Thursday, October 27, 2005

F*ckwit, Explained

Because I loved the irrepressible Bridget Jones, I read both her Diary and The Edge of Reason. I applauded her decision to not "Fall for any of following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs , chauvinists, emotional fuckwits or freeloaders, perverts." In fact, I decided I would not fall for any of the people on that list either, except that I didn't know exactly what a "fuckwit" was, though I assumed it was bad.

I tried to find out. I asked around. One of my friends employed the term frequently, and I assumed she knew what it meant; when I asked, she said, "I think it's a contraction of 'fuck with,' as in, 'I won't get involved with someone who fucks with me emotionally,' therefore, an 'emotional fuckwit.'"

Which seemed both reasonable and wrong. I knew I had to keep looking. And now I have an answer to my question, thanks to a useful, thorough and quite specific lexicon: The F Word, edited by Jesse Sheidlower, which I got from my university library.

Turns out fuckwit is a stronger form of, say, halfwit or nitwit. There it is, defined on page 197, after fucked up and fuckwad, and before fuck with, fucky and fuck you:
FUCKWIT, noun, Chiefly Australian and British a stupid person, Hence fuckwitted, adjective stupid; fuckwittage, noun, stupidity.
Examples of usage include
1968 A. Buzo, in Plays 89: Well, ta-ta for now, fuckwit. 1970 S. Jarratt Permissive Australia 142: Of course they do, you fuckwit. 1971 in J. Hibberd Stretch of the Imagination 40: You two-timing, fuck-witted mongrel of a slut!
Now there is an epithet worth remembering. And aren't we all edified by and grateful for this lesson?


Blogger Saviour Onassis said...

Are you f*cking with me?

12:02 AM  

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