Where does cuck come from?
Cuck is shortened from cuckold, a term that has been used to belittle the “husband of an unfaithful wife” since the 1200s. The word cuckold derives from a French word for the cuckoo bird. Just as the female cuckoo lays eggs in other birds’ nests, a cuckold’s wife sleeps in another man’s bed.
In online message boards like 4chan over the 2010s, cuck slang developed racist and misogynistic undertones. Cuck porn describes a genre of pornography featuring white husbands watching their wives have sex with black men. The implication? This guy is so weak he can’t do anything to stop her and so submissive he even observes the act.
While it’s unclear exactly who coined it and when, cuck eventually blended with conservative, making cuckservative. The term first appeared on Twitter in 2010, when it was used as a hashtag. This spread among white nationalists online as they used cuckservative against conservative politicians who they felt were too sympathetic or accommodating to mainstream, inclusive, and pro-minority policies.
Cuck saw its day though during the 2016 US presidential election. In August, 2015, The New York Times reported that the hashtag "#cuckservative" peaked during the GOP debates, when many social-media users slammed Republican candidates who had “veered too far to the left.” By 2016, internet users were commonly shortening cuckservative back to cuck because who doesn’t like to abbreviate. Even members of the American Dialect Society recognized the words, nominating them for their 2016 Word of the Year in a category called “WTF.”
Who uses cuck?
Cuck carries a racist and misogynistic subtext. So, those who use it (politically for the most part) may, kind of, sort of, also have those qualities.
Cuck also maintains its meaning (online) as unmanly. On social media, women users post the hashtag "#cuck" in various expressions of dominance over their male significant others. A notable example of this usage is against the boyfriend of Zoe Quinn (a video game developer and artist), who was brutally harrassed during the 2014 Gamergate controversy. He was called beta cuck over his allegations that Quinn cheated on him.
Cuck can also be used against sell outs (or people who seemingly abandon their principles). Comedian Louis C.K. was labeled as a cuck after he expressed resentment about progressive views in his standup.
Memes … there’s always memes. Carl the Cuck is a viral one based off of an anti-Trump supporter’s reactions outside of a Trump rally in St. Louis in 2016. Oh, Carl.
@tedcruz Dude, this guy slagged off your wife and father. Why're you having dinner with him? Sad! #cuck #brownnosing #pathetic
@ItinerantCamel, March, 2017
As has been explained, 'cuck,' from cuckold, refers to a humiliated and powerless man whose wife cheats on him. It has been expanded in slang to mean any man who is seen as weak and unreasonably submissive to women.
/u/fuckyoudurangatang, Reddit, February, 2015
Cuckservative, cuck: The term 'cuckservative' originated in the alt-right. It's a portmanteau of 'conservative' and 'cuckold' used to describe Republicans who are perceived to be emasculated or 'selling out.' Frequently shortened to 'cuck,' the term has come under scrutiny for its racist implications.
Jessica Roy, The Los Angeles Times, November, 2016