Historian claims to have found the first use of the F-word in the English language

Historian claims to have found the first use of the F-word in the English language

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A historian claims to have found the earliest use of the word "fuck" in the English language, in court documents from the 14th century.

Dr Paul Booth, a senior research fellow at Keele University, found evidence of a man named "Roger Fuckbythenavele" from Chester county court plea rolls in 1310.

"I've been going through these magnificent records and I came across this by accident," Dr Booth explained to MailOnline. "It really does shout out at you."

An excerpt from the documents reads:

County Court of Chester, held on Tuesday after the feast of St Nicholas, 4 Edw. II, before Payn Tibotot, justiciar of Chester (8th December 1310)

A man called "Roger Fuckbythenavele" was exacted for the first time [the process preliminary to outlawry].

TNA CHES 29/23 m 10d

The historian says the man was going through the process of being outlawed and it appears he had been given this nickname - either as an "inexperienced copulator" or as a "rather extravagant explanation for a dimwit" - by a court clerk.

Before this latest discovery, the earliest known use of the F-word was said to be in a 1475 poem Flen flyys - where a line reads "they are not in Heaven, since they fuck the wives of Ely" - however because the poem is written in Anglo-Latin it may not be the earliest form in true English.

Another early use of the swear word was from an angry monk in 1528, who wrote of a fellow monk in the margin of a book: "O d fuckin abott."

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