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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (January-June) » The meaning of FECK « Previous Next »

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Rick Patterson (bg-tc-ppp857.monmouth.com - 209.191.53.233)
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 1999 - 05:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi Im intrested in finding out as much as possable about the word 'Feck'. I hope this the correct spelling. I should be most greatful if your organisation would be able to help. I hope to here from you soon.

Yours Rick Patterson

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Ariel
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 1999 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Supposedly what the irish say in a completely unconvincing attemmpt to hide the fact that they are actually saying the world's number-one swear word, apparently stemming from the fact (or myth according to your own experience) that being polite is very important to them - or so I've read and been told. The irish for it is 'foc' 'foc leat' - •••• off, 'ag foca/il', ••••••• (not the adjective, which is usually 'friggin', at least round Conamara way). There would be a few variations on this general theme, but the real native swear stuff, while sounding completely tame when translated to English, actually pulls quite a punch in Irish. Anything with 'Diabhal' -devil, 'bacach' - lame, which can go as far as meaning pathetic, incompetant, ••••••••, impotent etc, it's both a noun and an adjective, and 'bradach' - thieving, will take you a fair way to insulting your way around the gaeltacht.(always a fantasy of mine..)

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Dennis King
Posted on Friday, October 15, 1999 - 04:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Note that "feck" is also another word entirely meaning "steal". You'll find it currently in Roddy Doyle's new novel, A Star Called Henry, set in the early decades of this century, in which our hero is frequently found fecking bicycles "ar son na cúise", the cúis being Irish independence.

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Lisa (essex.neo.rr.com - 204.210.198.14)
Posted on Monday, October 18, 1999 - 02:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Also note that feck could be the imperative look
feach or see feic

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rntt (catherinefitzgerald.staff3.ul.ie - 136.201.142.105)
Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 05:03 am:   Edit Post Print Post

As Lisa said, spelled "Feic", it is the Irish for "Look".. "Ahhh feic it!" in anger when something goes wrong would be something like 'Look it!'.
It's just a fortunate coincidence that it sounds very like the word pronounced 'foc' (which by the looks of things I'm not going to be allowed say here... ;) ), so it developped into a general substitute for it... like "Feic off!" or "Shut up, You Feicin' eejit!"

(Yes I am múnaithe off about the rarity of cuss-words in the teanga Gaeilge.)

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rntt (catherinefitzgerald.staff3.ul.ie - 136.201.142.105)
Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 05:05 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Speaking of which, "Aon focal eile"? I haven't stopped laughing at the Brits for banning that song!!!!!

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Seosamh (1cust61.tnt14.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.23.142.61)
Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ná habair liom é! What next?

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donnchadh (webcacheb05a.cache.pol.co.uk - 195.92.168.167)
Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 10:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chaird would yous feck off--------- as du/irt mo dhaidi/ faoin feck, 'a cowards or a fimi/neach way of saying fuck off' Is mise le meas Donnchadh as Learphoill Sasana

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Máire Ní Ógáin (194.133.7.60)
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

It is indeed a coward's way of saying fuck. There's a long tradition of this in both Irish and Irish English, the best-known example of which in Irish is saying Muise instead of swearing on the name of Muire, mother of Christ. You also hear Dar fia instead of Dar Dia (By the deer instead of By God).

In Irish English, there's By the Holy, By Gob etc. which all get around taking the Lord's name in vain. I reckon Feck is in the same tradition of euphemism for unacceptable words. I think the Feic theory is way off - sorry, Lisa.

"Feck" is enjoying a revival thanks to Father Ted, who used it with enthusiasm. It wasn't rare before Fr T, mind, but it is more common now than it was ten years ago.

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Seosamh (2cust118.tnt11.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.23.133.246)
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Bhíodh 'fuck' agus a leithéid blocálta amach le comharthaí dearga anseo -- amharcaigí ar an darna teachtaireacht thuas -- ach tá cead ár gcinn againn anois, de réir chosúlachta. Is maith an rud an tsaoirse.

Sílim go bhfuil an ceart ag Máire faoi feck/fuck. Maidir le 'deer', chonaic mé 'The dear knows' scríofa in áit éigin ar na mallaibh, ach glacaim gur 'The deer knows' atá ceart agus go dtagann an sofhriotal seo ón Ghaeilge. I assume that the expressions in Irish English with 'deer' in place of 'God' come from the Irish language where the expressions are also used and, more important, where the two words -- fia, Dia -- rhyme.

