December 16, 2012

"Sopranos! In the OED!"

Researching "midget," in the comments to this post, I find one of the illustrative quotes is from a 1998 "Sopranos" script":
Tony: I was thinkin maybe... you're depressed?
Christopher: Me? I'm no fuckin mental midget.
Surprising to find "fuckin" in the OED, just casually dropped in there to help us understand the second part of the third definition of "midget," which is "A person notably deficient in the quality or ability indicated by the preceding adjective."

(Sorry, I can't provide links that go into the OED, but you could buy it: here.)

ADDED: Fascinatingly, the word "fuckin" — according to the OED — predates "fuck" as an English word. It appears in 1528, written in a margin: "O d fuckin Abbot." ("O d" is presumed to mean "damned.") Now that I've looked up "fuck," I like some of these other quotes:
1598   J. Florio Worlde of Wordes,   Fottere, to iape, to sard, to fucke, to swive, to occupy.
Occupy!
c1650   in J. W. Hales & F. J. Furnivall Bishop Percy's Folio MS: Loose & Humorous Songs (1867) 90   Which made him to haue a mighty mind To clipp, kisse, & to ffuck.
Love the double ff. It's so exuberant.
a1749   A. Robertson Poems (?1751) 256   But she gave Proof that she could f—k....
1865   ‘Philocomus’ Love Feast ii. 17   That night I never shall forget; We fucked and fucked, and fucked and sweat....
1776   Frisky Songster (new ed.) 36   O, says the breeches, I shall be duck'd, Aye, says the petticoat, I shall be f—d.
1931   H. Miller Let. 16 June in Lett. to Emil (1989) 133   Tell her to go fuck a duck!
1955   M. Brando in T. Williams Five O'Clock Angel (1991) Epil. 122,   I feel like a bucket of stork shit for having fucked things around so.
Okay, enough of that for now.

28 comments:

edutcher said...

Not to go OT right off the bat, but everyone said "The Sopranos" was such a great, well-written show.

I quickly tired of the non-stop F-bombs.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Surprising to find "fuckin" in the OED...

Imagine that! An authority unafraid to describe the world as it actually is...

Ann Althouse said...

"An authority unafraid to describe the world as it actually is..."

Well, "fuckin" as opposed to simply "fucking," but also the selection of a 1998 quote. That wasn't needed. That was reached out for... having fun with it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The cultural significance of The Sopranos was sometimes a bit subtle. The irony of at least a few of the scenes though was pretty sharp.

One of my favorites is when Phil deviates from toasting the manliness of Tony's crew by lambasting his captain Vito with every epithet he can imagine to describe the disgust he feels for his homosexuality. Sensing the inappropriateness of the moment, one of Phil's captains attempts to restrain him by reminding him that the wine he's drinking makes him "emotional". Phil responds by saying that it's because he's got an empty (f-word) stomach.

Great times.

Bob Boyd said...

My favorite line from The Sopranos:
"Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this." - Tony says to his wife at after a small war starts within the family and he and his Uncle Junior have tried to kill one another.

EDH said...

Fascinatingly, the word "fuckin" — according to the OED — predates "fuck" as an English word. It appears in 1528, written in a margin: "O d fuckin Abbot." ("O d" is presumed to mean "damned.")

So, who you gonna believe?

Althouse and her OED 20 volume set for $1,290.

Or me, and Van-Hagar, for $13.98?

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

bagoh20 said...

As I read "ffuck" I imagine it being said to me by Madeline Kahn. That's hot!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I actually didn't remember that quote about his feud with the uncle. The most recent YouTube comment on it says "The cause of most major conflicts of the 21st century". Lol.

Shouting Thomas said...

See Ritmo, you can actually write without all the bombast and pseudo-intellectual term paper filler.

Try it when you write about politics.

Saying things simply is a lot smarter than padding it out with all the obsfucation.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Verb infinitives in both German and Old English were conjugated with the suffix "-en", if I'm not mistaken, so that 1528 quote sounds about right. It was probably before our awful spelling conventions were standardized, in any event - or right about that time. "To fuck" in German is "ficken".

Mitchell the Bat said...

"Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky."

-- Ojibwa saying

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Saying things simply is a lot smarter than padding it out with all the obsfucation.

And now that EDH and I are talking about word entries from 1528 (a hazard with the OED), I suppose you'll revert to going all silly dingleberries on me once again.

bagoh20 said...

"I quickly tired of the non-stop F-bombs"

I'm no fan of that usually either, but that is exactly how people talk, the level of violence and murder was the real overblown thing. Still a great show.

Ann Althouse said...

On the etymology, OED says:

"Probably cognate with Dutch fokken to mock (15th cent.), to strike (1591), to fool, gull (1623), to beget children (1637), to have sexual intercourse with (1657), to grow, cultivate (1772), Norwegian regional fukka to copulate, Swedish regional fokka to copulate (compare Swedish regional fock penis), further etymology uncertain: perhaps < an Indo-European root meaning ‘to strike’ also shown by classical Latin pugnus fist (see pugnacious adj.). Perhaps compare Old Icelandic fjúka to be driven on, tossed by the wind, feykja to blow, drive away, Middle High German fochen to hiss, to blow. Perhaps compare also Middle High German ficken to rub, early modern German ficken to rub, itch, scratch, German ficken to have sexual intercourse with (1558), German regional ficken to rub, to make short fast movements, to hit with rods, although the exact nature of any relationship is unclear."

Ann Althouse said...

I love the way that ends: "the exact nature of any relationship is unclear."

Seems meaningful.

Shouting Thomas said...

And now that EDH and I are talking about word entries from 1528 (a hazard with the OED), I suppose you'll revert to going all silly dingleberries on me once again.

Hell, I could floor you with lengthy diatribes on object oriented programming in C++ and how that affects our perception of reality, too.

But, why bother? It isn't that interesting, gut punching people with one's IQ.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've always assumed that the work "fuck" originated in an attempt to mimic the sound producing by fucking!

Must go back to the cavemen.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

But, why bother? It isn't that interesting,

Jesus. Maybe if it was relevant it would be.

Ann Althouse said...

"I've always assumed that the work "fuck" originated in an attempt to mimic the sound producing by fucking!"

Me too! The closest the OED comes to acknowledging that is "Many alternative theories have been suggested as to the origin of this word. Explanations as an acronym are often suggested, but are obviously much later rationalizations."

Ann Althouse said...

circa 1600 there was a bird name "windfucker."

"1599 T. Nashe Lenten Stuffe 49 The kistrilles or windfuckers that filling themselues with winde, fly against the winde euermore."

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Boyd said...

"the exact nature of any relationship is unclear."
Any good psychiatrist would tell you the same thing about cunnilingus.

deborah said...

I saw the movie Donny Brasco the other day. Really good. I know he gets knocked all the time, but I love Pacino.

deborah said...

Where the fuck is rh? He usually has something to say when the word fuck comes up :)

ricpic said...

The Brits say fookin'.

The enduring power of The Sopranos is that it was the only TV show that ever came close to conveying the generalized angst or wariness of real life.

EDH said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
I suppose you'll revert to going all silly dingleberries on me once again.

WTF?

rhhardin said...

Which made him to haue a mighty mind To clipp, kisse, & to ffuck.

Love the double ff. It's so exuberant.


It might be suck. Some of those interior f's are s's.

That would be more in tune with bawdy songs.

Robert Johnson had a sucks.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

One has to be careful when telling Shouting Thomas that he's being an annoying ass, EDH. He's a bit delicate that way.