Globalisation and Crosslinguistic Slang: A Phonetic Investigation of 'fuck' in Dutch


  • Anouk de Wit Leiden University, Linguistics
  • Dilara Akarcesme
  • Dibyajoti Jana
  • Lara Kmech


Sociolinguistcs, Slang, Codeswitching, Dutch-English, Loanwords, Phonetics, Crosslinguistic


The English loanword fuck is often used in Dutch speech as an interjection (an exclamation or filler word), although vowel pronunciation variations have been observed. This study investigated the phonetical integration of a popular crosslinguistic swear word in a prolonged language contact situation. Dutch L1 native speakers in two age categories were recorded using the word in a naturalistic Dutch sentence and the vowel was analysed using PRAAT. This study found that Dutch native speakers predominantly use either the high front vowel /ʏ/ or the low back vowel /ɑ/ with the former being three times as common. Since /ʏ/ is phonetically less similar to the English source vowel /ʌ/ than /ɑ/ is, it is inferred that most Dutch speakers do not attempt to approximate the English pronunciation, indicating that the word has been nativised. This process likely happened generations ago, since no significant difference could be found between older and younger speakers.