The primary obscenity futuo (‘the male part in sexual intercourse with a woman’) is unsurprisingly rare in literary Latin. Apart from a single occurrence in Horace's Satires (1.2.127, in a passage evoking the adultery mime), its usage is limited to the even lower genre of scoptic epigram, as represented by Catullus, Octavian, Martial and the Priapeia, though it frequently occurs in graffiti. Adams has shown how it tends to be a neutral and even affectionate term, lacking any sense of aggression, though not of the assertion of conventional virility. Nevertheless, it is used almost exclusively of recreational, extramarital and/or illicit sex. This may be in part a function of the way in which its obscenity and low linguistic register (closely equivalent to its English equivalent ‘fuck’) restrict it to the low genres which tend to deal with such subject matter, but this is a potentially circular argument and, whether chicken or egg came first, the undeniable result is an association of the verb with intercourse which is not primarily or even in any way aimed at procreation. It is striking and anomalous, therefore, when Martial uses futuo, on five occasions, in contexts relating to the production (or avoidance of the production) of children. Of course, on a purely logical and biological level, the connection between futuo (specifically the penetration of the vagina by the penis, carefully differentiated by Martial in particular from sexual practices involving other orifices and/or members, such as pedicatio, fellatio and cunnilingus) and the engendering of children is an obvious one. Nevertheless, the aforementioned strong associations of the verb with sex aimed at everything but procreation renders its use in this context jarring. This incongruity and clash of registers is, of course, characteristic of Martial's technique, and the obscenity gains an added spice from being applied to respectable marital relations. The jarring quality is an end in itself and accounts for itself. Yet I wish to argue that there is a further dimension to this discordant association of ‘fucking’ and ‘begetting’, based on a bilingual wordplay between futuo and its near-homonym, the Greek verb φυτεύω. By means of this pun, Martial mischievously suggests not only that ‘fucking’ can be mentioned in the context of ‘begetting’, but also that the two are—in accordance with biology but against all decorum—identical.