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The F-Word

by Jesse Sheidlower (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
418459,289 (3.78)6
We all know what frak, popularized by television's cult hit Battlestar Galactica, really means. But what about feck? Or ferkin? Or foul--as in FUBAR, or "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition"?In a thoroughly updated edition of The F-Word, Jesse Sheidlower offers a rich, revealing look at the f-bomb and its illimitable uses. Since the fifteenth century, no other word has been adapted, interpreted, euphemized, censored, and shouted with as much ardor or force; imagine Dick Cheney tellingDemocratic Senator Patrick Leahy to "go damn himself" on the Senate floor - it doesn't have quite the same impact as what was really said. Sheidlower cites this and other notorious examples throughout history, from the satiric sixteenth-century poetry of James Cranstoun to the bawdy parodies of LordRochester in the seventeenth century, to more recent uses by Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Ann Sexton, Norman Mailer, Liz Phair, Anthony Bourdain, Junot Diaz, Jenna Jameson, Amy Winehouse, Jon Stewart, and Bono (whose use of the word at the Grammys nearly got him fined by the FCC).Collectively, these references and the more than one hundred new entries they illustrate double the size of The F-Word since its previous edition. Thousands of added quotations come from newly available electronic databases and the resources of the OED, expanding the range of quotations to coverBritish, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, and South African uses in addition to American ones. Thus we learn why a fugly must hone his or her sense of humor, why Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau muttered "fuddle duddle" in the Commons, and why Fanny Adams is so sweet. A fascinatingintroductory essay explores the word's history, reputation, and changing popularity over time. and a new Foreword by comedian, actor, and author Lewis Black offers readers a smart and entertaining take on the book and its subject matter.Oxford dictionaries have won renown for their expansive, historical approach to words and their etymologies. The F-Word offers all that and more in an entertaining and informative look at a word that, while now largely accepted as an integral part of the English language, still confounds, provokes,and scandalizes.… (more)
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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Got this one under the mistaken impression that it would be more a cultural history than a dictionary; while Sheidlower's introduction is excellent, the bulk of the book is basically dictionary entries for various forms and derivations with OED-style citations. The front matter is very much worth a read, though. ( )
  JBD1 | Feb 27, 2016 |
I love words: their history, their changing use, the power they have. And if we want to talk about words of power, the infamous F-word certainly has it. From chasing down the assorted stories of its origins to detailing its flexibility and application, I don't think the author missed a turn (at least up to the time of the book's original publication). One of the appendixes in the original edition (I believe it was removed in later editions) was a listing of how the F-word had wandered and taken up a place in other languages.

Talk about word power! ( )
  Murphy-Jacobs | Mar 30, 2013 |
A comprehensive dictionary of all of the versatile uses of the word . Like the OED, has references to first uses of words and phrases with supporting citations from written works, songs, movies and television. ( )
  aimless22 | Oct 28, 2012 |
Not the book I expected. I thought it was going to be a cultural history of the word "fuck" through history and various usages. That was just the introduction which was pretty good. The main body of this work is 269 page lexicon of different usages and phrases of the f-word. It perhaps make an useful reference book, but definitely not something I'm going to read end to end. ( )
  Othemts | Jul 25, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sheidlower, JesseEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Black, LewisForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'Tis needful that the most immodest word
Be looked upon and learned

—Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS
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We all know what frak, popularized by television's cult hit Battlestar Galactica, really means. But what about feck? Or ferkin? Or foul--as in FUBAR, or "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition"?In a thoroughly updated edition of The F-Word, Jesse Sheidlower offers a rich, revealing look at the f-bomb and its illimitable uses. Since the fifteenth century, no other word has been adapted, interpreted, euphemized, censored, and shouted with as much ardor or force; imagine Dick Cheney tellingDemocratic Senator Patrick Leahy to "go damn himself" on the Senate floor - it doesn't have quite the same impact as what was really said. Sheidlower cites this and other notorious examples throughout history, from the satiric sixteenth-century poetry of James Cranstoun to the bawdy parodies of LordRochester in the seventeenth century, to more recent uses by Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Ann Sexton, Norman Mailer, Liz Phair, Anthony Bourdain, Junot Diaz, Jenna Jameson, Amy Winehouse, Jon Stewart, and Bono (whose use of the word at the Grammys nearly got him fined by the FCC).Collectively, these references and the more than one hundred new entries they illustrate double the size of The F-Word since its previous edition. Thousands of added quotations come from newly available electronic databases and the resources of the OED, expanding the range of quotations to coverBritish, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, and South African uses in addition to American ones. Thus we learn why a fugly must hone his or her sense of humor, why Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau muttered "fuddle duddle" in the Commons, and why Fanny Adams is so sweet. A fascinatingintroductory essay explores the word's history, reputation, and changing popularity over time. and a new Foreword by comedian, actor, and author Lewis Black offers readers a smart and entertaining take on the book and its subject matter.Oxford dictionaries have won renown for their expansive, historical approach to words and their etymologies. The F-Word offers all that and more in an entertaining and informative look at a word that, while now largely accepted as an integral part of the English language, still confounds, provokes,and scandalizes.

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