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Dennis (proxy1-external.sttln1.wa.home.com - 24.4.254.154)
Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 12:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Deir Stephen Maturin, príomhphearsa in úrscéalta Phatrick O'Brian, atá suite sa chéad leath den 19ú haoid, deir sé "The Dear knows" go minic. (Is addict de chuid Uí Bhriain mise!) De réir an fhoclóra _Slanguage_, séard atá ann ná "euphem. for 'Dear Lord', < confusion of Ir. 'Fiadha', God & 'fiadh' deer, carried into Hib.E."

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Seosamh (1cust178.tnt12.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.23.136.178)
Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 02:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

In úrscéal de chuid Uí Bhriain a thug mé féin fá deara é, is dócha. Ní maith liom 'dear' ar chor bith. Ceileann sé gur tháinig sé ón nasc idir Dia/fia sa Ghaeilge agus shílfeá gur ó 'dear' an Bhéarla a tháinig sé. Agus feictear domhsa gur téarma seachanta a cumadh d'aon turas atá i gceist seachas 'confusion' (i m'aigne féin ní thógtar 'confusion' d'aon turas). An bhfuil an ceart acu maidir le 'Fiadha'? 'Día' a thuganns Strachan ar 'God' in Old-Irish Paradigms agus ní fheicim ach 'Dia' insna foclóirí NuaGhaeilge.

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Dennis (proxy1-external.sttln1.wa.home.com - 24.4.254.154)
Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 02:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Tá "fiada" ins an DIL leis an gciall "a lord, master, possessor": "Fergus fiada fairrge", "fiada fuilt fhindbuidi", etc.; agus "esp. of God, the Lord": "Pilat fua ro chés ar Fíada". Bhí sanasaíocht chliste ag O'Clery ina ghluais: "fiadha .i. fo-dhia .i. Dia maith". Ní "fo = faoi" atá i gceist anseo, ach an focal ársa "fó" a chiallaíonn "maith". Is deas an míniú é, ach níl aon bhunús leis.

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Paul Legrand (ppp-pm2-mul-18.jonction.net - 207.107.177.19)
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2000 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Bíonn gach tosach(tosú) lag. (Every beginning is weak).
The path to knowledge is a long and difficult one, and I wish I could find out like Fionn Mac Cumhaill, whatever I want to, whenever I need to, by simply putting my thumb in my mouth. As to the origin of "feck"...
Ó feach agus ... Eureka! For all the world to see, at the left of your screen: the Salmon of Knowledge, the Salmon of...Fec (right from the bottom of Fec's pool).
Go to "main" then to "shop"(siopa) and find out "why the fish" logo.

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Martin (p225.as1.portlaoise1.eircom.net - 159.134.252.225)
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2001 - 01:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I like the phrase Eist Do Bheal!!
It means shut up literally "Listen to your mouth!!"
MY Irish Website

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john_peter maher (icn-nat-171.neiu.edu - 64.107.86.171)
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2001 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Wasn't the road sign for
Éifin [pelling?] once removed?

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Micky Keenan (inktomi1-cam.server.ntl.com - 62.253.128.4)
Posted on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 08:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Apropos to nothing really. When my brother was younger he couldn't pronounce his "f's" properly and used to tell ppl to "buck off". Funnily enough, we all understood what he was trying to say!

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Eóin OBrean (b-airlock136.esatclear.ie - 194.145.131.136)
Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2001 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Feck and Feach = look

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Linda Grant (gamdemail.com - 206.205.8.12)
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Why are the Irish commonly referred to as "feckless"?

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Aonghus (vpn.parthus.com - 62.221.5.1)
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 03:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

From the Cambridge Dictionary online:
feckless adjective FORMAL
(of people or their behaviour) without energy and enthusiasm
In those days he was a feckless and poverty-stricken young drop-out.

As an Irishman, I deny the charge!

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Robert Davis (atpm3-9-27.enter.net - 208.137.244.175)
Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2001 - 08:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

From the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Sassenach Etymology:
feckless: Ineffective, futile, weak, helpless.
Formed on the Scots "feck;" effect, purport, efficiency. Aphetic form of "effeck" (as in "the feck" for th'effeck),
Scots variant of "effect."

Please note that Scots is not referring to Scots Gaelic, but instead to the Lowland patois.

But "feckless" has nothing to do with actual "fecking," or the possession of "feck" (if that's even possible). So shut yer feckin' pieholes, ye gobshites.

[Tá mé ag rith go gasta]

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max p (ryefwcache1-nat.avon.com - 134.65.2.117)
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 09:57 am:   Edit Post Print Post

If someone can help me out by e-mailing me with a few answers it would be greatly appreciated.

