By their euphemisms shall ye know them.
I am hardened – how not? – but I gather that motherfucker, that ‘Oedipal polysyllable’, remains the most (least?) popular of all the so-called ‘obscenities’. The dirtiest of the dirty, the least permissible among all the tabooed. Rivaled only by cunt, and of course far, far younger as a coinage, it is presumably the innate incestuousness that gets everyone’s knickers in a twist. This is not just to have sex, but to have sex with your, omigod, mother. It seems to have been an African-American coinage, of the 1890s, and it may even be that the extra distaste it elicits offers a smidgeon of racism. Like the impetus for America’s earliest cannonades in its war on drugs — the fact that cannabis was linked to Mexicans and cocaine to blacks was justification enough to condemn the products – the word may be double-damned by association.