I am having no luck googling the origin of BFG for Big Fucking Gun. Every search I get either points to the"Big Friendly Giant" book, or DOOM the video game. Which Is where this whole thing started.
I was talking to a guy and the conversation ended up with me saying “BFG” and him claiming it was invented by DOOM. I know very well the term was in use before that, and I assumed it was going to be a 10 second google to show usages long before that.
But I am unable to bend Google to my wishes so far.
Interesting. I hadn’t heard the term, but I have heard scuba divers refer (often derisively or self-deprecatingly) to a BFK–as in one of those 6+ inch blades you totally don’t need strapped to your leg because honestly a Trilobite will probably work better for cutting you out of an entanglement and you will never get to fight off a shark anyway.
BF(something) was around long before Doom. BFC was a common engineering term for Big Fing Capacitor, for example (common in large power supplies), and I had also heard of BFH for Big Fing Hammer as snfaulkner posted. So BFG for Big F***ing Gun wasn’t really a stretch for Doom. In fact, IIRC, in the game they just call it the BFG 9000 with no explanation for what the BFG stood for. It was pretty obvious to anyone who played the game, though.
That said, Doom definitely popularized the term BFG. Since BF(x) was around before then, it’s possible that someone else came up with the same acronym at some point, but it definitely was not in widespread use before Doom came out. I think it’s fair to give Id software credit for this one.
It wasn’t that obvious. In fact, it confused enough players that the name was explained in the Official DOOM FAQ, which was widely distributed on Usenet and on dial-up BBSes. The FAQ was eventually included with the game itself, even. Here’s what it says:
So technically it’s “fraggin’”, not “fucking” (but nudge-nudge, wink-wink).
That really amazes me. I know without a doubt one of my friend’s older brothers in the Air Force called the A-10 a “BFG with a seat and wings” Which, when he explained it, was of course so cool we all crammed it into every situation remotely plausible for 6 months. And the latest that could have been was '85. Over the years I became convinced that it was a term used by military dudes for a long time.
In 1992, I started a new job as a bike mechanic. In that shop, we had a BFW—a wrench—and called it “the BFW.” This predates Doom, I believe.
Also, the US military used to issue ugly black eyeglasses frames, which were universally referred to as “BCGs” (birth control glasses). The B-52 has long been known as the BUFF: Big Ugly Fat Fucker.
Because the military has a penchant for wry acronyms and because guns are well within the military wheelhouse, I’d be shocked if “BFG” came from elsewhere. I guess it could have, but that just seems FUBAR to me. If I’m mistaken, of course, that would be a SNAFU.
That is exactly the kind of thing. When you are a young and first hear SNAFU and FUBAR, and what they mean, you think it is so cool, that you are part of a club that knows the secret,dirty things. Then as you get older you start to realize that absolutely everybody knows what they mean. BFG was just one of those, and I was sure it would be easy to find proof.
I remember first encountering “BFG” in particular in Doom, and immediately getting what the BFG in “BFG 9000” meant. That was circa 1992? 1993?
That in turn was because I’d read National Lampoon’s Doon, a parody of Frank Herbert’s SF classic work Dune, in the mid-1980s, wherein Pall Agamemnides gives a “ritually flip” response of “Bee Eff Dee!” to someone, which puzzled me for a bit until I worked out that it stood for “Big F’ing Deal!”, a phrase I was already well familiar with verbally.
I’m going to hazard a guess that a general construction of “BF<X>” is fairly obvious, and in fact commonly used, once you are introduced to it.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if this construction has roots in the military, going back to WW2 or something.
This reminds me of a former co-worker, a very soft-spoken and diminuitive young Indian woman on a software development team I was on as a young man right out of college, who referred to a rather abrasive consultant hired to join our team as “the LBF” outside of his hearing.
I wasn’t sure if this was an Indian colloquialism, so I asked another Indian colleague on the team what that meant. “Oh, that’s her nickname for him behind his back. That Little Bald Fuck.”
I actually gasped and raised my hand to my mouth. They never let me live down that reaction.