Where Does the Asshole Word Come From?
Fucking is defined as “to thrust forcefully and willingly” (Webster’s Dictionary). Although its first appearance in writing dates back to the late 1400s, the very first use of the word fucks is in the cipher of a medieval text. It appears there, first, as a mere nickname for the ass (a French term for buttocks). Butterer (someone who fucks or thrusts buttocks) is referred to in the later sources as a buttock-man (or buttocks-man).
Its etymology from Middle English comes from “ass,” “arse,” and “bad.” It can be found in early records of words in Old English such as the Bible (Koran, Old High German, Old English) and Latin, from which it has various translations and permutations. It appears, then, that the etymology of the word comes from ass. The oldest example of an English quote using the word “fucking,” also from a biblical text, comes from the Bible: “God spake thus unto your fathers,” (uterine) “And it shall be fudden, One stroke will suffice.” This shows that the earliest instance of the word in the English language is probably from Hebrew.
There is no direct connection between the ass and the word’s origin in other languages. No one is quite sure how the word got into English, but one possibility is that the phrase ass-cunt (a play on the female ass), which was used in Italian around the fifteenth century, probably influenced the origin of the word. Another possibility is that the phrase ass-shooting (a play on the ass), which came from an Italian phrase, could have been influenced by the ass. Another possibility is the play on words between the two phrases:” asses shooting,” asses shooting their load,” (a play on asses and load).
Asses didn’t stop being slang for asses after the fifteenth century, however. In the early sixteenth century, asses began to be used to refer to women in the royal courts. For example, we can read the phrase, King Henry’s ass, from The Royalist, written in 1534: “He shagged Henry’s mother.” In the same book, the phrase, King Henry’s ass, is printed in three separate words: “Ho, ho, he shagged his mother.”
The earliest place names that contain the word “ass” in them are Goeddeling and Hasslehammer in Saxony. These places were meant to imply the fact that the owner of the place was a stupid, illiterate person. In addition, places named after asses have a tendency to be situated near busy roads in order to emphasize the fact that the owner of the place had to cross roads a lot. These include places called Asshole in North Yorkshire, Asshole in Dorset, and Asshole in Humberside.
As you can see, the etymology of the word “Fuck” has had a rather interesting history. Not only did the word get formed from an anglicized version of the German word, “F-word”, but it became associated with a highly regarded place in Britain, in which a lot of dick jokes were written. It is these funny little anecdotes which give the English language such enduring appeal. So next time you slip into the language, try saying, “I think I may have seen the biggest Asshole.” You might be surprised.