Well f—: it looks like we are one step closer to figuring out when we started using the swear that makes us feel so good using as any part of speech. English historian Dr. Paul Booth of Keele University was digging through documents and spotted, in the Chester county court plea rolls from December 8, 1310, an individual referred to as “Roger Fuckebythenavele.”
Booth assumes the last name was probably a nickname, which we’re assuming was bestowed upon him by friends who really know how to cut to the core of a man by picking away at his shortcomings. Booth said, “I suggest it could either mean an actual attempt at copulation by an inexperienced youth, later reported by a rejected girlfriend, or an equivalent of the word ‘dimwit’ i.e. a man who might think that that was the correct way to go about it.”
We are not opposed to pranking as an institution, but there is such a thing as taking it too far: Roger’s nickname stuck to the point where he was referred by it in official court documents! How about putting shaving cream on Roger’s hand, tickling has face to make him smear it all over himself, and calling it a day?
This use of the F-word predates what was previously thought to be the oldest example by about 150 years, which was in the 1475 poem Flen flyys: the line “fvccant vvivys of heli” is a Latin/English mix meaning “…they f— the wives of Ely,” which is not nearly as mean as the treatment poor Roger Fuckebythenavele received.
Featured image courtesy of deviantArt // LEMMiNO