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    #1

    Question Question about the "F-Bomb"

    I have looked up the wikepedia definition and not interested in discussing its origins. My question relates to common uses of this particular word. It seems that it can be used as a noun, verb, transitive verb, adjective, etc......but I have also heard it used in such a way that it is actually inserted into another word so that it sort of underscores the importance or severeity of the word in which it is inserted. (in-f*cking-credible; un-f*cking-believable) I can't think of another word that does this (at least not quite as well) and I wonder three things about this particular phenomena: is this just a Texas-sim; if not, how did this come about; and is there an actual grammatical term to describe this?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    It's called "tmesis" - quite rare in English, but not confined to the F-word: "abso-bloody-lutely" springs to mind. In one case, it even includes a word-space; but that's a whole nother thing.

    This device is use in Continental Portuguese quite widely with object pronouns (interpolated between the stem and the endings of the future and conditional) - other languages too, I should think.

    b

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl View Post
    I have looked up the wikepedia definition and not interested in discussing its origins. My question relates to common uses of this particular word. It seems that it can be used as a noun, verb, transitive verb, adjective, etc......but I have also heard it used in such a way that it is actually inserted into another word so that it sort of underscores the importance or severeity of the word in which it is inserted. (in-f*cking-credible; un-f*cking-believable) I can't think of another word that does this (at least not quite as well) and I wonder three things about this particular phenomena: is this just a Texas-sim; if not, how did this come about; and is there an actual grammatical term to describe this?
    Words or syllables inserted into the middle of another word are called "infixes". Though common in some languages, infixes don't really exist in English. The use you describe can only be referred to as vulgar slang and is by no means confined to Texas. Another word that is used similarly is "bloody", mostly be BE speakers. How it came about is anybody's guess.

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    #4

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Words or syllables inserted into the middle of another word are called "infixes".
    And ones involving swearwords can be called "expletive infixations", if you really want to impress your friends and appear cultured when you're actually talking about the F word.

    Tmesis, mentioned by BobK, is a slightly wider term. It also covers cases where words are inserted between two words which are otherwise separate. An example of that would be the popular expression "Jesus H. Christ". An infix is a specific type of tmesis (specifically, where the inserted word or phrase is forced into a single word.)

    Expletive infixations can occur with many words, including "blooming", "bleeding" and "goddamned".

    A very famous example of an infix (without an expletive) is Ned Flanders's tendency, in The Simpsons, to insert "diddly" into words, like "Wel-diddly-elcome".

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    Good points -- all.


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    #6

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    Thanks guys, this is the info that I was lookimg for!

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl View Post
    Thanks guys, this is the info that I was lookimg for!
    You're welcome, Trolleygirl.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    .
    .
    .
    Tmesis, mentioned by BobK, is a slightly wider term. It also covers cases where words are inserted between two words which are otherwise separate. An example of that would be the popular expression "Jesus H. Christ". An infix is a specific type of tmesis (specifically, where the inserted word or phrase is forced into a single word.)
    .
    .
    My understanding of the word is that an infix (like affixes in general) can't be a free-standing word. The only instance of infixation (as I understand it) that I know of happened in Latin: -isc-, the so-called "inchoative infix". This generated pairs like "florere/floriscere" and "crere/crescere", giving us lots of '-sc-' words: 'adolescent', 'senescent', obsolescence' etc., and also - by another route - lots of '-ish' words ('flourish', 'brandish' etc.)

    I can live with (if not by ) your definition though.

    b

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    #9

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    My understanding of the word is that an infix (like affixes in general) can't be a free-standing word. The only instance of infixation (as I understand it) that I know of happened in Latin: -isc-, the so-called "inchoative infix". This generated pairs like "florere/floriscere" and "crere/crescere", giving us lots of '-sc-' words: 'adolescent', 'senescent', obsolescence' etc., and also - by another route - lots of '-ish' words ('flourish', 'brandish' etc.)

    I can live with (if not by ) your definition though.

    b
    Standard words can't really describe this phenomenon because it is really foreign to English.

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    #10

    Re: Question about the "F-Bomb"

    I read an article that described the internal vowel changes for plurals (men) and tense (sat) as infixes. How do we feel on that?

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