it is uncertain to what extent the word fuck was considered acceptable at the time.The stem of fuccant is an English word used as Latin: English medieval Latin has many examples of writers using English words when they did not know the Latin word: "workmannus" is an example.By application of Grimm's law, this hypothetical root has the form *pug–.

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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 different false etymology, first made popular on the radio show Car Talk, states that the phrase "fuck you" comes from the phrase "pluck yew" and relates the origins of fuck to the myth surrounding the V sign.

This myth states that French archers at the Battle of Agincourt insulted the English troops' ability to shoot their weapons by waving their fingers in a V shape; after the English secured a landslide victory, they returned the gesture.

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].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.Otherwise, the usually accepted first known occurrence of the word is found in code in a poem in a mixture of Latin and English composed in the 15th century.The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, "Flen flyys", from the first words of its opening line, Flen, flyys, and freris ("Fleas, flies, and friars")."Either this refers to an inexperienced copulator, referring to someone trying to have sex with the navel, or it's a rather extravagant explanation for a dimwit, someone so stupid they think this that is the way to have sex," says Booth.