The phrase “fuck around and find out” conveys a challenge or warning.
It’s often directed towards a political opponent, indicating that certain actions or provocations may result in serious or unexpected consequences.
It’s a way of saying, “Go ahead, test me, and see what happens.”
It definitely conveys a sense of hardball politics.
It’s worth pointing out that the phrase is considered slang and its use is generally confined to casual conversations or contexts where strong language is tolerated or even expected.
Origins of “Fuck Around and Find Out”
Though the exact origins of the phrase are unclear, its use in political discourse became popular during the populist movement in the United States of the early 21st century.
As politics became more polarized and combative, the language used began to reflect a more confrontational and daring tone.
During the 2020 presidential election, the phrase became associated with progressives warning Democrats that ignoring their concerns could lead to unwanted consequences such as the reelection of Donald Trump.
It was later embraced by Trump supporters to taunt Democrats.
The phrase was also turned into an online meme that was often accompanied by the “fuck around and find out” graph that suggests the ramifications of one’s actions only grow the more they continue.
A similar video made its way around Twitter as well.
Use of “Fuck Around and Find Out” in a sentence
- A political activist addressing a rally said, “They think they can suppress our voices with these new voting laws? They can fuck around and find out how strong we are when we mobilize and fight back.”
- During an intense negotiation over trade agreements, one diplomat told another, “If you believe you can impose these tariffs without repercussion, then fuck around and find out how we will retaliate with our economic policies.”
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.