Green’s Dictionary of Slang

what the fuck...? phr.

also what the blue fuck…?
[fuck, the phr.]

1. (orig. US) a phr. used to indicate one’s incomprehension.

[Aus]H. Lawson ‘His Brother’s Keeper’ in Roderick (1972) 525: What the — do you mean by coming into my bar and interfering with he, Who the — are you anyway?
[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 55: ‘What the — is this?’ exclaimed the astonished warder.
[US]H. Miller Roofs of Paris (1983) 46: What the fuck’s wrong with you bozos, anyway?
[US]E. Hunter Blackboard Jungle 175: So wat the fuck you think?
[US] ‘The Fall’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 87: I heard a thunder that the door shook under / And wondered what the fuck it could be.
[US]E. Tidyman Shaft 197: He could remember the ten thousand dollars [...] What the fuck good was it?
[US]D. Goines Street Players 215: Woman, what the fuck are you doing here?
[UK]Viz Oct.–Nov. 32: What the fuck are you playing at?
[US] Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 88: What the fuck do you think I’m doing?!
[Ire]P. Quigley Borderland 180: What the blue fuck did you mean?
[UK]Guardian Weekend 12 June 23: Whoaaah? What the fuck is that?
[UK]J. Joso Soothing Music for Stray Cats 11: And just what the fuck was going through Jim’s stupid bastard head?
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 185: Fuck is everyone crying about?

2. in attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 234: It is so far from what Gio expects to hear that he breaks character with a ‘what the fuck?’ look at me.