Fuck! Is that offensive to you Why is the word censored such a taboo word in the English language as opposed to its definition of copulation It would seem to make sense that if a word is offensive its meaning would be twice that. Strangely, sex is not an offensive word at all, and is used frequently in formal conversations and writings. Upon questioning, not one person could give a concrete answer on why the word offended them, they would simply say oh, just because, and dont use that kind of language in front of you mother. Just because, is not a valid answer and doesnt explain my question. So I started my quest to learn the meaning behind the meaning, and angering many librarians in the process.
The printed history of the word censored was first documented in a poem by Dunbar in 1503, and later documented in 1598 in a slang dictionary as a definition of the word Fot tere. By the 18 th century, if printed at all, the word would be Fk. Than the great writer James Joyce published the word Fuck in his book Ulysses in 1922, nevertheless the word has remained a major taboo in formal writing. I then went straight to The Cassell Dictionary of Slang, which traced the word censored all the way back to the late 17 th century; An act of copulation or sex.
This terms meaning remained just sex until the late 18 th century when its term seemed to erratically change to mean anything at all that is negative. As the first part of the 20 th century rolls around, the word evolves quite a bit. First, its meaning comes to include a person, (usually a woman) for example She / he was a good censored . In 1920 it was inclusive to a despicable person, and in 1930 used in comparisons. With discovery of films there was a new type of movie called the censored movie. Yet, the word was not widely used until after World War 2, in which it is seen in such acronyms as FU BIS (Fuck you buddy Im shipping out) or FUBAR (Fuck up beyond all recognition).
The true glory of the word censored was not brought to its potential till the 1970 s when its meaning came to include nothing, bad luck, the spirit, ex- kicking the censored out of, and indicating a difference of importance. This gives a little insight into why censored is so offensive, but nothing concrete. In researching the etymology of the word, I discovered that its origin is very shady. The closest word to the English censored is the German word frikken or the Norwegen word fucken all which mean to copulate. In Swedish fock a means to strike or push, fock describes a penis, and given the plethora of euphemisms equating intercourse or penetration with striking or hitting, there may be substantiations in the suggestion of a root word in Latin pugnare- to strike.
But, as it is later stated in the book, there is no sustaining evidence towards the etymology of the taboo word censored . So why is the word censored so offensive Perhaps, because it describes sex in a very un-holy manner or because it was made popular by the military and is considered a sailor word. My own hunches tell me its just like human nature to find something that offends them and go with it. Besides, could you imagine slipping and not having a curse word to exclaim the extreme pain.