A Brief History of Windfuckers
January 29, 2022 8:30 AM   Subscribe

“Back in the sixteenth century, kestrels were known as windfuckers and fuckwinds.”
posted by oulipian (18 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
I immediately wondered about the long-s question and so was glad to see that wind sucked out of that theory.

Also here is a random EDM song called Fuckwind that I'm guessing isn't related but maybe Tommy Trash was trying to capture in music his love of kestrels.
posted by cortex at 8:41 AM on January 29, 2022 [3 favorites]


will have you believe that those windfucker and fuckwind nicknames for the kestrel are actually misreadings: they come from a time when the archaic long S character < ſ > was often used to be used in place of < s > at the beginnings and middles of words,
If you have access to a manuscript copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it’s always pleasing to read Bottom’s reassurance to Quince (Act I, scene ii) that his roaring as a lion will not affright the ladies in the audience:

“I grant you, friends, if you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang us, but I will aggravate my voice so that I will
roar you as gently as any sucking dove. I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:52 AM on January 29, 2022 [3 favorites]


I guess this means Ken Loach has to retitle Kes to "Fuckwind and Billy."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:55 AM on January 29, 2022 [1 favorite]


Awesome. I play D&D weekly via Roll20. My character right now is a level 4 Wizard with a familiar that also happens to be a kestrel. My bird has a new name!
posted by SoberHighland at 9:32 AM on January 29, 2022 [13 favorites]


quite familiar
posted by away for regrooving at 10:02 AM on January 29, 2022 [8 favorites]


Reminds me of my Senior HS English exam, the random sonnet parse was The Windhover by Hopkins, and trying to figure out exactly what he was talking about?
posted by ovvl at 10:29 AM on January 29, 2022 [2 favorites]


but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove.

It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be ...
posted by trig at 11:46 AM on January 29, 2022 [4 favorites]


fuckwind

...aaand I've added an entry to my list of verb+object compounds like pickpocket, scarecrow, and dreadnought.
posted by The Tensor at 1:04 PM on January 29, 2022 [8 favorites]


So, "where the bee sucks, there suck I" is even more of a double entendre than I thought? And quite possibly a scurrilous allusion to Elizabeth I, herself??
posted by jamjam at 3:52 PM on January 29, 2022


Here they are called Killy-killy because of the call they make. But Fuckwind also works, I guess.
posted by snofoam at 4:38 AM on January 30, 2022 [1 favorite]


IIRC, for a long time. “fuck” meant “to strike”, and the common English colloquialism for sexual congress was “swive”; at some point, “fuck” presumably started being used as a somewhat crude quasi-euphemism for “swive” and soon fell out of favour. Whether kestrels were so named because they struck the wind or made love to it is another question.

Also, apparently the Domesday Book contains a record of a man by the name of John Le Fucker, who was presumably not so titled due to his sexual prowess or unreliable character.
posted by acb at 11:34 AM on January 30, 2022 [1 favorite]


fucking etymology
posted by trig at 11:46 AM on January 30, 2022 [1 favorite]


I fucking love this post. Also, I love kestrels. Thank you. ♥
posted by Lynsey at 1:32 PM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]


I love kestrels enough that I wanted to name our kid Kestrel.

I got overruled, which I've always been a bit grumbly about. Until today!
posted by gurple at 1:48 PM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]


On a tangent, the Swedish town of Fucke is petitioning the government to change its name. It's not clear if they'll be more successful than the Swedish village of Fjuckby, who also tried to do so in 2007, but if they are, they will follow in the footsteps of the Austrian town of Fugging, once known for its high levels of road sign theft.
posted by acb at 1:55 PM on January 30, 2022 [1 favorite]


My character right now is a level 4 Wizard with a familiar that also happens to be a kestrel. My bird has a new name!

I just shared this with my D&D group as well! We've been trying to buy a sailing ship, and we have just decided it will be called "The Windfucker," which is just fucking perfect.
posted by ourobouros at 4:39 PM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]


My bird sits on a fence in a pastoral scene
My bird eats insects and the occasional passerine
My bird diverged from other falcons in the Miocene
My bird kites above a grassland of emerald green
WINDFUCKERS
WINDFUCKERS
WINDFUCKERS, INCORPORATED
WINDFUCKERS
posted by agentofselection at 4:14 PM on February 1, 2022 [2 favorites]


Also, apparently the Domesday Book contains a record of a man by the name of John Le Fucker, who was presumably not so titled due to his sexual prowess or unreliable character.

And let's not forget 1310's Roger Fuckebythenavele.
posted by The Tensor at 4:38 PM on February 1, 2022 [1 favorite]


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