Etymology of 'cunt'

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Anna Olson

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Feb 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/14/98
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the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?

love

anna

--
Anna Olson goes all webby
http://www.netvision.co.uk/anna

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/14/98
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The 10th Collegiate traces it just to Middle English, "akin to" a
similar Middle Low German form.

That suggests it may be one of those Germanic words that don't have
cognates elsewhere in Indo-European.
--
Peter T. Daniels gram...@worldnet.att.net

Peter Buchwald

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Feb 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/14/98
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>the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
>various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
>regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?


The OED has "Cunt... [Middle English cunte, count(e), corresponding to ?Old
Norse? kunta, (Norw, Swed dial kunta, Da dial kunte) Old Frisian, Middle low
German, Middle Dutch kunte; Germanic kunton... ulterior relations uncertain"

I am not sure why the ulterior relations are uncertain, but HTH.

PAB

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

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Feb 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/14/98
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Because they do not fit properly. The English word supposes a
Germanic *kuntaz (<*kuntos). The Dutch form, <kont>, means "bottom,
arse", while "cunt" in Dutch is <kut>, from Common Germanic *kuttaz,
in turn from *kutnos or *kudnos by Kluge's Law. We may assume that
*kuntos was derived from *kutnos by metathesis. The problem is that
*kutnos must derive from PIE *gud-nos, or rather *gut-'nos by Verner's
Law. The problem emerges when we try to relate the word to Latin
<cunnus> "cunt" < PIE *kut-nos. We must posit two IE roots: *keut-
and *geut- both with suffix *-nos, both meaning "cunt". Whether Greek
<kusthos> "cunt" belongs here as well is more dubious, but it is
possible: the form can be derived from PIE *kus-dhos, *kut-thos or
even *ghudh-dhos, by Grassmann's Law. The second alternative would
indeed tie it in with Latin <cunnus>. In fact, the existence of two
roots with similar meaning and similar phonetic shape is not all that
uncommon in Indo-European (nobody knows why), and if we assume a
parallel semantic development "round" > "round hole" > "hole" > "cunt"
/ "arse", the roots *geu(H)- (extended to *geu-t-) and *keu(H)-
(extended to *keu-t-) both fit, and one can say that Germanic
<cunt>/<kut> is not related at all to Latin <cunnus>. On the other
hand, it is attractive to interpret things slightly differently, and
say that PIE did have a word for "cunt", with two variant
pronunciations: *kut-no- and *gut-no-.


==
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal ~ ~
Amsterdam _____________ ~ ~
m...@wxs.nl |_____________|||

========================== Ce .sig n'est pas une .cig

Harlan Messinger

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Feb 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/14/98
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"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@worldnet.att.com> wrote:

>The 10th Collegiate traces it just to Middle English, "akin to" a
>similar Middle Low German form.
>
>That suggests it may be one of those Germanic words that don't have
>cognates elsewhere in Indo-European.

Partridge posits that it *may* be related to Latin "cunnus" >>
cunnilingus. "The presense of t in the Gmc has long puzzled the
etymologists: even Walther von Wartburg aligns the Gmc *kunta*,
*kunte*, with the L *cunnus* only under the aegis of a question-mark".
He continues, "for *cunnus* E & M adduce the syn Greek *kusthos* and
the Per *kun*, the posterior, but they omit to cite the Hit *kun*,
tail; for *kusthos*, Hofmann proposes an orig **kuzdhos* . . . and he
adduces L *cutis*, skin, which has s *cut-* . . . ."


Don HARLOW

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Feb 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/14/98
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On Sat, 14 Feb 1998 12:55:18 GMT, anna....@netvision.co.uk (Anna
Olson) wrote:

>the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
>various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
>regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?
>

Lots of interesting suggestions in this thread so far. I can't help
adding one from a Romanian friend of mine who has made a -- let us say
-- study of the subject ... he relates the English "cunt" to the
standard Western IE root for "dog" (Welsh "cwn", German "hund",
possibly "kund" at one time, Latin "canis") via the same psychological
mechanism that leads many (male) American English-speakers today to
refer to the same anatomical area as "beaver". I suppose that, with
some effort, you could derive the English words for a very high
ranking lady ("queen") and a very low ranking one ("quean") the same
way.

I don't think this "etymology" is likely to find its way into the
dictionaries, but you can take it for what it's worth.

Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/
(English version available at http://www.webcom.com/~donh/dona.html)

D. Edward Gund v. Brighoff

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Feb 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/14/98
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In article <34e5d2ce...@nntp1.ba.best.com>,

Don HARLOW <d...@donh.vip.best.com> wrote:
>On Sat, 14 Feb 1998 12:55:18 GMT, anna....@netvision.co.uk (Anna
>Olson) wrote:
>
>>the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
>>various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
>>regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?
>>
>Lots of interesting suggestions in this thread so far. I can't help
>adding one from a Romanian friend of mine who has made a -- let us say
>-- study of the subject ... he relates the English "cunt" to the
>standard Western IE root for "dog" (Welsh "cwn", German "hund",
>possibly "kund" at one time, Latin "canis") via the same psychological
>mechanism that leads many (male) American English-speakers today to
>refer to the same anatomical area as "beaver". I suppose that, with
>some effort, you could derive the English words for a very high
>ranking lady ("queen") and a very low ranking one ("quean") the same
>way.

And not from the Anglo-Saxon word 'cwena' meaning "woman"? (Cognate with
Welsh 'benyw', Greek 'gynos', etc.)

>I don't think this "etymology" is likely to find its way into the
>dictionaries, but you can take it for what it's worth.

