O.E. forca "forked instrument used by torturers," from L. furca "pitchfork," of uncertain origin. Table forks were not generally used in England until 15c. The word is first attested in this sense in English in a will of 1463, probably from O.N.Fr. forque, from the L. word. The verb "to divide in branches" is from the noun. Related: Forked; forking. The slang verb phrase fork up (or out) "give over" is from 1831.
To cheat; maltreat; take advantage of; fuck, shaft: I hoped he'd take care of us, but we got forked
[1940s+; a euphemism for fuck]
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
fork in Technology
operating system A Unixsystem call used by a process (the "parent") to make a copy (the "child") of itself. The child process is identical to the parent except it has a different process identifier and a zero return value from the fork call. It is assumed to have used no resources. A fork followed by an exec can be used to start a different process but this can be inefficient and some later Unix variants provide vfork as an alternative mechanism for this. See also fork bomb. (1996-12-08)