Ninety-Five: the number of times Wikus van de Merwe says “Fok”, or variations thereof, in District 9. Yes, I counted.


Forget “Ponzi”. Forget “Intrapreneur”. Forget “Twitterati”. The word of the year, the word heard around the world, the word that fired up the social web and shook up the streets, is “fok”.

It’s not in the Oxford English Dictionary, or at least it wasn’t the last time I looked, but it certainly is in District 9, the foktacular South African Science-Fiction film about a man named Wikus van de Merwe and his battle to save the human race from the Prawns, and then to save the Prawns from the human race.

But never mind the plot. You’ve all seen the movie by now, and you’ve all probably been wondering, because we are curious creatures by nature, exactly how many times Wikus van de Merwe says “Fok”, or variations thereof, during the 112 minutes of the movie.

Stop wondering. I counted. The answer is: 95. That’s right: 95.

I used an excellent little iPhone app called CountLite to keep count during my second viewing of the movie, and although I may have missed one or two stray foks during the scenes involving those big white guns that reduce humans to little Rorsharch blots of blood, I’m satisfied that my tally is as scientifically accurate as it can possibly be without the use of an actual fokometric device.

In any case, Wikus’s first “fok” comes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds into the movie, at the point where he politely suggests to the gung-ho Colonel Kobus that there might be more effective ways of negotiating with the Prawns than using lots and lots of guns and ammunition.

Kobus begs to differ, shoves a hand over the camera, and knocks Wikus’s clipboard to the ground, whereafter Wikus mutters a fokwoord to show his disapproval.

Regarding methodology, I did not count the many English versions of the word “fok”, uttered by people other than Wikus, and nor did I count words that sounded like “frooooorrrkkk” that were uttered by the Chief Prawn, Christopher Johnson.

So there we have it. We may not know the number of stars in the sky, or the number of fish in the sea, or the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin, but we know the number of foks in District 9, and right now, that’s good enough for me.


6 comments on “Ninety-Five: the number of times Wikus van de Merwe says “Fok”, or variations thereof, in District 9. Yes, I counted.

  1. I love this sort of ad hoc, impromptu research. In fact, I gave it the name “streetsearch”. It produces the sort of information and data that we need to know! Stuff that we can use to judge the times. Zeitgeist-like even. Maybe we should rechristen him as Wikus van die Fok? Fok is the new kak!

  2. Thanks! I originally tried to find the actual script of District 9 online, but I suspect it’s too colloquial for transcription. And I wanted an excuse to watch the movie again, this time driven by an obsessive mission to quantify the interjection that seems to sum up the whole spirit and feel of the movie.

  3. You are correct, Sir. Well-spotted. I have updated the fokwoord-count and the relevant section of the text to rectify this important matter.

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