There's something special about a lexicon in which more than half the entries begin with the same letter. The F-Word
earned its title the hard way: editor Jesse Sheidlower and the staff of Random House combed vast numbers of books, magazines, films, and other works for references to the most beloved, least printable word in the English language and all its variations. There's some great reading here among the hundreds of citations, from the colorful dialogue of Gore Vidal to the military's creative use of intensifiers to boost morale. Of special interest are the acronyms and abbreviations incorporating the Word; after reading the entry for "BUFF," you might think twice before complimenting your gym-going friends.
The care and attention each entry receives makes The F-Word a pleasure to use or browse, whether looking up an obscure phrase from an Iceberg Slim book or finding new insults for your next flame war. Ross MacDonald's illustrations are cute and funny (but not pornographic) and help to defuse some of the tension that might result from exposure to undiluted profanity. The F-Word throws much-needed light on one of the most-used English words; if you want to learn to swear correctly, RTFM--Read the [ahem] Manual. --Rob Lightner
"It's fanf--kingtastic." --Time Out New York
" . . .a great service for the English language." --Seattle Weekly
"Hard to read without smiling." --Minneapolis Star Tribune