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The F Word [Paperback]

Jesse Sheidlower
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

20 Sep 1999
Here in one convenient, comprehensive volume is the complete history of the word still considered the most vulgar and offensive utterance in the English language. Rather than tired cliches or graceless jokes, The F Word contains page after page of actual, uncensored examples of the word from its first appearance in English in the fifteenth century. Every sense of every word containing f#@k is examined in detail, with explanations and thousands of examples from many sources. The introduction provides a revealing historical perspective on the use of this most notorious slang word.

Frequently Bought Together

The F Word + Filthy English: The How, Why, When and What of Everyday Swearing + Watch Your F*cking Language: How to swear effectively, explained in explicit detail and enhanced by numerous examples taken from everyday life
Price For All Three: 18.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (20 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571197302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571197309
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 11.2 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 471,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Don't be fooled by this books rather ambiguous title. This book is neither crude nor vulger. It is a very well informed referance book. It gives detailed and acurate observations in a dictionary format of all the occurances of the F-word from the 1500's to the present day. That said it is still laugh-out-load funny! If you read it as a comody book it won't disapoint. It is equally at home on the shelvesw of an English scholar as on the table of a VI Form common room! Top stuff!!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look at a well-worn word. 25 Mar 1998
By Paul Cowan - Published on
This book is certainly different, if nothing else. It contains a distressingly complete etymology of everyone's favourite word, dating back to the 1600s.
All sorts of phrases containing 'the magic word' are included and referenced, as well as some words of equivalent meaning, some euphemisms for it ('freak', for example), and some great abbreviations (eg 'BUFF').
A great range of sources are used, from James Joyce to Madonna to Usenet erotica newsgroup posts. All serve to illustrate the point that the 'F-word' is one of the more versatile words in our language, and can fit into virtually any situation.
All in all, it's a fascinating and funny read for anyone interested in the English language, and I'm sure it says something that the history of a word such as this is so much more easily documented than probably any other word.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars F'in fabulous reference for the lexicon geek 9 July 2004
By Shelley Gammon - Published on
Thanks to ADHD, I have a hard time focusing for any length of time on the written word, but I love reference books and I love the English language. I have numerous lexicons from American Slang, to quotations, scientific dictionaries, etc. This one is not for the kids, but it has come in helpful a number of times.
I used to feel pretty hip, but now that my teen years are far behind me, I no longer know everything - and I am really feeling like an old codger when I hear a new phrase on TV or in a movie I've never heard before.
If someone has remolded the "F-word" into another word or phrase, it's in this little dictionary. Almost an encyclopedia of the F-word. Each entry gives an approximate date of usage (some usages are timeless, and used for over a hundred years, some are over a hundred years old and just aren't used at all. If the phrase or word first showed up in a book or movie, that reference is also given. Examples are cited and the origins of how each word evolved (as appropriate) are also noted.
As needed, a listing will note if it is a colloquialism for an age group, racial group, sexual lifestyle group, etc.
I had no idea what Stevie Wonder's song "Bad Mamma Jamma" meant until reading the definition in this text!
The illustrations are clever, and surprisingly not vulgar, considering what book they are in. This is far more than just a snicker-fest - although you can sit down and read it and giggle here & there, it is truly a reference book for American slang at its worst.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible 11 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I was expecting an interesting book about the history of the F word. What I got was a small book that looked like it had been made on a copy machine, and was filled with extremely boring references. I usually enjoy these types of books, but this one was a loser.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the first and last word on this world-class Word. . . 1 Nov 1998
By A Customer - Published on
The F Word. . .proves to be a rare item indeed: a comprehensive, vastly eclectic, tongue-in-cheek serious treatment that has to be the first and last word on this world-class Word. For the curious layperson, it will be a source of amazement and information, a good deal of it funny.
As reviewed by Benedict B. Kimmelmann, in the Summer 1996 (Vol. XXIII, No. 1) issue of VERBATIM, The Language Quarterly.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never thought such a weird book could be so fascinating! 3 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
If you're the type who has actually sat reading a dictionary, you'll love this book. I had no idea this word had such a rich history or variety of usage! As a teacher of English to speakers of other languages, I would heartily recommend this to my students, as many have no idea how powerful this word is - or how many things it can (dangerously) mean.
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