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Some English-speaking countries censor it on television and radio.

Andrea Millwood Hargrave's 2000 study of the attitudes of the British public found that fuck was considered the third most severe profanity and its derivative motherfucker second. According to linguist Pamela Hobbs, "notwithstanding its increasing public use, enduring cultural models that inform our beliefs about the nature of sexuality and sexual acts preserve its status as a vile utterance that continues to inspire moral outrage." Hobbs considers users rather than usage of the word and sub-divides users into 'non-users', for whom the word "evokes the core sexual meanings and associated sexual imagery that motivate the taboo", and 'users' for whom "metaphorical uses of the word fuck no more evoke images of sexual intercourse than a ten-year-old’s ‘My mom’ll kill me if she finds out’ evokes images of murder," so that the "criteria of taboo are missing." Because of its increasing usage in the public forum, in 2005 the word was included for the first time as one of three vulgarities in The Canadian Press's Canadian Press Caps and Spelling guide.

Hence, the legend goes, that couples that were having children were required to first obtain royal permission (usually from a local magistrate or lord) and then place a sign somewhere visible from the road in their home that said "Fornicating Under Consent of King," which was later shortened to "FUCK." This story is hard to document, but has persisted in oral and literary traditions for many years; however, it has been demonstrated to be an urban legend.

it is uncertain to what extent the word fuck was considered acceptable at the time.

The stem of fvccant is an English word used as Latin: English medieval Latin has many examples of writers using English words when they did not know the Latin word: "workmannus" is an example.

During the Black Death in the Middle Ages, towns were trying to control populations and their interactions.

Since uncontaminated resources were scarce, supposedly many towns required permission to have children.

"Either this refers to an inexperienced copulator, referring to someone trying to have sex with the navel, or it's a rather extravagant explanation for a dimwit, someone so stupid they think this that is the way to have sex," says Booth.