Strong language warning

Strong language warning: contains discussion of ‘the F-word’, in a jocular way.

A few days ago, one of my Facebook friends posted this photo.


I’m not an expert on early modern English, but I had to quibble with the grammar of the fifth one. Early modern English used –est for second person singular verbs (‘thou doest’) and –eth for third person singular (‘he/she/it doeth’). The two verbs here should match forms, but ‘goest and fuckeest thyself’ is ungrammatical because it lacks a subject. Perhaps it is meant to be ‘Thou goest and fuckest thyself’ but surely what is really intended is an imperative, which was at the time (and in 99.99% of cases still is) identical to the plain form of the verb: ‘go and fuck thyself’. To this could be added ‘thou’: ‘Go thou and fuck (thou) thyself’;  I suspect that the second ‘thou’ is unnecessary after the first one and/or before ‘thyself’.

The winery is Church and State Wines of Victoria, BC, Canada. These labels seem to be a bit more ‘state’ than ‘church’. They describe this range as ‘made to the same grueling standards … but offer[ing] a refreshing take on traditional label conventions’.


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