Which is nothing. How would 'cunt' manage to dodge every sound shift from
the earliest days of PIE to the present, while the supposedly related
'hound' got hit every time? Is it a direct reborrowing into modern
English from PIE?

--
Daniel "Da" von Brighoff /\ Dilettanten
(de...@midway.uchicago.edu) /__\ erhebt Euch
/____\ gegen die Kunst!

Alex Buell

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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On Sat, 14 Feb 1998, Anna Olson wrote:

> the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
> various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
> regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?

Well, look between your legs, the answer's somewhere in there. <grin>

Cheers,
Alex
--
/\_/\ Make the police happy,
( o.o ) Smoke some cannabis today!
> ^ < Peace, Love, Unity and Respect to all.

http://www.tahallah.demon.co.uk


Alan Smaill

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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anna....@netvision.co.uk (Anna Olson) writes:

>
> the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
> various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
> regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?

I have seen it claimed as cognate with "queen" --
"quine" is a Scots word that simply means woman.

> --
> Anna Olson goes all webby
> http://www.netvision.co.uk/anna

--
Alan Smaill, email: A.Sm...@ed.ac.uk
Department of AI tel: 44-131-650-2710
Edinburgh University.

Mike Cleven

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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On 15 Feb 1998 04:25:06 +0000, Alan Smaill <sma...@dai.ed.ac.uk>
wrote:

>anna....@netvision.co.uk (Anna Olson) writes:
>
>>
>> the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
>> various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
>> regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?
>
>I have seen it claimed as cognate with "queen" --
>"quine" is a Scots word that simply means woman.

But that's a Norse loan-word into Scots English, surely - from
"kvinne"......


Mike Cleven
Iron Mountain Creative Systems
http://home.bc.rogers.wave.ca/ironmtn/

An enemy is as good as a Buddha - Buddhist proverb

The realization that one is a lost soul has two corollaries. One, that one is lost. Two, that one has a soul.

The man in the wilderness asked of me,
How many strawberries grow in the sea?
I answered him as I thought good,
As many red herrings as grow in the wood.
-- Anon

A Valentines Poem:

Quasars shift red
Hot stars burn blue
Timespace is warped
and so are you.....

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Hans Kamp

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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Anna Olson wrote:
>
> the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
> various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
> regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?

I think, that "cunt" is a pejorative for "vagina".

If that is true, there is an etymological relation between English
"cunt" and Dutch "kont".

"Kont" meant "vagina" in Dutch, but now it means "arse" or "ass".

Hans Kamp.


Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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Hans Kamp wrote:
>
> I think, that "cunt" is a pejorative for "vagina".
>
> If that is true, there is an etymological relation between English
> "cunt" and Dutch "kont".
>
> "Kont" meant "vagina" in Dutch, but now it means "arse" or "ass".

That's a peculiar way to draw up etymologies. One might as well say
there is an etymological relation between English "day" and Latin
"dies", or German "haben" and Latin "habeo". (There isn't.)

Allen

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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>
> "Kont" meant "vagina" in Dutch, but now it means "arse" or "ass".
>
> Hans Kamp.

The Dutch always were backward !
I think I read a book by your brother Mien !
--
" Email problem ? What Email problem !?"
Allen

Neil >

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> The 10th Collegiate traces it just to Middle English, "akin to" a
> similar Middle Low German form.
>
> That suggests it may be one of those Germanic words that don't have
> cognates elsewhere in Indo-European.
> --
> Peter T. Daniels gram...@worldnet.att.net

This makes me wonder about one of the greatest inaccuracies in the
etymologies of native English words, i.e. that of "f-u-c-k" (no offence
meant). English dictionaries say either "15th century of uncertain
origin" or "15th century, pseudo-Latin fuccant". None link it to the
German verb "ficken" (Dutch "vikken"? please correct), in which case its
origin is much older and may have been imported from Middle German or
Middle Dutch.

Just of out interest.

Neil Gardner

=================================================================

Translator Italian / Spanish / German > English

Home page: http://www.infotrad.demon.co.uk/homepage.htm

=================================================================

Brian M. Scott

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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On Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:22:44 +0000, Neil
<"<neilgardner"@infotrad.demon.co.uk>> wrote:

>This makes me wonder about one of the greatest inaccuracies in the
>etymologies of native English words, i.e. that of "f-u-c-k" (no offence
>meant). English dictionaries say either "15th century of uncertain
>origin" or "15th century, pseudo-Latin fuccant". None link it to the
>German verb "ficken" (Dutch "vikken"? please correct), in which case its
>origin is much older and may have been imported from Middle German or
>Middle Dutch.

I don't know about dictionaries, but the possible connection is
mentioned often enough in other sources. Another source that's been
suggested is Old Norse <fju'ka> 'to be driven on the wind'; this is
based on the (rare) terms <windfuck> 'windhover' and <fucksail>
'foresail'. The statement that it's of uncertain origin seems honest
enough.

Brian M. Scott

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
to

On Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:22:44 +0000, Neil
<"<neilgardner"@infotrad.demon.co.uk>> wrote:

>This makes me wonder about one of the greatest inaccuracies in the
>etymologies of native English words, i.e. that of "f-u-c-k" (no offence
>meant). English dictionaries say either "15th century of uncertain
>origin" or "15th century, pseudo-Latin fuccant". None link it to the
>German verb "ficken" (Dutch "vikken"? please correct),

<fokken>, 'to breed'.

>in which case its
>origin is much older and may have been imported from Middle German or
>Middle Dutch.

