How A Village Called Fucking Helped Put A News Agency On The Map - ViralTab

How A Village Called Fucking Helped Put A News Agency On The Map

When Central European News was launched I spent some time sending stories into the void before our small agency finally hit global recognition thanks to Fucking, an Austrian town just north of Salzburg, and a godsend to subs everywhere.

Locals were for some reason surprised to find US servicemen had been stealing their street signs, and were puzzled as to why. As an English news agency targeting a tabloid market, we wasted no time in selling the Fucking story.

It was the first story in a chain that over the years has spawned many more. There was Fucking beer, and then complaints about Fucking tourists, especially the rowdy Fucking Brit type.

People took Fucking pictures in the nude alongside the surviving street signs that had not been bolted down by baffled burgermeisters who argued long into the night about whether to change the Fucking name.

But residents of the most punned town in the world, the Fuckers, have finally had enough. Time has been called on the crudest name in all of toponymy. From next year, there will be no more Fucking in Austria.

It was back in the sixth century that a Bavarian nobleman called Focko set up a settlement in this flat, unprepossessing part of Austria near the German border. Fucking, or ‘the place of Focko’s people’, was born.

Given that the harsh, guttural word of ‘fuck’ itself is almost certainly derived from early Germanic origins, it is possible that Focko had a keen sense of humour. Then again, he was Austrian.

For centuries, the villagers of the Fucking backwater lived in happy ignorance, unaware that they were a joke waiting for a global audience. Even Hitler, born just up the road in Braunau, seemed unaware of the single entendre – there is not one Fucking reference in the whole of Mein Kampf.

It was not until World War Two and the liberation of Austria by American troops, that the Fucking truth was revealed to residents. As we exclusively reported back in the 90s, GIs were regularly spotted taking photos in front of the town’s sign. Couples reportedly took the name as a call to action and performed underneath. The sign was stolen so many times that it was eventually chained to the ground. Villagers did their best to dissuade the tourist hordes.

I went to the village where the locals turned out to be a largely miserable bunch of Fuckers, its a small town, you’re in and out quickly, and it’s all over too soon. I remember one resident challenging my pronunciation. “Fooking,” he corrected me, angrily. “Like ‘Fookin’ Hell?’” I asked, Hell being another small town near the border. Now any chance of those two being twinned is well and truly Fucking-Over. The Cambridgeshire village of Over, coincidentally, showed a very Germanic sense of humour when it was suggested, by me, that it should twin with Fucking. That is, no sense of humour at all.

While a majority of the town’s 106 residents are relieved, some regret the change. “It’s Fucking history,” one nostalgic resident surely said before adding ironically that there had been precious little sex going on in Fucking. The town’s population has increased by just two in 15 years. Fucking is simply not living up to its illustrious name.

But now it is all over, the name change has been confirmed, and it is unclear what alternatives are on the table, only that the conservative members won the day and from next year the village will be known as Fugging, which is a bit like telling teacher, “Miss, I didn’t say, ‘Cunt’, I said, ‘Kunt’.”

A quick look at the Online Slang Dictionary states that ‘fugging’ is “an ambitransitive verb, a euphemism for fucking, eg, ‘I need to go to the bathroom, but I think your brother is fugging someone in there.’”

Similar votes on a name change have taken place recently in neighbouring Austrian towns such as Wank am see and Petting, as well as Vomitville and Windpassing. And as if one Rottenegg was not enough, Austria has two.

The last time I covered the plans to change the name, the Fuckers dropped it after being told to lighten up by people in Wank in Switzerland.

Juergen Stoll who runs the Wank guest house said: “The people in Fucking should cash in on their fame.”

“I have so many visitors here at the Wank guest house that we have the mattresses all in a line in one big room for people to sleep on.

“Otherwise we couldn’t fit everybody in. If the name helps to bring the tourists in, then why not cash in on it? In these credit crunch times every little helps,” he had said.

In summer visitors can take hikes up the 1,780 metre Wank Mountain, or, if they prefer, take it easy in the four seater Wank cable car that goes all the way to the peak.

There are numerous opportunities to enjoy paragliding at Wank, and in winter it’s possible to go skiing on the Wank piste.

Local tourism chiefs say they realised that although the name meant nothing in German it was a goldmine when it came to attracting English-speaking visitors.

A spokesman said: “There are Wank postcards on sale although many people prefer to take their own Wank holiday snaps standing beside Welcome to Wank signs.”

This time round the Wank advice had no impact.

It is the end of an era, but maybe one that had its day. Just of late the Fucking stories almost more trouble than they’re worth. Sending out anything like it sends newspaper modesty algorithm filters into meltdown, spinning the story into the void and taking all the other stories with it.

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