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A windfucker or common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus; sense 1) in flight


If the term is a compound of wind +‎ fucker, it preserves an old sense of fuck (to beat, to strike) which is also found in cognates (for example, Bohuslän Swedish fokka (to fuck; to thrust, to push)) but was otherwise lost from English,[1][2] and it can be compared to the regional synonym fuckwind.[1] However, the synonym windsucker is almost as old, and was rendered in older texts as windſucker using a long s, so some scholars think windfucker is a misreading of windſucker; others think windſucker is a bowdlerization of windfucker. Compare the later term windhover and the Orkney term windcuffer.



windfucker (plural windfuckers)

  1. (archaic) The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus).
  2. (archaic, derogatory, vulgar) A term of abuse.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Anatoly Liberman (2008), “FUCK”, in An Analytic Dictionary of the English Etymology: An Introduction, Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 978-0-8166-5272-3, page 87, column 1:

    [The] OED gives no etymology of windfucker but compares it with northern reg fuckwind 'a species of hawk'. [] According to that dictionary [the American Heritage Dictionary], the Germanic verb in question originally meant 'strike, move quickly, penetrate,' []

  2. ^ Desmond Hawkins (6 December 1984), “Windfuckers and Pettychaps: The Oxford Book of British Bird Names by W[illiam] B[urley] Lockwood, Oxford UP, pp 174, £7.95 [book review]”, in New Scientist, volume 104, issue 1433, London: New Science Publications, ISSN 0262-4079, OCLC 980738475, page 36:

    Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem "The Windhover" might not present itself quite so endearingly had he chosen to call it "The Windfucker", although the meaning would be unchanged. Before the word fuck began its descent into outlawed vernacular, it had had an earlier meaning, to beat or strike.

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