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In modern usage, the term fuck and its derivatives (such as fucker and fucking) can be used as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an interjection, or an adverb.

There are many common phrases that employ the word, as well as compounds that incorporate it, such as motherfucker, fuckwit and fucknut.

None of these acronyms was ever recorded before the 1960s, according to the authoritative lexicographical work The F-Word, and thus are backronyms.

In any event, the word fuck has been in use far too long for some of these supposed origins to be possible.

By application of Grimm's law, this hypothetical root has the form *pug–.

However, the connection to futuere has been disputed‍—‌Anatoly Liberman calls it a "coincidence" and writes that it is not likely to have been borrowed from the Low German precursors to fuck.One reason that the word fuck is so hard to trace etymologically is that it was used far more extensively in common speech than in easily traceable written forms.There are several urban-legend false etymologies postulating an acronymic origin for the word.Some English-speaking countries censor it on television and radio.Andrea Millwood Hargrave's 2000 study of the attitudes of the British public found that fuck was considered the third most severe profanity and its derivative motherfucker second. According to linguist Pamela Hobbs, "notwithstanding its increasing public use, enduring cultural models that inform our beliefs about the nature of sexuality and sexual acts preserve its status as a vile utterance that continues to inspire moral outrage." Hobbs considers users rather than usage of the word and sub-divides users into 'non-users', for whom the word "evokes the core sexual meanings and associated sexual imagery that motivate the taboo", and 'users' for whom "metaphorical uses of the word fuck no more evoke images of sexual intercourse than a ten-year-old’s ‘My mom’ll kill me if she finds out’ evokes images of murder," so that the "criteria of taboo are missing." Because of its increasing usage in the public forum, in 2005 the word was included for the first time as one of three vulgarities in The Canadian Press's Canadian Press Caps and Spelling guide.There may be a kinship with the Latin futuere (futuo), a verb with almost exactly the same meaning as the English verb "to fuck".

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