Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Expletive infixation

Expletive infixation is a process by which an expletive or profanity is inserted into a word, usually for intensification. Strictly speaking, it is an example of tmesis rather than infixation, since true infixes are bound morphemes.

The most commonly inserted expletives are adjectival: either participles (fucking, mother-fucking, blooming, bleeding, damned) or adjectives (bloody). They are usually somewhat phonetically reduced (fuckin).

The insertion occurs at a syllable boundary, usually just before the stressed syllable. Thus, one hears abso-fuckin-lutely rather than ab-fuckin-solutely. This is not a strict rule, however; un-fuckin-believable is sometimes heard.