Sunday, September 14, 2014

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The phrase "I don't give a f*ck" originated in 1790

A 1790 poem by George Tucker has a father upset with his bookish son say "I'd not give [a fuck] for all you've read". Originally printed as "I'd not give ------ for all you've read", scholars agree that the words "a fuck" were removed, making the poem the first recorded instance of the now-common phrase "I don't give a fuck". In 1837, the first instance of the phrase "go fuck yourself" or its variants was recorded when a woman who told a group to "go fuck themselves" was charged with the crime of obscenity. Another common figurative use of fuck ("to cheat, victimize, or betray") was first recorded in 1866, when an unnamed court witness swore to hearing another man saying he would be "fucked out of his money" by another man. Farmer and Henley's 1893 dictionary of slang notes both the adverbial and adjectival forms offuck as similar to but "more violent" than bloody and indicating extreme insult, respectively.