Earliest Use of the Word Fuck Discovered – Medievalists.net

Cheshire County Court Rolls , CE 1310 – photo by Paul Booth

And here’s a few rude words and gestures to go with the above story:

An English historian has come across the word ‘fuck’ in a court case dating to the year 1310, making it the earliest known reference to the swear word.

Dr Paul Booth of Keele University spotted the name in ‘Roger Fuckebythenavele’ in the Chester county court plea rolls beginning on December 8, 1310. The man was being named three times part of a process to be outlawed, with the final mention coming on September 28, 1311.

‘Roger Fuckebythenavel’ as seen in the Cheshire County Court Rolls , CE 1310 – photo by Paul Booth

Dr Booth believes that “this surname is presumably a nickname. 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.”

Prior to Dr. Booth’s discovery, the previous earliest use of the word was in them poem Flen flyys, written around 1475. It had a line that read “fvccant vvivys of heli”, a Latin/English mix meaning “…they fuck the wives of Ely”. Historians have come across earlier uses of the word in medieval England, but have doubted that it was being used as a sexual reference. For example, the name John le Fucker appears in 1278, but this likely could be just a different spelling for the word ‘fulcher’ which means soldier.

 

Source: The earliest use of the F-word discovered – Medievalists.net

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