Monday 23 September 2013

F**K - An Irreverent History of the F-word by Rufus Lodge

An amusing, informative, controversial and utterly irreverent history of the world’s favourite word.
F, U, C and K – four letters that can cause outrage, scandal, embarrassment or instant relief if you hit your thumb with a hammer.
In this wide-ranging and frequently hilarious history of the F-word, Rufus Lodge searches out the origins of our language’s most popular obscenity, and chronicles its dramatic arrival in our everyday lives. As he discovers, the F-word can be heard among aristocrats and astronauts, rock stars and royals, poets and politicians, even in the company of Father Ted and Basil Brush.
No-one is safe from the F-word’s outrageous progress, as innocent animals, fragrant mothers and squeaky-clean TV hosts are dragged into the fray. The cast of characters includes Shakespeare, the Beatles, Andy Murray, T.S. Eliot, Elton, Camilla and everyone unfortunate enough to live in an Austrian town with a very embarrassing name.
F*** is a cavalcade of priceless anecdotes, historical research, filthy jokes and definitions too devious for any decent dictionary – guaranteed to make you laugh, and broaden your vocabulary*.
* The publisher takes no responsibility for any embarrassment caused when readers drop the F-bomb after reading this book.

Rufus Lodge has written this book under a pen name, so as not to offend his elderly mother!

F**K - An Irreverent History of the F-word by Rufus Lodge is published by The Friday Project on 26 September, here's a book that is fascinating, explicit, laugh-out-loud funny, informative and really very very good.

So, do you use the F-word?  How do you feel when other people use it?  Does it appear less offensive when certain people say it?    I was brought up in an F-word free house, in fact I can honestly say that I've never heard my Dad use the F-word, never ever (although my husband assures me that Dad does swear - only never in front of his daughter!).    Me?  I'm quite good at the F-word, and have even been know to utter it in front of Dad at times.  Language and the evolution of the use of swear words really fascinate me.

I think that Lodge must have had a whale of a time when researching F**K - it's a real gem of a book, and yes, it may offend some people purely because of the title - but really, it shouldn't.   It's a history book, and anyone that loves language will be hooked from the very beginning.  Lodge has great style - he's presented his facts in a way that will appeal to most readers (although I expect teenage boys will snigger loudest!).

My thanks to Jo from LightBrigade PR, and The Friday Project who sent my copy for review.

Lodge has set out to trace the origins of the F-word and to explore its role in our language across the ages.  Lodge looks at everything from:

  • Just who brought the F-word across the channel into England in the first place
  • What on earth folk used in the Middle Ages before the F-word's invention
  • The F-word's role in film,music and literature
  • A handy guide to very British F-word phrases, F-word abbreviations and it's descriptive use when used in conjunction with names from the animal kingdom
  • The first utterances of the F-word on TV, which famous faces have slipped up on air over the years and why broadcasters are more apologetic about the F-word now than they were in Mary Whitehouse's day
Here's a clip of Richard E Grant reading from  F**k: An Irreverent History of the F-Word by Rufus Lodge. 


  1. This one looks interesting, thanks for the review.

  2. Lovely review. Sounds like something you could get as a Xmas present for - well, practically anyone!