Or indeed be native Anglo-Saxon. Buck's dictionary mentions a "John
le Fucker" from 1278, although it is uncertain how this should be
interpreted. De Vries & de Tollenaere's Dutch etymological dictionary
mentions a "Jhan de fockere" from 1270 (the same one?), but in 1591
the Dutch word still meant "to knock, bump, pound". My German
etymological dictionary (Kluge/Goetze/Mitzka) is silent about
"ficken". None of them mentions any outside connections, although I
don't see why a Germanic root *fukk- (*pugn-) "to knock, to hit"
couldn't be related to Latin <pugnus> "fist", <pugno:> "I fight",
<pungo:> "I sting", <pu:gio:> "dagger" (*peug-, *pugn-, *pung-).

Iain Davidson

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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In article <887556322.8594.1...@news.demon.co.uk>, Neil ("<neilgardner"@infotrad.demon.co.uk) writes:
>Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>>
>> The 10th Collegiate traces it just to Middle English, "akin to" a
>> similar Middle Low German form.
>>
>> That suggests it may be one of those Germanic words that don't have
>> cognates elsewhere in Indo-European.
>> --
>> Peter T. Daniels gram...@worldnet.att.net
>
>This makes me wonder about one of the greatest inaccuracies in the
>etymologies of native English words, i.e. that of "f-u-c-k" (no offence
>meant). English dictionaries say either "15th century of uncertain
>origin" or "15th century, pseudo-Latin fuccant". None link it to the
>German verb "ficken" (Dutch "vikken"? please correct), in which case its

>origin is much older and may have been imported from Middle German or
>Middle Dutch.

Chamber's English Dictionary says " Ety. dub; perh. Ger. ficken to
strike, copulate with"

Iain Davidson Tel : +44 1228 49944
4 Carliol Close Fax : +44 1228 810183
Carlisle Email : ia...@stt.win-uk.net
England
CA1 2QP

Asger Hegelund

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Feb 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/15/98
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On Sun, 15 Feb 1998 18:28:16 GMT, sc...@math.csuohio.edu (Brian M.
Scott) wrote:

>On Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:22:44 +0000, Neil
><"<neilgardner"@infotrad.demon.co.uk>> wrote:
>

>>This makes me wonder about one of the greatest inaccuracies in the
>>etymologies of native English words, i.e. that of "f-u-c-k" (no offence
>>meant). English dictionaries say either "15th century of uncertain
>>origin" or "15th century, pseudo-Latin fuccant". None link it to the
>>German verb "ficken" (Dutch "vikken"? please correct), in which case its
>>origin is much older and may have been imported from Middle German or
>>Middle Dutch.
>

>I don't know about dictionaries, but the possible connection is
>mentioned often enough in other sources. Another source that's been
>suggested is Old Norse <fju'ka> 'to be driven on the wind'; this is
>based on the (rare) terms <windfuck> 'windhover' and <fucksail>
>'foresail'. The statement that it's of uncertain origin seems honest
>enough.

A forsail, en fok, seems to have inspired similar ideas in the
Nordic languages. Danish 1500-1700 Century, 'fukke', moving back and
forth; Norwegian (nynorsk), 'fukka', to have intercourse; Swedish
(dialect?), 'focka', to thrust, to puff.

Asger

Neil

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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Miguel Carrasquer Vidal wrote:
>
> On Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:22:44 +0000, Neil
> <"<neilgardner"@infotrad.demon.co.uk>> wrote:
>
> >This makes me wonder about one of the greatest inaccuracies in the
> >etymologies of native English words, i.e. that of "f-u-c-k" (no offence
> >meant). English dictionaries say either "15th century of uncertain
> >origin" or "15th century, pseudo-Latin fuccant". None link it to the
> >German verb "ficken" (Dutch "vikken"? please correct),
>
> <fokken>, 'to breed'.
>
> >in which case its
> >origin is much older and may have been imported from Middle German or
> >Middle Dutch.
>
> Or indeed be native Anglo-Saxon. Buck's dictionary mentions a "John
> le Fucker" from 1278, although it is uncertain how this should be
> interpreted. De Vries & de Tollenaere's Dutch etymological dictionary
> mentions a "Jhan de fockere" from 1270 (the same one?), but in 1591
> the Dutch word still meant "to knock, bump, pound". My German
> etymological dictionary (Kluge/Goetze/Mitzka) is silent about
> "ficken". None of them mentions any outside connections, although I
> don't see why a Germanic root *fukk- (*pugn-) "to knock, to hit"
> couldn't be related to Latin <pugnus> "fist", <pugno:> "I fight",
> <pungo:> "I sting", <pu:gio:> "dagger" (*peug-, *pugn-, *pung-).

Thanks for researching the subject. But I'm sure English "fuck" must be
related to German "ficken". Please confirm modern Dutch equivalent (I do
not have a Dutch dictionary) besides "vryen" or "vrijen" (to free).
Obviously no relation to fottere, joder etc.


Neil

Christian Weisgerber

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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In article <34eb320e...@news.wxs.nl>, Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
<m...@wxs.nl> wrote:

> My German etymological dictionary (Kluge/Goetze/Mitzka) is silent
> about "ficken".

Duden Herkunftswoerterbuch (1989):

| ficken: das mdal. fuer "hin und her bewegen, reiben, jucken"
| gebrauchte Wort, mhd. als ficken "reiben", niederrhein. im 16. Jh. als
| vycken "mit Ruten schlagen" bezeugt, ist wohl wie norw. fikle "sich
| heftig bewegen, pusseln" eine lautmalende Bildung. Der obszoene Sinn
| erscheint zunaechst im 16. Jh. Die alte Bedeutung zeigt noch ugs.
| fickerig "unruhig, widerspenstig" [...]

