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Words: feck, n.

ONLY TIME will tell whether the publication here of The F-Word is a feckless business decision. Meanwhile, it also makes one ask what feck might be - apart, that is, from being one of the mere three words ever uttered in the television series Father Ted by the wild-haired Father Jack, usually when bishops are in the vicinity: "Feck! Girls! Drink!"

It is Scottish and Northern dialect, meaning either purpose, vigour or quantity, and is a variant of effect, which was in use by the 16th century and had echoes in Chaucer. Both feckful and feckly survived into the 19th century, when feckless came south and is the only general use of the word.

French Connection could vary its fcuk campaign by reviving a fashion for the fecket: an underwaistcoat.