Fucking is an Austrian village. Despite having a population of only 104 in 2005, the village has drawn attention for its unusual place name in the English-speaking world.
The existence of the village was documented for the first time in 1070, and historical records show that some twenty years later, the lord was Adalpertus de Fucingin. The spelling of the name has evolved over the years; it is first recorded in historical sources with the spelling as Vucchingen in 1070, Fukching in 1303, Fugkhing in 1532, and in the modern spelling Fucking in the 18th century. Thus Fucking means “(place of) Focko’s people.
Fucking is most famous for its four traffic signs with its name on them, beside which tourists stop to have their photograph taken, owing to the English word with the same spelling.
British and American soldiers based in nearby Salzburg noticed the name after World War II, and began to travel to the village to have their photos taken beside the signs while striking various poses. The local residents, the Fuckingers, were considerably bemused as they had not previously been aware of the meaning of their village’s name when read as English. Since then, the number of visitors to Fucking has increased, with the occasional visit by a tour bus.
The road signs were commonly stolen as souvenirs—the only crime which has been reported in the village. It cost some 300 Euros to replace each stolen sign, and the costs were reflected in the taxes that local residents pay. In 2004, owing mainly to the stolen signs, a vote was held on changing the village’s name, but the residents voted against doing so. Tarsdorf municipality’s mayor Siegfried Höppl stated that it was decided to keep the name as it had existed for 800 years, and further stated that “everyone here knows what it means in English, but for us Fucking is Fucking—and it’s going to stay Fucking.”
After a spate of thefts, which included the theft of all four signs in one night, and a total of fifteen over a period of several years, in August 2005 the road signs were replaced with theft-resistant ones, welded to steel and secured in concrete to prevent theft. Mayor Höppl said that officials were fed up with English-speaking tourists stealing the signs, and noted that with the newly installed signs it would take all night to steal one.