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber na...@mips.rhein-neckar.de
See another pointless homepage at <URL:http://home.pages.de/~naddy/>.

Matthew Montchalin

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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Someone suggested:


>>I don't know about dictionaries, but the possible connection is
>>mentioned often enough in other sources. Another source that's been
>>suggested is Old Norse <fju'ka> 'to be driven on the wind'; this is
>>based on the (rare) terms <windfuck> 'windhover' and <fucksail>
>>'foresail'. The statement that it's of uncertain origin seems honest
>>enough.

Prompting someone to say:


>A forsail, en fok, seems to have inspired similar ideas in the

<snip>

That's strange. I thought that "forecastle" was pronounced 'fors'l' ---
at least seemingly the word you are alluding to.

--
At enim vela pendent liminibus grammaticarum scholarum, sed non illa magis
honorem secreti quam tegimentum erroris significant. -Confessiones St. Aug.

Francoise

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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Brian M. Scott wrote:
>
> On Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:22:44 +0000, Neil
> <"<neilgardner"@infotrad.demon.co.uk>> wrote:
>
> >This makes me wonder about one of the greatest inaccuracies in the
> >etymologies of native English words, i.e. that of "f-u-c-k" (no offence
> >meant). English dictionaries say either "15th century of uncertain
> >origin" or "15th century, pseudo-Latin fuccant". None link it to the
> >German verb "ficken" (Dutch "vikken"? please correct), in which case its

> >origin is much older and may have been imported from Middle German or
> >Middle Dutch.
>
> I don't know about dictionaries, but the possible connection is
> mentioned often enough in other sources. Another source that's been
> suggested is Old Norse <fju'ka> 'to be driven on the wind'; this is
> based on the (rare) terms <windfuck> 'windhover' and <fucksail>
> 'foresail'. The statement that it's of uncertain origin seems honest
> enough.
>
> Brian M. Scott

Sorry to intervene! I always thought that "F.U.C.K" meant "For unlawful
Carnal Knowledge"!.

Francoise

Asger Hegelund

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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On 16 Feb 1998 05:58:34 GMT, mmon...@orednet.org (Matthew
Montchalin) wrote:

>Prompting someone to say:
>>A forsail, en fok, seems to have inspired similar ideas in the
>
> <snip>
>
>That's strange. I thought that "forecastle" was pronounced 'fors'l' ---
>at least seemingly the word you are alluding to.

In Danish a "fok" is a triangular sail in front of the front mast on
a sailboat. On ships with a fullrigged front mast the bottom sail on
that mast is called a "fok".
As I'm not very familiar with sailing terms in English, or indeed in
Danish, I don't know if a forecastle is the same.


Asger

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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Matthew Montchalin wrote:
>
> That's strange. I thought that "forecastle" was pronounced 'fors'l' ---
> at least seemingly the word you are alluding to.

In seafaring novels, it's sometimes written "fo'c's'l" or something like
that. (_With_ the <c>.)

Harlan Messinger

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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pi...@pobox.leidenuniv.nl (Homme A. Piest) wrote:

>This has nothing to do with etymology, I think. The word "kont" *was*
>used to refer to a vagina in earlier times (and still is in some
>regions and proverbs (like "kop en kont verkopen" - to sell one's cunt
>with one's pretty head). I don't know when or why the semantic shift
>occurred, though.

A couple of related thoughts:

Slang "fanny" means buttocks in the US, vagina in the UK.

US vulgar slang "piece of ass" = sexually available woman. Presumably,
her buttocks are not the point of the expression, yet it refers to
"ass" rather than "cunt" or "pussy".

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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On Mon, 16 Feb 1998 00:31:20 +0000, Neil
<neilg...@infotrad.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Thanks for researching the subject. But I'm sure English "fuck" must be
>related to German "ficken". Please confirm modern Dutch equivalent (I do
>not have a Dutch dictionary) besides "vryen" or "vrijen" (to free).
>Obviously no relation to fottere, joder etc.

As I said, <fokken> is now only used for naimal breeding. The general
word for "to fuck" is <neuken> /no"k@/, originally (like "to fuck")
"to knock, etc." There are of course many other words in common use,
<naaien> (lit. "to sew") being one of the most wide spread.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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On 16 Feb 1998 00:47:55 +0100, na...@mips.rhein-neckar.de (Christian
Weisgerber) wrote:

>In article <34eb320e...@news.wxs.nl>, Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
><m...@wxs.nl> wrote:
>
>> My German etymological dictionary (Kluge/Goetze/Mitzka) is silent
>> about "ficken".
>
>Duden Herkunftswoerterbuch (1989):
>
>| ficken: das mdal. fuer "hin und her bewegen, reiben, jucken"
>| gebrauchte Wort, mhd. als ficken "reiben", niederrhein. im 16. Jh. als
>| vycken "mit Ruten schlagen" bezeugt, ist wohl wie norw. fikle "sich
>| heftig bewegen, pusseln" eine lautmalende Bildung. Der obszoene Sinn
>| erscheint zunaechst im 16. Jh. Die alte Bedeutung zeigt noch ugs.
>| fickerig "unruhig, widerspenstig" [...]

That coincides exactly with the Suggestion Carl Darling Buck makes
about "John le Fucker", that it might be "John the fidgeter",
connected with ME, NE (Scot.) fyke, fike "move restlessly, fidget".

