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The Etymology of the “F-word”

The Etymology of the “F-word” January 28, 2004

While I’m on that subject: I’ve often wondered about the etymology of the “f-word.” The Shorter Oxford says that the derivation is unknown. I have a theory: Medieval courtly love poetry (such as the Roman de la Rose ) traced the development of courtship through several stages. The stage of consummation was designated by the Latin word factum , which means “the deed.”


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