Not too long ago I had covered up an air conditioning unit with a makeshit piece of wall art (shown HERE). While simplifying our lives recently (shown HERE), I came across the letters I earned in junior high (a “C”) and high school (an “F”). Apparently I was athletic back then … go figure.
In my typical fashion, I just thought I would use the letters to make some snarky wall art. Using the “lettered” letters, and 2 similar fonts I found at “Michaels” (and having to paint a Union Jack on the “u” because it seemed necessary) – this is what I came up with…
This of course sparked a lengthy conversation in my household about the origins of the somewhat taboo word. Quite frankly, I think my boyfriend was concerned with how were going to justify that I’d put “Fuck” on the wall, which promptly caused me to yell across the kitchen something like “stop trying to quash my artistic expression” and “your kids have heard the word a gazillion times”.
Turns out, there is a lot of controversy as to just where this word originated. He was convinced it originated in merry old England standing for “Fornication Under Command of the King” (or “Consent” as some believe). This folk lore started circulating in the early 1960’s. It was believed that unless a person was in the Royal Family, they were not permitted to have sex and would have to seek permission from the King in the event they wanted to have a baby. If they were granted such permission, they were given a placard that read “F.U.C.K.” to hang on their door. My boyfriend really wanted to believe it meant this … and that by painting the “u” with a Union Jack I’d somehow said “FU” to the King and subsequently “FU” to the government and by using the striped fabric in the back, I’d somehow simulated the American Flag. I told him I thought he was really overthinking it. Then he reminded me of THIS …
Another story suggests that in colonial times when someone was punished for prostitution it was used as an acronym for the words “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and that this actually dated back to early the 1800’s in London when officers got tired of writing out “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and reduced it to “F.U.C.K.”
Seems both these theories have been debunked over the years and the word “Fuck” isn’t an acronym at all. Turns out it may have originated around the 15th century from the Dutch and that very little actual evidence exists because the word was so taboo it wasn’t even written down. The first time it was believed to have appeared in print was c.1500 where it was disguised as a Latin word AND encyrpted – gxddbov – which was later deciphered to mean “fuccant”, which was faux-Latin (think Spanglish) for “they fuck”.
Meh, it’s just a word … and it’s now hanging on my wall.