We’re delighted to share an extract from the new book From Skedaddle to Selfie: Words of the Generations by Allan Metcalf. It will be published next month by Oxford University Press, which describes it as “a lively look at the words that have come to define different generations in history” – including fuck.
Even major dictionaries declined to include fuck until quite recently, yet it now appears without fuss in an impressive range of cultural domains. So how did fuck make the leap? In the text below, Metcalf traces the word’s emergence out of largely disreputable use into ever more mainstream contexts.
Headed back to school? Here’s your syllabus for Swearing 101.
“For so universal an experience, a child’s discovery of curse words is the topic of surprisingly few picture books.” The New York Times reviews a new book that’s among the surprisingly few: Little Bird’s Bad Word, by Jacob Grant.
“Son of the illegal lottery!” sounds filthier in Tagalog, we’re sure. More at Foul Mouth: a website about Filipino dirty words.
The latest bulletins from Swearsville:
The New Yorker profiles Jony Ive, Apple’s vice president of design
Overlapping framed images leaned against the wall: a Banksy print of the Queen with the face of a chimpanzee, and a poster, well known in design circles, that begins, “Believe in your fucking self. Stay up all fucking night,” and ends, many admonitions later, “Think about all the fucking possibilities.”
Image via Business Insider (link via commenter Linda).