J. A. Rea

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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In article <EoE3E...@midway.uchicago.edu>

de...@midway.uchicago.edu (D. Edward Gund v. Brighoff) writes:

>In article <34e5d2ce...@nntp1.ba.best.com>,
>Don HARLOW <d...@donh.vip.best.com> wrote:
>>
>>... you could derive the English words for a very high

>>ranking lady ("queen") and a very low ranking one ("quean") the same
>>way.
>
>And not from the Anglo-Saxon word 'cwena' meaning "woman"? (Cognate with
>Welsh 'benyw', Greek 'gynos', etc.)
>
snip

If we look again, we may note that the just mentioned IE root for 'woman'
(gun ~ gwen) is a dandy possibility as a source for 'cunt' (the 'cun-' is
just what would be expected, and a stem affix in t- plus a vowel is not
unusual for IE.) Semantically there is not too much problem: in fact
there is a figure of speech 'synecdoche' meaning taking the part for the
(w)hole <ducking violently> |-)

Jack



Ki semenat ispinaza, non andet iskultsu!

J. A. Rea ja...@ukcc.uky.edu

Christian Weisgerber

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
to

In article <34eb23cc...@news.inet.tele.dk>, Asger Hegelund
<ah...@post3.tele.dk> wrote:

> On 16 Feb 1998 05:58:34 GMT, mmon...@orednet.org (Matthew

> Montchalin) wrote:
>
> >That's strange. I thought that "forecastle" was pronounced 'fors'l' ---
> >at least seemingly the word you are alluding to.

/'foUksl-/, actually.

> In Danish a "fok" is a triangular sail in front of the front mast on
> a sailboat. On ships with a fullrigged front mast the bottom sail on
> that mast is called a "fok".

That sounds like German "Fock(segel)", French "foc", both from Dutch
"fok".

> As I'm not very familiar with sailing terms in English, or indeed in
> Danish, I don't know if a forecastle is the same.

No, it's not, and it doesn't appear to be related at all.

forecastle:
1. the upper deck of a ship in front of the foremast
2. the front part of a merchant ship, where the sailor's quarters are
located
(Webster's New World Dictionary, pocket-size edition)

My German-English dictionary claims that "Focksegel" is "foresail" in
English. "fore-" is an English prefix meaning 'before' (in time, place)
or 'in front of' and is presumably a cognate of German "vorder-".

Brian M. Scott

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Feb 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/16/98
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On 16 Feb 1998 05:58:34 GMT, mmon...@orednet.org (Matthew Montchalin)
wrote:

>>>I don't know about dictionaries, but the possible connection is


>>>mentioned often enough in other sources. Another source that's been
>>>suggested is Old Norse <fju'ka> 'to be driven on the wind'; this is
>>>based on the (rare) terms <windfuck> 'windhover' and <fucksail>
>>>'foresail'. The statement that it's of uncertain origin seems honest
>>>enough.

>Prompting someone to say:


>>A forsail, en fok, seems to have inspired similar ideas in the

>That's strange. I thought that "forecastle" was pronounced 'fors'l' ---


>at least seemingly the word you are alluding to.

No, the word is <foresail>, of which <fucksail> is a rare dialect
variant. The <forecastle> is a different object entirely, and as
Peter noted, is often written <fo'c's'l> or the like in dialogue.
Presumably this is intended to represent the actual pronunciation used
by seamen, formerly if not now.

Brian M. Scott

Mike Cleven

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Feb 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/17/98
to

On Mon, 16 Feb 1998 14:51:07 GMT, gu...@clark.net (Harlan Messinger)
wrote:

Actually, more like the whole entity - the whole experience of being
with a woman. But "ass" is used in the sense of vaginal rather than
anal sex, and the phrase "piece of ass" thus refers to ordinary sex,
rather than buggery. So "ass" _does_ mean, by way of reference, the
cunt or pussy, rather than the buttocks or anus: "to get a piece of
ass" is simply "to get laid". Another similar usage is "gas, grass,
or ass - nobody rides for free", which used to be a fairly common
hitchhiking-related bumper sticker.......

J Fisher

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Feb 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/17/98
to

Harlan Messinger (gu...@clark.net) wrote:

: Slang "fanny" means buttocks in the US, vagina in the UK.

Yup, this is true. I remember an American friend
using the word to my grandmother, entirely innocently,
and causing her to freeze completely solid with shock...

--
--John

Avi.Ja...@pbdir.com

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Feb 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/17/98
to m...@wxs.nl

In article <34f6601f....@news.wxs.nl>,
m...@wxs.nl wrote:

> As I said, <fokken> is now only used for animal breeding.

I am reminded of the old Tom Lehrer joke about the farmer who specialized in
animal husbandry, until they caught him at it one day.

--
Avi Jacobson, email: Avi.Ja...@pbdir.com | When an idea is
or: Av...@amdocs.com | wanting, a word
| can always be found
Opinions are those of the poster, =NOT= of | to take its place.
Amdocs, Inc. or Pacific Bell Directory. | -- Goethe


-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

Ian Potter

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Feb 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/17/98
to

I remember being in a cafe in London a few years back with a
couple of Canadians, one of whom, having misplaced one of
those awful 'bum bags' proceeded to enquire of the other
patrons if they had seen her 'fanny pack'. We did eventually
explain.

ian.
--
* http://www.heathcliff.demon.co.uk *

Anna Olson

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Feb 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/17/98
to

On Tue, 17 Feb 1998 13:08:28 -0600, Avi.Ja...@pbdir.com wrote:

>I am reminded of the old Tom Lehrer joke about the farmer who specialized in
>animal husbandry, until they caught him at it one day.

i don't know it - how does it go?

love

anna

--
Anna Olson goes all webby
http://www.netvision.co.uk/anna
ICQ: 8336996

Rodger Whitlock

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Feb 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/17/98
to

You know, over in the net abuse newsgroups they mark messages
likely to cause an outburst of guffaws with the notation
[c&c] meaning "put down your coffee and take the cat off your
lap before reading."

