Fucktard: the word of our age

Tobias Stone
3 min readMay 12, 2018

I was introduced to the word fucktard by an American friend.

I started noticing her use it after Donald Trump became President, but she’d already used it a bit after Brexit.

She now uses it frequently, mainly to describe the President or his close colleagues, and most of all when she’s watching the news. Quite often she uses it involuntarily, or even uncontrollably.

I found this new word interesting and have started to use it myself, though I’m loathe to adopt too many Americanisms in my everyday speech, being British, and a bit of a snob.

I had assumed that fucktard was a result of merging the words Fucking and Bastard into one word. But on reflection, she tends to use it to mean that someone, usually Donald Trump, is an idiot whom she doesn’t like. Fucking Bastard tends, at least in British English, to imply someone who is really unpleasant, a ‘total shit,’ which doesn’t allow for the almost forgiving implication of a bit of idiocy or diminished responsibility.

So I started to think maybe fucktard was actually conjoining the words Fucking and Retard. This is, of course, even less politically correct than Fucking Bastard, as we really don’t refer to anyone as a ‘retard’ anymore, at least not since the late 1970s. But that could of course explain why the ‘retard’ bit would be pushed into the ‘fucking’ bit, so it’s no longer explicitly pronounced but is still implied.

This seemed to fit better the context in which I’ve heard fucktard used, which is when, for example, Trump does something like pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, instantly stoking a small war in the Middle East. That’s not so much, ‘you fucking bastard,’ as it is ‘you fucking idiotic bastard.’ Hence my second interpretation of the etymology.

In fact, the Internet has a lot to say on this matter. In its collective wisdom, it seems confident that the proper definition is ‘a contemptible or stupid person.’

Urban Dictionary argues that fucktard cannot be a result of combining ‘fucking’ and ‘retard’ because a retard is not responsible for their stupidity. In the world of 4Chan, which it suggests spawned the word, it’s usage refers to someone incredibly stupid but who is responsible for the stupid thing that they have done. They are…

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