While the unwelcome f-word in US politics in recent months has been "fiscal cliff", House Speaker John Boehner has been accused of resorting to the traditional swear word in an angry exchange with a political rival near the Oval Office.
After being labelled a dictator by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid amid the bitter Washington negotiations over the nation's tax hikes and spending cuts, Mr Boehner hit back last Friday, telling Mr Reid: "go f*** yourself", Politico.com has reported.
Multiple witnesses reportedly said Mr Reid appeared startled, asking the Republican: "What are you talking about?"
But Mr Boehner is said to have only repeated his insult, which he apparently later "bragged" about to his party colleagues.
America's financial crisis has been averted, not solved. We've had the fiscal cliff. Now get ready for the debt abyss.
Democrats and Republicans have so far failed to agree on an alternative plan to the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for January 1.