tense, ?I?ll be fucked?

Many everyday expressions show the true versatility of the word fuck:

Denial: I didn?t fucking do it.
Perplexity: I know fuck all about it.
Apathy: Who gives a fuck anyway.
Greetings: How the fuck are you.
Resignation: Oh fuck it.
Derision: He fucks up everything.
Suspicion: Who the fuck are you.
Panic: Let?s get the fuck out of here.
Directions: Fuck off.
Disbelief: How the fuck did you do that.

The word fuck has been used by some very famous people throughout history. Here are just a few some examples:

What the fuck was THAT? Mayor of Hiroshima.
Look at all those fucking Indians General Custer.
Where?s all that fucking water coming from. Captain of the Titanic.
Is that a real fucking gun. John Lennon.
Who?s going to fucking know. Richard Nixon.
Heads are going to fucking roll. Anne Boleyn.
I thought I could smell fucking petrol. Nikki Lauda.
Any fucker can understand that. Albert Einstein.
It fucking does look like her. Picasso.
How the fuck did you work that out. Pythagorus
I told you I?m fucking scared of flying. Buddy Holley.
You want WHAT on the fucking ceiling. Michelangelo.
Why?. Because it?s fucking there. Edmund Hillary.
I don?t suppose it will fucking rain. Joan of Arc.
I?ll go where no fucker has gone before. Captain Kirk.
Fuck me, no green men. Neil Armstrong.
Never fucking heard of her. Bill Clinton.
That fucking name has to go. (white house). Obama

The list is endless.
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Old 12-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hegirllvr View Post
Again, how did such a wonderful thing as fucking come to be associated with negativity?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyboyadmirer View Post
Hello Hegirllvr,
Here is my contribution to the word Fuck: a word for all seasons.
As impressive a list as ladyboyadmirer provided, the question was an etymological one.

There is not universally agreed-to etymology for the word "fuck" in English, although there are several sources that are generally accepted. Germanic cognates are one important source: words in German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch all are similar, and mean "to strike" or in some cases "to copulate." But these may not be the ultimate source.

What is clear is that few, if any, of the "urban myths" about the word's origins are accurate: none of the acronyms, nor any of the things about stockades, or any of that other tripe.

The word's use in a negative context seems to me to be an obvious function of the taboo's associated with its sexual meanings.
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Old 12-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smc View Post
As impressive a list as ladyboyadmirer provided, the question was an etymological one.

There is not universally agreed-to etymology for the word "fuck" in English, although there are several sources that are generally accepted. Germanic cognates are one important source: words in German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch all are similar, and mean "to strike" or in some cases "to copulate." But these may not be the ultimate source.

What is clear is that few, if any, of the "urban myths" about the word's origins are accurate: none of the acronyms, nor any of the things about stockades, or any of that other tripe.

The word's use in a negative context seems to me to be an obvious function of the taboo's associated with its sexual meanings.
Interesting SMC and ladyboy admirer - and yes, the question was one of origin more so than usage.

I was familiar with some of the root words being associated with 'to strike' or to strike at' and presumed that's where the phrase "fuck you" is rooted and it is of course hurled about today as an insult or a attack. Hence, to strike.

Works for me.

Anyone have anything else?
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hegirllvr View Post
...Anyone have anything else?
According to the Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto the word fuck in written form goes back no further than the early 16th century. It is of Germanic origin, but the source has never been accurately identified. The earliest known examples come from Scotland and is therefore thought to have a Scandinavian origin. Possible roots are the Norwegian word fukka which means to copulate or Swedish focka which means copulate or hit. A third possible origin is also the Swedish word fock which means penis.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning of fuck as to copulate. The earliest listed use is from 1503.

Regardless of the origins the word has always been consdered to be vulgar.
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Old 12-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ila View Post
According to the Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto the word fuck in written form goes back no further than the early 16th century. It is of Germanic origin, but the source has never been accurately identified. The earliest known examples come from Scotland and is therefore thought to have a Scandinavian origin. Possible roots are the Norwegian word fukka which means to copulate or Swedish focka which means copulate or hit. A third possible origin is also the Swedish word fock which means penis.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning of fuck as to copulate. The earliest listed use is from 1503.

Regardless of the origins the word has always been consdered to be vulgar.
I think the Germanic term may be 'fic'. I once worked for a German company (in a US office location) and there was a code procedure for our in house network which was called Format Indicator Coding. Other non-Germanic techs always referred to it as 'fic'.

One afternoon, I was working with a new employee fresh from Germany and she was having some issues with the network. My solution? I suggested she call a tech and request a 'fic'. The then very red faced young lady asked me to explain how a 'fuck from the tech would her her log into the network.'

True story. I swear.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErosArtist View Post
I think the Germanic term may be 'fic'. I once worked for a German company (in a US office location) and there was a code procedure for our in house network which was called Format Indicator Coding. Other non-Germanic techs always referred to it as 'fic'.

One afternoon, I was working with a new employee fresh from Germany and she was having some issues with the network. My solution? I suggested she call a tech and request a 'fic'. The then very red faced young lady asked me to explain how a 'fuck from the tech would her her log into the network.'

True story. I swear.
And no one laughed at the fact that the tech might use his "log" to fuck her?
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Old 12-29-2010
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And no one laughed at the fact that the tech might use his "log" to fuck her?
Oh yeah...everyone got lots of mileage out of that one...for years down the road!
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