I think you needed that here. Fortunately I don't drink
coffeee at the computer and the cat's not on my lap.

----
Rodger Whitlock

cat...@islandnet.com

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Feb 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/17/98
to

In article <6c6o3h$m...@bgtnsc01.worldnet.att.net>,

"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@worldnet.att.com> wrote:
>
> Hans Kamp wrote:
> >
> > I think, that "cunt" is a pejorative for "vagina".
> >
> > If that is true, there is an etymological relation between English
> > "cunt" and Dutch "kont".
> >
> > "Kont" meant "vagina" in Dutch, but now it means "arse" or "ass".
>
> That's a peculiar way to draw up etymologies. One might as well say
> there is an etymological relation between English "day" and Latin
> "dies", or German "haben" and Latin "habeo". (There isn't.)

Oh, come on. SImple resemblance may not prove an etymology, but it can
certainly suggest a line of enquiry. If we knew nothing about Indo-European
sound changes, haben = habeo would be good working hypothesis. Once we realise
that Latin [k] parallels Germanic [h], we rule it out. (Hypothetically,
it could be a Latin > Germanic or Germanic > Latin borrowing, but it's not.
"Haben" actually corresponds to the Latin root that shows up in English
"capture", "except".) In the case of Dutch "kont", I see nothing preventing it
from being a full cognate of "cunt", so the connection seems at
least plausible.

But Hans should probably have said there *may be* an etymological connection
rather than there *is* one.

John Richardson

Matthew Montchalin

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Feb 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/18/98
to

In a previous article, de...@midway.uchicago.edu (D. Edward Gund v. Brighoff) says:
>Which is nothing. How would 'cunt' manage to dodge every sound shift from
>the earliest days of PIE to the present, while the supposedly related
>'hound' got hit every time? Is it a direct reborrowing into modern
>English from PIE?

Well, if you had entertained my theories on fertility and mortality, and
the persistence of monosyllabic taboo words, especially as they relate to
sexual activity, this would not be quite so mysterious to you. (Although
you bring up very good points about the sound shifts. Now, as for an
obvious question: Why isn't the c- word connected with the Latin cunnus?)

Christof Vanden Eynde

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Feb 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/18/98
to

mmon...@orednet.org (Matthew Montchalin) wrote:


>In a previous article, de...@midway.uchicago.edu (D. Edward Gund v. Brighoff) says:
>>How would 'cunt' manage to dodge every sound shift from
>>the earliest days of PIE to the present, while the supposedly related
>>'hound' got hit every time?

>Well, if you had entertained my theories on fertility and mortality, and


>the persistence of monosyllabic taboo words, especially as they relate to
>sexual activity, this would not be quite so mysterious to you.

The taboo factor certainly has to be taken into account. Modern Dutch
'piel' (a not so often used word for 'penis') e.g. is etymologically
the same as 'pijl' (arrow). The vowel did not become a diphthongue in
the late middle dutch period however. Similarly, in my dialect, as in
Standard Dutch the middle dutch sound spelled <uu> or <u> [y:] became
a diphtongue <ui> [oe.i].
huus ->huis
However, the shift duvel -> duivel did NOT occur in my dialect
(although in did in Standard Dutch) and the fact that 'duvel' (devil)
used to be a taboo word may account for this.

best,
Christof Vanden Eynde
(reverse Christof and VandenEynde in my reply adress!!!)


cat...@islandnet.com

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Feb 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/18/98
to

In article <17EFFF10D...@ukcc.uky.edu>,
JA...@ukcc.uky.edu (J. A. Rea) wrote:

[deleted]

but it's really his tag-line I'm interested in:


>
> Ki semenat ispinaza, non andet iskultsu!
>

What language is this, and what does it mean?

Richard M. Alderson III

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Feb 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/19/98
to

In article <6cd54q$7v5$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com> cat...@islandnet.com writes:

>"Haben" actually corresponds to the Latin root that shows up in English
>"capture", "except".

Of course, both of those words are borrowings from Latin into English. Better
to have stated that English _have_, German _haben_ are cognate with Latin
_capio_, and that Latin _habeo_ is cognate with English _give_, German _geben_.
--
Rich Alderson You know the sort of thing that you can find in any dictionary
of a strange language, and which so excites the amateur philo-
logists, itching to derive one tongue from another that they
know better: a word that is nearly the same in form and meaning
as the corresponding word in English, or Latin, or Hebrew, or
what not.
--J. R. R. Tolkien,
alde...@netcom.com _The Notion Club Papers_

Patches

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Feb 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/19/98
to

Well, as far as I understand it, this is sort of a "chicken or egg" paradox.

patches

cat...@islandnet.com wrote in message <6cg56v$o40$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...

