EP 216 Kevin Dickinson on A Short History of the F-Word

Jim talks with Kevin Dickinson about the ideas in his recent essay “A Short History of the F-Word.” They discuss the mystery of the F-word’s origins, a damn fucking abbot in the sixteenth century, the hierarchy of curse words, religious profanities, the poet William Dunbar’s use of “fukkit,” the case of Roger Fuckedbythenavele, folk etymologies, false acronyms, movies with the most fucks, fucks per minute vs absolute number of fucks, a high Ngram watermark in 2017, the Lady Chatterley’s Lover obscenity trial, senses of fuck, veiling words, John McWhorter’s research, the history of fuck in the dictionary, language as fashion, and much more.
Kevin Dickinson is a staff writer and columnist at Big Think. His writing focuses on the intersection between education, psychology, business, and science. He holds a master’s in English and writing, and his articles have appeared in Agenda, RealClearScience, and the Washington Post.