The word's use is considered obscene in social contexts, but may be common in informal and domestic situations. It is unclear whether the word has always been considered vulgar, and if not, when it first came to be used to describe (often in an extremely angry, hostile or belligerent manner) unpleasant circumstances or people in an intentionally offensive way, such as in the term motherfucker, one of its more common usages in some parts of the English-speaking world. In the modern English-speaking world, the word fuck is often considered highly offensive. Most English-speaking countries censor it on television and radio. A study of the attitudes of the British public found that fuck was considered the third most severe profanity and its derivative motherfucker second. Cunt was considered the most severe (Hargrave, 2000). Some have argued that the prolific usage of the word fuck has de-vulgarized it, an example of the "dysphemism treadmill." Despite its offensive nature, the word is common in popular usage.
The term remains a taboo word to many people in English-speaking countries, and a town to many Austrians and Bavarians.