Alec Owen

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Feb 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/20/98
to

Don HARLOW wrote:
>
> On Sat, 14 Feb 1998 12:55:18 GMT, anna....@netvision.co.uk (Anna
> Olson) wrote:
>
> >the word 'cunt' has been appearing regularly in uk.misc of late (for
> >various reasons) and i have been unable to find any information
> >regarding its etymology. can any sci.lang-ers help?
> >
> Lots of interesting suggestions in this thread so far. I can't help
2> adding one from a Romanian friend of mine who has made a -- let us
say
2> -- study of the subject ... he relates the English "cunt" to the
> standard Western IE root for "dog" (Welsh "cwn", German "hund",
> possibly "kund" at one time, Latin "canis") via the same psychological
> mechanism that leads many (male) American English-speakers today to
> refer to the same anatomical area as "beaver". I suppose that, with
> some effort, you could derive the English words for a very high

> ranking lady ("queen") and a very low ranking one ("quean") the same
> way.
>
> I don't think this "etymology" is likely to find its way into the
> dictionaries, but you can take it for what it's worth.
>
Unlikely. I personally see no relationship to 'ci' or 'cwn'. I see no
connection with 'benyw'. That's stretching it too far. How about 'titw'
(pussy)? Of course there's no connection. I think that since there is a
similarity between the colloquial words for 'vagina' in both those
languages derived from Latin and Germanic languages that the root is
probably Indo-European. But we'll never know for sure
A Owen
Toronto.

cat...@islandnet.com

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Feb 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/20/98
to

In article <ALDERSON.98...@netcom16.netcom.com>,

alde...@netcom.com wrote:
>
> In article <6cd54q$7v5$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com> cat...@islandnet.com writes:
>
> >"Haben" actually corresponds to the Latin root that shows up in English
> >"capture", "except".
>
> Of course, both of those words are borrowings from Latin into English.
Better
> to have stated that English _have_, German _haben_ are cognate with Latin
> _capio_, and that Latin _habeo_ is cognate with English _give_, German
_geben_.

I would have cited _capio_, only I couldn't dredge up the latin form from my
memory at the time, and didn't have a dictionary handy. But seriously, is
there anyone here who doesn't know that "capture" etc. are borrowings from
Latin?

cat...@islandnet.com

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Feb 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/20/98
to

In article <6cikc6$e...@ecuador.earthlink.net>,

"Patches" <pat...@rubyridge.com> wrote:
>
> Well, as far as I understand it, this is sort of a "chicken or egg" paradox.
>
> patches

Thanks for nothing.

Perhaps you be a little more informative? Or, if you're making a joke, perhaps
you could let me in on it?

John Richardson

> cat...@islandnet.com wrote in message <6cg56v$o40$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...
> >In article <17EFFF10D...@ukcc.uky.edu>,
> > JA...@ukcc.uky.edu (J. A. Rea) wrote:
> >
> > [deleted]
> >
> >but it's really his tag-line I'm interested in:
> >>
> >> Ki semenat ispinaza, non andet iskultsu!
> >>
> >What language is this, and what does it mean?
> >

Richard M. Alderson III

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
to

In article <34EDD6E7...@ica.net> Alec Owen <ao...@ica.net> writes:

>I think that since there is a similarity between the colloquial words for
>'vagina' in both those languages derived from Latin and Germanic languages
>that the root is probably Indo-European. But we'll never know for sure

That's the entire point: We *do* know for sure, because if it were Indo-Euro-
pean, either the Germanic term would start with h- and the Latin with c-, or
the Germanic would start with c- and the Latin with g-. It's just that simple;
it even has a name, Grimm's Law. And in this context--word-initial position--
it has no exceptions. Period.

Brian M. Scott

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
to

On Sun, 15 Feb 1998 05:47:16 GMT, iro...@bigfoot.com (Mike Cleven)
wrote:

>On 15 Feb 1998 04:25:06 +0000, Alan Smaill <sma...@dai.ed.ac.uk>
>wrote:

>>I have seen it ['cunt' - BMS] claimed as cognate with "queen" --
>>"quine" is a Scots word that simply means woman.

>But that's a Norse loan-word into Scots English, surely - from
>"kvinne"......

Probably not. It's more likely to be a Scots version of English
<quean>, from OE <cwene>, a weak feminine noun. (<Queen> is from the
related OE strong feminine noun <cwen>.)

Brian M. Scott

Sean Gabb

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
to

In article <34EDD6E7...@ica.net>, Alec Owen <ao...@ica.net> writes

>Unlikely. I personally see no relationship to 'ci' or 'cwn'. I see no
>connection with 'benyw'. That's stretching it too far. How about 'titw'
>(pussy)? Of course there's no connection. I think that since there is a

>similarity between the colloquial words for 'vagina' in both those
>languages derived from Latin and Germanic languages that the root is
>probably Indo-European. But we'll never know for sure
>A Owen
>Toronto.


I'm no philologist - indeed, I always made what I am now told is the
mistake of assuming a relationship between "haben" and "habeo" and
"have". Even so, the word "cunt" does seem to be very close to the
Latin "cunnus".

Anyone familiar with the works of Martial will have repeatedly across it
- eg xi, xliii:

Deprensum in puero tetricis me vocibus uxor
Corripis et culum te quoque habere refers....

Parce tuis igitur dare mascula nomina rebus
Teque puta *cunnos* uxor habere duos

Bearing in mind their exactly similar meaning, and their very common
form, I will suggest a relationship.

Indeed, though I can't recall an example - and can't find one in my
edition of Aristophanes - the Greek "kusthos" seems reasonably close.

Now, this being so - and I accept the limitations of knowledge here - I
suggest that a word such as this is unlikely to have been borrowed from
another language, and that its similarity of form between three
languages indicates that it is a very old word, perhaps even from the
original Indo-European. At least, it seems to indicate common borrowing
from another language before Italic, Greek and Germanic broke apart.

