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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.
A possible intermediate might be a Latin 4th-declension verbal noun *fūtus, with possible meanings including "act of (pro)creating".
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.
There may be a kinship with the Latin futuere (futuo), a verb with almost exactly the same meaning as the English verb "to fuck".
From fūtuere came French foutre, Catalan fotre, Italian fottere, Romanian futere, vulgar peninsular Spanish joder, Portuguese foder, and the obscure English equivalent to futter, coined by Richard Francis Burton.
An earlier name, that of John le Fucker recorded in 1278, has been the subject of debate, but is thought by many philologists to have had some separate and non-sexual origin.
Journalists were advised to refrain from censoring the word but use it sparingly and only when its inclusion was essential to the story.
The Oxford English Dictionary states that the ultimate etymology is uncertain, but that the word is "probably cognate" with a number of Germanic words with meanings involving striking, rubbing, and having sex or is derivative of the Old French word that meant "to fuck". Paul Booth claimed to have found "(possibly) the earliest known use of the word 'fuck' that clearly has a sexual connotation": in English court records of 1310–11, a man local to Chester is referred to as "Roger Fuckebythenavele", probably a nickname.
However, there is no clear past lineage or derivation for the Latin word.
These roots, even if cognates, are not the original Indo-European word for to copulate, but Wayland Young argues that they derive from the Indo-European *bug– ("be", "become"), or as causative "create" [see Young, 1964].