Fuck All

Print Poster with a vintage look reads: SOLIDER SPEAK WWII SNAFU - Situation normal all fucked up; SUSFU - situation unchanged still fucked up; TARFU - things are really fucked up; FUMTU - fucked up mor than usual; JANFU - joint army-navy fuck-up; SAFU - self adjusting fuck-up; JAAFU - joint anglo-american fuck-up; FUAFUP - fucked up and fucked up proper; FUBAR - fucked up beyond all recognition

by Harry Siegel

As Jesse Sheidlower explains in the introduction to his fabulous reference book, The F Word, the mistaken idea of FUCK as an acronym goes back to a 1967 article in The East Village Other claimed that “fuck” began as medical shorthand in the British Imperial Army for a solider diagnosed with a venereal disease (so named in honor of Venus): “Found Under Carnal Knowledge.” 

Nor does FUCK stand for “Fornication Under Consent of the King” and some royal license to repopulate after a plague, a Malthusian retcon by way of Hugh Hefner dating back to a 1970 article in Playboy.

No, FUCK is just fuck, a word that had been Too Hot for Print for centuries before the Second World War unleased acronyms on the world — the word “acronym” itself dates back to the 1940s, an evolution of initialisms like V.D. and B.C. — along with the atomic bomb. 

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