I would suggest exactly the same for the English "fuck" and the Latin
"futuo" and the Greek "phuteuo".
--
Sean Gabb | "Over himself, over his own |
E-mail: old....@virgin.net | mind and body, the individual|
<http://freespace.virgin.net/old.whig/> | is sovereign" |
Mobile Number: 0956 472199 | J.S. Mill, On Liberty, 1859 |

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
to

On Sat, 21 Feb 1998 11:31:22 +0000, Sean Gabb <old....@virgin.net>
wrote:

>I'm no philologist - indeed, I always made what I am now told is the
>mistake of assuming a relationship between "haben" and "habeo" and
>"have". Even so, the word "cunt" does seem to be very close to the
>Latin "cunnus".

> ...


>Indeed, though I can't recall an example - and can't find one in my
>edition of Aristophanes - the Greek "kusthos" seems reasonably close.
>
>Now, this being so - and I accept the limitations of knowledge here - I
>suggest that a word such as this is unlikely to have been borrowed from
>another language, and that its similarity of form between three
>languages indicates that it is a very old word, perhaps even from the
>original Indo-European. At least, it seems to indicate common borrowing
>from another language before Italic, Greek and Germanic broke apart.

This has been dealt with. The Germanic forms might go back to
something like IE *gut-nos, the Latin (and Greek?) forms to *kut-nos
(*kut-dhos).

>I would suggest exactly the same for the English "fuck" and the Latin
>"futuo" and the Greek "phuteuo".

Out of the question. While in the case of "cunt"/"cunnus" one still
can think, despite the phonetic difficulties, of an ultimate
connection between the two, there is no such case for "fuck" (*pug-,
might be related to Latin pugnus "fist"), "futuo" (*bhu-t-, related to
English "beat") and phuteuoo (*bhu-t-, related to English "be", "beam"
(< "tree")).

Wil Baden

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
to

There's a book by C. S. Lewis in which "cunt" is cognated to "kind" and
"kin". Because I don't remember the name of the book, I've kept quiet,
expecting someone to supply the information. It's a book on language,
not a novel.
--
Wil Baden Costa Mesa, California

Mark Rosenfelder

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
to

In article <wilbadenE...@netcom.com>,

Wil Baden <wilb...@netcom.com> wrote:
>There's a book by C. S. Lewis in which "cunt" is cognated to "kind" and
>"kin". Because I don't remember the name of the book, I've kept quiet,
>expecting someone to supply the information. It's a book on language,
>not a novel.

The logical place would be _Studies in Words_, in the discussion of
'kind'. But I don't see any mention of 'cunt' there. Perhaps you're
remembering the Old English spelling of 'kind' which he quotes, _cynd_?

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
to

In my yout' I read everything by C. S. Lewis I could possibly get my
hands on, except *English Literature in the 16th Century Excluding
Drama* (which is mostly about Spenser), and I certainly would have
remembered if he ever mentioned such a thing; I can't *imagine* him
allowing a vulgarity to pass through his typewriter! He certainly didn't
use them even in the most erotic passages of *Perelandra*.
--
Peter T. Daniels gram...@worldnet.att.net

Mark Rosenfelder

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Feb 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/22/98
to

In article <6cnpd2$g...@bgtnsc01.worldnet.att.net>,

Peter T. Daniels <gram...@worldnet.att.com> wrote:
>In my yout' I read everything by C. S. Lewis I could possibly get my
>hands on, except *English Literature in the 16th Century Excluding
>Drama* (which is mostly about Spenser), and I certainly would have
>remembered if he ever mentioned such a thing; I can't *imagine* him
>allowing a vulgarity to pass through his typewriter! He certainly didn't
>use them even in the most erotic passages of *Perelandra*.

Ah, you're forgetting 'Four-Letter Words' in _Selected Literary Essays_,
where he catalogs such words in Middle English, Greek, and Latin.
Definitions are provided, diffidently, in Latin. The point of the essay,
in fact, is to argue, _contra_ D.H. Lawrence and others, that such words
were used not for erotic purposes but for farce. So he would certainly
not have used them in an erotic passage himself!

His book on 16C lit is notable (among other things) because, feeling that
providing translations of contemporary French, German, and Italian works
into modern English would make the 16C English works he was discussing
sound unfairly antique, he translated them into 16C English instead.

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/22/98
to

Mark Rosenfelder wrote:
>
> Ah, you're forgetting 'Four-Letter Words' in _Selected Literary Essays_,
> where he catalogs such words in Middle English, Greek, and Latin.
> Definitions are provided, diffidently, in Latin. The point of the essay,
> in fact, is to argue, _contra_ D.H. Lawrence and others, that such words
> were used not for erotic purposes but for farce. So he would certainly
> not have used them in an erotic passage himself!

That title doesn't ring a bell; is it one of the recent compilations
that have come from evangelical publishers who have somewhat belatedly
claimed Lewis as one of their own? So there were essays uncollected
during his lifetime? (I was pretty much past my Lewis phase by the time
he became trendy.)

Mark Rosenfelder

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Feb 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/22/98
to

In article <6cpavp$b...@bgtnsc01.worldnet.att.net>,

Peter T. Daniels <gram...@worldnet.att.com> wrote:
>Mark Rosenfelder wrote:
>> Ah, you're forgetting 'Four-Letter Words' in _Selected Literary Essays_,
>
>That title doesn't ring a bell; is it one of the recent compilations
>that have come from evangelical publishers who have somewhat belatedly
>claimed Lewis as one of their own? So there were essays uncollected
>during his lifetime?

There were, tho' even these have dried up, and any new volume you see is
probably a repackaging. The named volume however is from Cambridge
University Press, 1969.


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