adjective Acronym, euphemism
Af is used as a quantifier and stands for “as fuck.” In casual conversation, if something has an extreme quality in some respect, say heat or brightness, one might say that it is “hot as fuck” or “bright as fuck.” However, fuck is arguably one of the most taboo words in many contexts, so euphemism prevents it from being commonly used. Hence, the acronym af is employed. It plays an interesting role in the language because it conveys the strength of “as fuck” with the social acceptability of “very.” It would still not be used in a formal context, but the euphemism makes it a lot less obviously offensive than the original word.
Etymology : Af is an acronym of as fuck, pronounced as a single syllable rather than a set of letters. The word fuck can only be traced back as far as Middle English, although it is probably an older word, and meant “to copulate or have sexual intercourse with.” This is the definition that has survived until the present, with the additional verb phrase, to fuck up, meaning, “to ruin or destroy,” first used in 1916. It seems that a metonymic extension occurred in this definition, allowing the extremity of damage done in “fucking up” to be applied to anything characterized by extremity in some respect.
Source : “Oh my god, it is hot af outside.” -My friend, in conversation, August 2016
Last modified: 4 December 2016