A possible intermediate might be a Latin 4th-declension verbal noun *fūtus, with possible meanings including "act of (pro)creating".However, the connection to futuere has been disputed‍—‌Anatoly Liberman calls it a "coincidence" and writes that it is not likely to have been borrowed from the Low German precursors to fuck.

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In modern usage, the term fuck and its derivatives (such as fucker and fucking) can be used as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an interjection, or an adverb.

There are many common phrases that employ the word, as well as compounds that incorporate it, such as motherfucker, fuckwit and fucknut.

In the Middle English of this poem, the term wife was still used generically for "woman".

The word has probable cognates in other Germanic languages, such as German ficken (to fuck); Dutch fokken (to breed, to beget); dialectal Norwegian fukka (to copulate), and dialectal Swedish focka (to strike, to copulate) and fock (penis).

Journalists were advised to refrain from censoring the word but use it sparingly and only when its inclusion was essential to the story.

The Oxford English Dictionary states that the ultimate etymology is uncertain, but that the word is "probably cognate" with a number of Germanic words with meanings involving striking, rubbing, and having sex or is derivative of the Old French word that meant "to fuck". Paul Booth claimed to have found "(possibly) the earliest known use of the word 'fuck' that clearly has a sexual connotation": in English court records of 1310–11, a man local to Chester is referred to as "Roger Fuckebythenavele", probably a nickname.

There may be a kinship with the Latin futuere (futuo), a verb with almost exactly the same meaning as the English verb "to fuck".

From fūtuere came French foutre, Catalan fotre, Italian fottere, Romanian futere, vulgar peninsular Spanish joder, Portuguese foder, and the obscure English equivalent to futter, coined by Richard Francis Burton.

A similar variant on this theory involves the recording by church clerks of the crime of "Forbidden Use of Carnal Knowledge." Another theory is that of a royal permission.