Expletive infixation

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In English linguistics, the term expletive infixation is sometimes used for the infixation rule that allows speakers to insert an expletive word (i.e. a rude word such as bloody or fucking) inside a word.


Examples cited in the literature include:

  • Ala-fuckin-bama (infixed into Alabama)
  • fan-fuckin-tastic (infixed into fantastic)
  • abso-bloody-lutely (infixed into absolutely)


The term was probably created by McCarthy 1982, but the phenomenaon was discussed earlier by McCawley 1978 and McMillan 1980.


  • McCarthy, John J. 1982. "Prosodic stucture and expletive infixation." Language 58.3: 574-590.
  • McCawley, James D. 1978. "Where you can shove infixes." In: Bell, Alan & Joan B. Hooper (eds.) Syllables and segments. Amstedam: North Holland, 213-221.
  • McMillan, James. 1980. "Infixing and interposing in English." American Speech 55:163-183.