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So Where Did the F-Word Come From?

Have you ever wondered just how the infamous f-word came about? Funny you ask, because Dr. Paul Booth from Keele University was flipping through medieval court papers from the 12th century when he came across the name, Roger F**kbythenavele.

Yes, I’ll repeat that again. Roger F**kbythenavele.

Honestly, how in God’s name did this cutting one-syllable swear word make it to a poor man’s last name, no one knows. But this is in fact the first ever appearance of the F-word in written form.

Mr. F**kbythenavele doesn’t have any living descendants of that last name, thankfully, as he was most likely executed (according to the documents that contained his name).

To learn more about the full story, listen to the NPR audio below.

Vivian Wang

Vivian is a travel enthusiast and food connoisseur living in New York City. Her curiosity and passion for languages and culture has taken her across eight countries over the past year. When not working, you can find her meandering in art museums or sampling food at the street markets.

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Booth July 5, 2019

    It’s me that found it!


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