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 therefore more contemptible because they are complicit in their own stupidity, rather than having had it thrust upon them.
Urban Dictionary?s interpretation emphasises the stupidity, rather than the unpleasantness of the person. It implies that a fucktard is someone who is just ?fucking stupid,? rather than a ?fucking bastard? who is also stupid.
There is, in fact, a website called Fucktard Today, which sheds more light on the matter, and must be an authority given that it is a website dedicated to the subject. They suggest the term was developed by gamers to describe someone so stupid they not only get killed, but get their whole team killed. They sum up a fucktard as someone who can throw others under a bus whilst driving it at the same time.
This very precise definition would indeed describe Donald Trump well. For example, when he pulled America out of the Paris Climate Accord, he metaphorically ?got himself killed,? in that he made it more likely his own resort in Florida will become submerged by rising sea levels, but also threw everyone else on the planet under the bus, whilst at the same driving that bus.
The internet therefore seems to agree that a fucktard is a very stupid, very inept person, who is unlikable, rather than a bad, nasty, or evil person.
And the word is clearly coming of age, with its use evolving from 4Chan and gamers into mainstream media and common usage. It could be argued that fucktard owes this newfound popularity to Donald Trump, who seems to be encouraging its use more widely, even amongst polite society and in educated circles. But it describes any number of today?s politicians in particular, and also some notable popular musicians and celebrities, for example who have been over extending themselves from pop into politics and upsetting people in the process.
In this Age of Stupid, fucktard is the word of our era; the adjective of our times. Perhaps history books will refer back to the Age of the Fucktard, or we?ll soon see ?Fucktardery? added to the Oxford English Dictionary.