I was trying to find the correct spelling of a few words

How would I write

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Hail Mary (As in the prayer)
4. Our Father (As in the prayer)
5. Blood
6. Protect

My E-Mail is spungos@hotmail.com

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cailin (1cust27.tnt2.dub2.ie.uudial.net - 213.116.42.27)
Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 05:57 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm from Ireland and have always lived in Ireland. I'm 17 and still going to school and yes, we do say feck. But we mostly say the other curse words!!

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Seosaimhín Nic Rabhartaigh (adsl-64-108-133-68.dsl.milwwi.ameritech.net - 64.108.133.68)
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Several years ago I watched a very interesting series entitled "The Development of the English Language" on the B.B.C. One of the verbs discussed was the Middle English verb " fecken" which had come into the language from German.
"Fecken" meant "to rape" or "to copulate with violence" as I recall. So, really, it is rather unfortunate that the Irish have, in the interests of not offending their listener's sensibilities, taken to saying "feck" rather than "f_ck", as, in my opinion, the meaning is much worse.
I am Irish myself, by the way, currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Slán go fóill,
Seosaí

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Fintan (neta.lisp.com.au - 203.21.133.124)
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 07:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

If I recall correctly, the origins of 'feck/fuck' lie in the Middle-German verb 'fickere' (?), apparently referring to the act of slapping or banging two things together.. (which leads, rather obviously, to it's colloquial usage).

Slán,
Fintan

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Tracey (oak.may.ie - 149.157.1.55)
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 06:58 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
I gcomhair aon duine a bhfuil suim aige/aici i mallacht chaint na Gaeilge ta focloir den chead scoth le fail na laethanta seo (for those of ye interested in cursing in Irish there's a great new dictionary available at present) - 'Irish-English Dictionary of Slang'.
Da mbeadh an leabhar seo le fail do dhaltai scoile ni bheadh aon fhadhb ag muinteoiri an teanga a mhuineadh doibh! Faighigi an leabhar agus feach cad a d'fheadfaimis a ra - gan a bheith ag brath ar mhallachtai an Bhearla. Nilim ag magadh nuair a deirim nach dtagann a leitheidi 'feck' no 'fuck' no ceann ar bith eile acu gar don Ghaeilge!! (Believe me when i tell ye that the curses in the English language come nowhere close to those we have in Irish - and the best thing about it is that you can curse someone til the cows come home and they wont understand what you're saying - you'll never have to go behind anyone's back again!!!!)
Tracey

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Tracey (oak.may.ie - 149.157.1.55)
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 07:03 am:   Edit Post Print Post

1. Family - depending on what exactly you mean by 'family' you can use 'clann'/'teaghlach'. 'Clann' refers to 'family' as in children/offspring, whereas 'teaghlach' is all members of the household (grandparents, extended family, etc.)
2. Friends - cairde (cara - a friend)
3. Hail Mary (As in the prayer) - ''Se (e fada) do bheatha a Mhuire'
4. Our Father (As in the prayer) - 'Ar (a fada) n-athair'
5. Blood - fuil (bleeding - ag cur fola)
6. Protect - cosaint o (o fada) = protect from

Tabhair aire,
Tracey

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Eoghan OSuilleabhain (66.30.32.110 - 66.30.32.110)
Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 01:38 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Actually the very English word "fuck" is an abbreviation "for unlawful carnal knowledge".
Years ago, the Police would write that abbreviation across their arrestee files much like they do for many other crimes they arrested (and still arrest) people for such as "b&e" (breaking & entering) or "dwi" (driving while intoxicated). Soon the abbreviation became slang as in "He got fucked" which originally just meant he got arrested for some misdemeanor sex crime like procuring a prostitute who turned out to be an undercover vice cop. The rest is liguistic history.

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.178 - 193.122.47.178)
Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 02:24 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Sorry Eoghan, but if you look in the OED you'll see that fuck well predates even the earliest poilce force, the Bow Street Runners. Good story though.

The C word has a vastly ancient history too, but was not considered rude until the Victorian era.

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Pádraig Maac Gafraidh (63.161.61.92 - 63.161.61.92)
Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Chairde,

And in America it's far worse than rude. It is considered the harshest of words for copulation -- so offensive that it is edited out of broadcast television and never used in polite society without the speaker's risk of being labeled undesireable.

Small children who innocently blurt it out are frequently subjected to a mouth-wash of soap by their horrified mothers.

Travelers from the British Isles to the states would be well advised to delete the word from their vocabularies entirely during time spent abroad in America. This is not to say you won't hear it. You will. But carefully consider the source. If you use it on a job interview with the bank president, you'll never get the job.

Slán,
Pádraig

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