The dictionary gives the following definitions:

  • fuck:

    • to have sex with someone.

    • used when expressing extreme anger, or to add force to what is being said.

  • heck:

    • an expression of usually slight anger or surprise, or a way of adding force to a statement, question, etc.

While not listed, is there an implication that heck has a meaning of to have slight sex with someone which makes it inappropriate to be used in public occasions?

  • 1
    Why do you think there's a connection between these two words? Also, what's "slight sex"?
    – Catija
    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:03
  • @Catija Anger, adding force, 2 letters in common, and how often I hear them.
    – Cyker
    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:03
  • 3
    No. 'heck' has nothing to do with 'sex'. You would never hear these sentences: "Heck you." or "Wanna heck?".
    – holydragon
    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:20
  • 1
    @holydragon The most often I heard was like what the fuck and what the heck, which made me think they might be forte and piano versions of the same thing. But you are right that I didn't seem to have heard Heck you.
    – Cyker
    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:48
  • Upvote for "slight sex". This is a great question, made me laugh. :D
    – trollkotze
    Aug 18, 2018 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


is there an implication that heck has a meaning of to have slight sex with someone

Nope. Heck is a neutered version of hell (which isn't too vulgar these days, but still "adults only" for the most part) and has nothing to do with fuck (which is still considered very vulgar).

Why the hell is she here? (inappropriate for children to say)

Why the heck is she here? (you could say this in front of children)

Screw is a popular "censorship-friendly" substitution for fuck and can be used in many but not all the ways fuck can.

For instance - you can say the fuck in the same way as you would say the hell - and fuck is much stronger ...

Why the fuck is she here? (vulgar and expressing a lot of hostility, cover the children's ears ...)

In this case the fuck has no connection to sex but is just an adverbial intensifier. You cannot use screw here. However, as seen above, you can use the heck.

  • 1
    Is this true only in American English or English in general: Heck is a neutered version of hell? And most importantly, is it OK to heck in public, such as when giving a speech or being interviewed by a news press? Is in front of children more or less strict than in public?
    – Cyker
    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:55
  • 1
    OK, thank you the affirmative answer. By heck in public I mean to use this word in public, not necessarily as a verb, though.
    – Cyker
    Jul 12, 2018 at 4:03
  • 1
    I would like to add that hell is only considered "adults only" in America. In the UK at least it's completely innocuous.
    – Omegastick
    Jul 12, 2018 at 5:32
  • 1
    I think the linked page in the OP's question adds to their confusion. The first entry under Examples for 'heck' is "Did we heck", which makes it sound like a verb.
    – Mr Lister
    Jul 12, 2018 at 6:45
  • 1
    @Omegastick Does this mean heck is the same as hell, or there's simply no heck in UK, or whatever I can't imagine?
    – Cyker
    Jul 12, 2018 at 8:40

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