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The F-Word is a historical dictionary devoted to the word fuck. This means that every one of the hundreds of words, compounds, and phrases it contains is supported both by definitions and by numerous real examples from sources throughout history showing how the word has been used. It is these examples—and there are over four thousand quotations in the book—that make it a historical dictionary.

Earlier editions were published in 1995 and 1999 by Random House. The Third Edition of The F-Word is being published by Oxford University Press in September, 2009.

This new edition is significantly enlarged and updated. The text of the book is almost exactly twice as large as the previous edition, and there are over 120 new words and senses, from artfuck (in several senses) to XXXX (a British euphemism for fuck in the expression to give a fuck, after a 1980s advertising campaign for Castlemaine XXXX beer).

Jesse Sheidlower, the editor, is a widely recognized expert in language matters. He works as Editor at Large (North America) of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Oxford University Press catalog

Oxford UP UK/Europe catalog


Barnes & Noble


Note: This site is devoted to my book The F-Word, and the opinions expressed herein are my own. Although what I write may be informed by my professional life as the Oxford English Dictionary’s Editor at Large (North America), the content is neither endorsed by nor associated with the OED.

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