Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fuck about v.

also fuck around, fuck round
[fig. use of fuck v. (1) + SE about/around]

1. to mess about, to waste time, to fool around (with).

[UK] ‘Twins’ in Bold (1979) 226: And it’s in with it, out with it, don’t fuck about with it.
[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 44: I wasn’t going to fuck about for those toffy-nosed buggers. [Ibid.] 118: Bloody binding to fuck round this cunting fence all night.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 1013: If you f—k around it’ll cost you more.
[UK] ‘Our Windy Sergeant’ in M. Page Kiss Me Goodnight, Sgt.-Major (1973) 27: Early in the morning when his boys are standing-to, / He’s fucking round the barracks with his four-by-two.
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 66: We don’t fuck around – man, when you want to whip one on, just call [...] Our boys are always ready.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 26 May in Proud Highway (1997) 337: We have just left Barranquilla after fucking around all day.
[WI]E. Lovelace Dragon Can’t Dance (1998) 150: He just come up here to fuck around, to show off, because he ain’t have nobody else to show off his girls and his hat and his car to yet.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 282: You start fucking around with the way your babies look.
[US] Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 60: Quit fuckin’ around man and give her the shot!
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 311: If thiz any fuckin about goin on in me kitchen lerruz know, will yer?
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 220: C’mon Frank [...] You fuckin’ around too much now.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘Stop fucking around, Trip. Tell me what you know’.
[UK]J. Fagan Panopticon (2013) 31: Do it in order, dinnae fuck around.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 8: Don’t fuck about, dickhead! Where’s your fucking gear?

2. to annoy someone, to inconvenience, to waste someone’s time.

[US]B. Jackson Thief’s Primer 132: I’d take his ass to the grievance committee [...] If he fucked me around, then I’ve got somewhere to take him to.
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 172: Don’t fuck me about, jack.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 25: He’s not taking no shit off anybody that wants to fuck around with him.
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 122: The reason the locks got done is that they’ve been fucking us about over the rules around here.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 59: It would be pleasurable to fuck Niddrie about.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 7 Jan. 12: Marty and Scott Rudin, the producer, were too powerful for Nic [...] to fuck around with.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 205: I suggest you stop fucking me about and let me pass.

3. to wander about aimlessly.

[US]J. Rechy City of Night 49: I dont feel like fuckin around today [...] Lets just make the flix.

4. to have sex outside one’s primary relationship.

[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 146: — Mairead’s away is she?’ [...] — Yeh, why? — So yis urr fuckin abou’?

5. (US Und.) to commit a crime.

[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 170: You did not fuck around in their neighborhood, unless you had the green light. If they caught you out of line, man, they’d fuck you up.