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“Ducking” is the English word commonly suggested and autocorrected in replacement of the profanity “fucking” in short message service (SMS) language.
The earliest appearances of “ducking” in the place of “fucking” came in the late ’90s on cell phones using T9 predictive text, which would complete words for you based on what it was likely to be. One of the earliest mentions of predictive text suggesting ducking was featured in the comments section of a post on the blog Ma.tt on February 14th, 2005, titled “T9 Tip.” User Jay Allen commented:
“Also there is a certain curse word that is spelled the same with T9 as “ducking”.
The earliest Urban Dictionary entry for ducking was added on August 30th, 2007, by user Kayne M. Dewhurst who defined it as:
“The suggested word that predictive text on your cell phone writes when you try and say “fucking”
On December 1st, 2007, Youtuber yaragn uploaded a video titled “History of the Predictive Text Swearing,” which featured a clip from the British sketch comedy show The Armstrong and Miller Show. The sketch imagined the people behind predictive text suggestions were purposefully suggesting words like “ducking” to avoid text swears.
On December 5th, 2008, Gizmodo published an article titled “How to Fix the Ducking iPhone Puritanism,” which explained how to fix an iPhone’s autocorrect so it wouldn’t autocorrect swears such as “f**cking.”
“Fortunately, TJ Luoma has had a great idea to fix it: You only need to load your favorite swear words as contacts. Remember to put them all in lowercase, and every time you write duck or ducking or motherduckers, the iPhone will not try to correct them.”
On October 18th, 2011, College Humor uploaded a video titled “Auto-Correct Love Song,” which is a comedic song which features a text conversation between two people interested in going on a date which features the autocorrect ducking.
On August 13th, 2013, the Facebook page “I Ducking Hate Autocorrect” was created. On April 12th, 2014, Twitchy published a post titled “‘Duck off, autocorrect!’ Do you ever feel like your ‘ducking’ iPhone doesn’t know you at all,” which featured a collection of tweets in which Twitter user expressed their frustration with autocorrect changing their swears to ducking.
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