Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The genesis of the expression “fucking A” is lost to us. Slang dictionaries indicate that it’s now a polyvalent expression of surprise, disgust, or enthusiastic approval. As a kid, I predictably understood it as “fuckin’ eh”, or maybe “fucking ‘ey!”. The n-gram viewer disabused me of this notion today.
Fucken egg may be the ultimate eggcorn particle, since fucken egg is to fucken A as eggcorn is to acorn. Though a rude particle.
Expect loud guitar riffs supported by an exquise rythm section, hooks sharper than a knife and no-nonsense lyrics. And if you’re not convinced yet: Mark Lanegan – yep! – sings on ‘Crawl Like A Dog’. Fuckin’ egg!
When I first heard “Fuckin’ A”, in Army basic training in Louisiana in 1969, I thought they were saying “Fuck an ape!” My buddy explained that it was “Fuckin’ aye” (that’s how he spelled it out for me, but the “aye” was pronounced just like “A”), and that it was just a strong affirmative. The N-gram doesn’t find the “fucking aye” and “fucking eh” versions at all, but shows the “fucking [and fuckin] A” version(s) starting in the late 1950s.
My friend Laura picked it up from me, but to my dismay started using it to express disappointment or disgust. I corrected her, saying that it meant strong agreement or positive feelings. Only 4 of the dictionaries I accessed through the OneLook site had Fucking A. Three of them agreed with me about the meaning, but the Urban Dictionary said: “used in the 80’s to express deep feeling.
“Fucking-A that girl has great ta-tas!”
“Fucking-A! I failed that test!”
“Fucking-A, that was a great concert!”
Since you, David, say it can denote disgust, and since the 2nd example above seems to indicate the same, I guess I’ll have to tell Laura that she wasn’t wrong to use it with a negative denotation after all. Fuckin’ A!
I’m curious about the derivation, but can’t find any etymology on Fuckin’ A. Maybe nobody knows.
BTW, I’ve commonly heard it in the phrase “You/She/He are/is fuckin’ A right!”