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No Fugging chance for name change

Austrians considering renaming their village from Fucking to Fugging have been told to think again – because the name is already taken.

Villagers at Fucking in Upper Austria voted yesterday to change the name to Fugging. But then came the news that there used to be a second village with the name Fucking in Austria – and residents there had already bagged the name Fugging more than 100 years ago.

Fugging mayor Andreas Dockner - 200 miles away in Lower Austria - said: "Nobody alive now remembers why it was changed from Fucking to Fugging, but it was and that is now our name. We think one Fugging in Austria is enough.

"The first mention of our village as Fucking was was in 1195 where it was recorded in the records of the local monastery. By 1836 it was Fugging.

"I can't say whether the decision to change the name from Fucking to Fugging was anything to do with embarrassment at its meaning in English but the word Fucking has been around for a long while. We are certainly a lot closer to Vienna which was the centre of the Habsburg Empire at the time, and they probably would have been a lot more English visitors there that might have raised the matter."

Historians confirmed that the first known use of the verb in the context of having sexual intercourse was in 1475, and it has also been found in a dictionary from 1598 - it even turning up in one of Shakespeare's plays when it is mentioned in Henry V.

Fucking mayor Franz Meindl said that apart from the name their tiny village with just over 100 residents would be a rural paradise. He said: "It is beautiful countryside here, it's otherwise peaceful and we have a good community. It's only ever the name that causes us troubles."

After the decision to change the name to Fugging one resident in Fucking had already painted out a sign, and added the double G instead of the CK – but that was a move too soon according to the Mayor of Fugging.

He said: "We are very proud of our name. But it is our name now."

Fucking residents said the final straw was a growing number of calls by pranksters from abroad who ring up locals and ask in English "Is That Fucking" - before bursting into laughter and hanging up.

"The phone calls are really the final straw", said Fucking Mayor Meindl, who confirmed that the villages street signs were regularly stolen - even though they had been welded on steel posts set in concrete in the ground.

Drivers heading into the village often disturbed naked couples romping in front of the signs, and local entrepreneurs made the situation worse by flogging off Fucking postcards - Fucking Christmas cards and even more recently a Fucking beer.

Residents last voted on the subject in 1996 when it decided to keep the name despite problems caused by American servicemen from across the border in Germany that drove to the region just to be photographed in front of signs. They then sent the snaps back home to their girlfriends and wives.

Fugging mayor Dockner added: "If our village was called Fucking, I don't think it would be a problem – we are proud of it and I'm sure we wouldn't change the name – I'd advise Fucking not to change anything."

If the name change does go ahead there will still be plenty to amuse the pranksters when Fucking vanishes.

Also available on the online Austrian telephone book are the villages of "Oberfucking" "Windpassing", "Wankham" and "Rottenegg".

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