Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fuck with v.

[lit. and fig. uses of fuck v. (1)]

1. to mess about with, to become involved with.

[US]E. Hemingway letter 2 July in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 644: I learned early to walk very dangerous so people would leave you alone; think the phrase in our part of the country was not fuck with you. Don’t fuck with me, Jack you say in a toneless voice.
[US]Cressey & Ward Delinquency, Crime, and Social Process 810: He’s lame ... he’s a chump to get off in that bag [...] if he keeps fucking around with it, he’s gonna get on it, gonna get hooked.
[US]E. Bunker No Beast So Fierce 36: L&L Red is the only one I know who fucks with them [i.e. amphetamines].
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 225: Bad things happen to people who fuck with you.
[US] Dr Dre ‘Deeez Nuuuts’ 🎵 I heard you wanna fuck with Dre... / You picked the wrong, motherfuckin day...
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 106: I ain’t even fuck with no weed.
[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 5: He let me stare out his front window and fuck with his binoculars .

2. to interfere, often by physical or mental intimidation.

[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 161: He dont bother me; he f-- with me I’ll bust his goddam flat head for him.
[US]S. Greenlee Spook who Sat by the Door (1972) 70: You really want to fuck with Whitey, I’ll show you how!
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 38: You jive flat-backing zero bitch [...] Don’t fuck with me.
[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) 137: I’d say, ‘Mama-san, what did you say? I’m going to blow your fucking head off. You VC.’ [...] I used to love fucking with those assholes.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 57: He protex them and ponishes any who fock with them.
[Aus](con. 1964-65) B. Thorpe Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 129: Anyone who fucked with Jean-Pierre came in for a big surprise.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 12 Nov. 2: I was always getting fucked with. Why? I was puny, timid.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 5: Nobody who’s got any sense is gonna fuck with us cos he’s a fearless and ruthless cunt is Morty.
[US]G. Pelecanos Drama City 84: And you about to be aware that you fucked with the wrong man.
[Scot]L. McIlvanney All the Colours 293: ‘That’s what you get when you fuck with Gerry Conway’.
[US]T. Robinson Hard Bounce [ebook] ‘He’s not going to fuck with you, sweetie’.
[Scot]V. McDermid Out of Bounds (2017) 208: It’ll be nice to have a break from fucking with other people’s encryption.
[US]Rayman & Blau Riker’s 77: [T]he officer used to fuck with him all the time because he was a Crip, and allowed other Blood inmates to [...] fuck with him and tell him, as soon as you come out, you’re dead.

3. to copulate with (a partner is usu. cited).

[US]L. Kramer Faggots 298: You may never fuck with me. I must be faithful to the memory of my own beloved.
T. Logan Hey Cabbie 119: Once they were gone, she [i.e. a prostitute] stated that I hope that I don’t have to fuck with nothing but old men tonight.
S. O’Sullivan in Lynch & Woods Off the Rag: Lesbian Writing on Menopause 180: More difficult was the recognition that she wasn’t really keen to fuck with her beloved when she was bleeding.
B. Lane Chronicle of Murder 212: I didn’t fuck with her. She died a virgin.

4. (orig. US black) to impress, to overwhelm, to manipulate.

[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 29: ‘He wants to be the main skag man uptown, Rocco. He think he can fuck with the feds’.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 138: I’m just fuckin’ wi’cho mind.
[US]Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 146: That’s what’s fuckin’ wit’ me. I don’t know why.
[UK]Guardian Weekend 27 May 11: Okay, we’re going to really fuck with you now.
[US]J. Stahl OG Dad 127: What fucks with me is what’s not in the TV version of newborn Daddyhood.

5. to play around with.

[US]G. Scott-Heron Vulture (1996) 79: I know Seedy been fuckin’ wit’ you an’ yo boys, an I know you don’t dig it.
[US](con. c.1970) G. Hasford Short Timers (1985) 57: ‘You guys getting hit?’ ‘That’s affirmative [...] Every night. A few rounds. They’re just fucking with us.’.
[US](con. 1970s) J. Pistone Donnie Brasco (2006) 348: First guy fucks with a pistol, they’ll break up the whole crew.
[US](con. 1969) N.L. Russell Suicide Charlie 143: At the French Fort, the sappers and the mortar fire combined to fuck with everybody’s mind.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 86: Phil is fucking with the engine of the Cuda.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘More with Less’ Wire ser. 5 ep. 1 [TV script] Why you fuckin’ with Duke?
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 78: Step out boys [...] Arm’s length fom the upstanding American in front of you. No wedgies and no reach-arounds. Don’t fuck with us, and we will return the favor.
[US]D. Winslow ‘Broken’ in Broken 12: ‘I’m fucking with you, Oscar says, laughing.

6. to associate with, to befriend.

[US]E. Bunker Little Boy Blue (1995) 82: It’s good you fuckin’ with me and Floyd ’n’ gettin’ schooled.
[US]B. Coleman Check the Technique 280: ‘Premier's the type of dude who would fuck with us [i.e., be friends with us] whether we were known or not’.
67 ‘Today’ 🎵 Sweep a nigga up if he fucks with the opp blocks.
Jeezy annotation to ‘Let Em Know’ on I fuck with people that are genuine. I feel like rap niggas are fake. [...] I fuck with real men. Like, genuine motherfuckers. Class act people.

In phrases

fuck with someone’s head (v.)

to disturb and harm someone emotionally.

[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 211: I feel like you’re fucking with my head.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 152: Moffitt felt morally obliged to fuck with Bodean James Gazzer’s head.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 89: We’re only fucking with your herad, mush [...] Don’t take it serious.
[UK]D. O’Donnell Locked Ward (2013) 147: Yeah! Don’t fuck with my head, man.
[US]A. Kirzman Giuliani 219: ‘[W]e fucked with his head’.
fuck (with) someone’s mind (v.) (also fuck someone’s head)

to intimidate, astonish or confuse another or oneself.

[US]J. Sayles Union Dues (1978) 182: This Dragon Lady was hooked up with some chump on the West Coast had to beat her ass and fuck her head up behind all kinds of blow to turn her out.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 238: fuck with (one’s) mind See blow (one’s) mind.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 280: The prupose of knocking off the manuscript was to fuck Toal’s head, not to let him fuck mine.
[US]Source Aug. 32: Falling in love with a stripper will fuck ya mind up but good, leaving you susceptible to all types of mishaps.
[Ire]P. O’Keeffe Hidden Soldier 176: ‘It’s all about fucking with your mind. This war is being fought as much with TV cameras and the Internet as with assault rifles’ .