Friday, May 1, 2009

Frikkin Spelling

This cartoon is floating round the innerwebs today (HT Daily Dish; couldn't figure out who the original source is). After laughing, I noticed what struck me as a completely odd way to spell "fucking" to avoid explicit profanity (see Language Log's series of posts on the use of what they call "avoidance characters" for somewhat related issues here). I'm not sure if this counts as an example of "avoidance characters" or euphamism, or some other category of linguistic fun (this Baltimore Sun article referred to it as "faux cursing." Not bad.).

There are several common ways to intentionally misspell "fucking", and some of them are so popular, people actually say them too (see my post on the use of "frik" on Scrubs or any episode of Battlestar Galactica).

Just for kicks, I googled as many faux fucking spelling variations as I could dream up. Listed by frequency, we can see that Pooh's "fucken" variation is middle of the road:

123,000,000 for fucking
24,200,000 for fuckin
10,300,000 for freakin
2,040,000 for frickin
1,880,000 for fucken
502,000 for fukkin
298,000 for frikkin
208,000 for fukken
206,000 for freekin
45,300 for frakken (highly ambiguous with some Swedish word)

5 comments:

Taylor J. Meek said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frack

Margie said...

Norwegian! (Basic rule: "kk" -> Norwegian, "ck" -> Swedish. Useful in case you ever wake up in a strange place and wonder if you're in Norway or Sweden.)

There is a noun frack (sing undef) , fracken (sing def) in Swedish meaning this: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frack

I like your blog -- keep it up!

Ace_Murray said...

It was only a matter of time before this question rose to the surface. Good job, SIr. Love the blog!

Chris said...

Thanks Ace (great to hear from ya)!

Me said...

Not to mention the Irish usage of "feck"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feck

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