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C is for Cunt

Cunt - Cunt is considered, amongst many, to be the worse word in the English language. I have friends who won't say the word. Who are offended by it, deeply. Each one of these friends are female. I'm not in the habit of telling my friends what words they should or should not like, but it's always struck me as deeply wrong that cunt is considered, by women, to be the foulest word in the English language.

Cunt - According to whoever wrote the Wikipedia article for 'cunt', Australians have a fascinating relationship with the word. For example, if Australian males want to make a misogynistic comment to women, they are less likely that other males in the world to use cunt, because the word has has at times a friendly, joking connotation to it. Instead, Australian males are more likely to use the words slut, slag, slapper, bushpig, and slurry. Slurry. You know, I've never heard of the word slurry before, but fuck me, if that isn't one nasty sounding word. Slurry.

Cunt - Some of the more cute terms for cunt among men are golden axe-wound, ham-wallet, oyster-ditch, fuckhole, tuna taco, gutted ewok and yellow-bearded clam.

Cunt - As I read it, I wondered how much of the Wikipedia entry for 'Cunt' was correct. I had not, not once, for example, heard the term 'gutted ewok'. Thinking about it, I imagine it used at a Star Wars conventions, where a bunch of overweight geeks sit round in costumes one size to small, and eye women who pass. One of them, lets call him Luke, just to keep the believability, says to his mates, "I'd love to gut her ewok."

Cunt - It is, as I have said, deeply insulting that the word cunt can be considered the foulest word of the English language. There are words such as corporate, chukker, and corduroy, each which deserve to be moved up the list of offending words in the English language. But mostly, it's the fact that it refers to the female genitals that offends me, as I have, personally, always thought kindly about female genitals. I mean, I think I'd be offended if someone told me that cock had just become the most insulting word in the English language--I'd laugh first, of course, but then if someone told me that my cock was considered to be the physical manifestation of the foulest word in the whole language, and that it was only used to express some seriously negative emotion, I'm pretty sure I'd be deeply, deeply offended.

Cunt - It seems to me that the use of cunt in a friendly, joking kind of way, is a very British thing. Don't believe the Wikipedia article about Australians. We're more American now, and to be quite honest, I don't hear cunt used that much. But whenever I cross a British made TV series or film, it's two to one odds that someone, usually a working class someone, will say, "He's a bit of a right cunt, isn't he?" Depending on tone, it can be an angry or ironic or friendly thing. But that's the British for you: cunts and tea.

Cunt - Perhaps one of the most depressing things I ever encountered in relation to the word cunt was last year, when I was teaching a year three class. One of the boy's in the class had the word cunt written on his homework. I asked him about it, and he told me that his brother wrote it, and that he didn't know what it meant, but by that time the rest of the class wanted to know the word, so he told them. Most of them didn't know what it was. They screamed it out, testing the word, and said it in a variety of ways. Mostly loudly. Only one girl knew what it meant, but she refused to say it, telling everyone that it was the "baddest" word, and that her mum and dad said she wasn't to use it. Well, I'm not made of stone, and I would have told them, but I felt that it was really something for their parents to enjoy. So I told them to ask their parents, and spelt the word when I was asked, and watched as twelve year three kids wrote the word CUNT nearly on the back of their hands and on their homework. The next week, they came back, and they each told me that they had asked their parents, and that they had been told that it was the baddest and rudest word and that they weren't to say it. Like I said, just about the most depressing thing.

Cunt - According to the same Wikipedia article, "Cunt is an old Germanic word, and appeared as cunte in Middle English and kunta in Old Norse. It has cognates in most Germanic languages, such as the Swedish and Old Norwegian kunta, Frisian kunte, and Dutch kut (while kont in Dutch means bum, strangely the Dutch word for 'cunt', the earlier mentioned 'kut', is considered to be considerably less offensive in the Dutch speaking areas than cunt is in the English speaking world). Interestingly, the Afrikaans word 'kont' is equivalent to the English 'cunt' and is even more offensive to Afrikaans-speakers than 'cunt' is for English-speakers. It goes back to an Old Germanic stem kunton."

Cunt - It is strange then, that coming to the end of my little word time here, that for as much as cunt is considered the foulest word, it's also used when people talk dirty to each other. Usually with the word cock, though that, I do believe, depends on your preferences in a range of areas.

Cunt - I toyed with the idea of writing about other things beginning with the letter C. For example, Joseph Cotten wrote an autobiography called Vanity Will Get You Somewhere, which is a great title, but not a fantastic example of writing. Likewise, I'm a big fan of Michael Chabon and Peter Carey, and the band Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah is just really, really superb. But ultimately I decided to skip this. And I will end, instead, by telling you that this morning, a reminder from the Australian Tax Department came, to tell me that I know them money, and they want it know, or they'll start repossessing my things.

Cunts.

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
benpeek
May. 8th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
yeah, i hear it, but not that offen. i'm more likely to hear it in the foulest word way, though.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 8th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC) - Expand
girliejones
May. 8th, 2006 03:15 am (UTC)
Isn't it the context in which the word is tradionally used that makes it offensive to women? It certainly is the reason its offensive to me.
benpeek
May. 8th, 2006 03:17 am (UTC)
depends on the woman, i guess. the two friends of mine i'm thinking about don't want it used no matter what.
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 03:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 03:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 04:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 8th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - May. 8th, 2006 07:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 9th, 2006 08:19 am (UTC) - Expand
connotations - lyzbeth - May. 8th, 2006 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: connotations - (Anonymous) - May. 9th, 2006 08:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: connotations - lyzbeth - May. 9th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
danjite
May. 8th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
Lovely, both in thought and description.

Also, look on WikiPedia for "Tribadism"; the entry where I learned "Slammin' Clams" as a slang phrase.

Your enrty reminds me of this commentary by the (alleged) Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh:
"One of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word 'fuck'.
It is one magical word: just by its sound it can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love.
In language it falls into many grammatical categories.
It can be used as a verb, both transitive (John fucked Mary) and intransitive (Mary was fucked by John), and as a noun (Mary is a fine fuck).
It can be used as an adjective (Mary is fucking beautiful).
As you can see there are not many words with the versatility of 'fuck'.
Besides the sexual meaning, there are also the following uses:

Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Ignorance: Fucked if I know.
Trouble: I guess I am fucked now!
Aggression: Fuck you!
Displeasure: What the fuck is going on here?
Difficulty: I can't understand this fucking job.
Incompetence: He is a fuck-off.
Suspicion: What the fuck are you doing?
Enjoyment: I had a fucking good time.
Request: Get the fuck out of here!
Hostility: I am going to knock your fucking head off!
Greeting: How the fuck are you?
Apathy: Who gives a fuck?
Innovation: Get a bigger fucking hammer.
Surprise: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me!
Anxiety: Today is really fucked. And it is very healthy too.

If every morning you do it as a Transcendental Meditation -- just when you get up, the first thing, repeat the mantra "Fuck you!" five times -- it clears the throat.
That's how I keep my throat clear!
Enough for today.
benpeek
May. 8th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
slammin clams, huh? heh. i think i even might've heard that before.
ironed_orchid
May. 8th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
I agree that the friendly joking use of cunt is very british and that's where we get it from.

However, while we may use other words towards women (I love 'slurry', and use it in both an insulting and friendly-insulting manner), I have known people who reserve cunt for those who they want to throw the worst insult at, and utter it in spite and contempt. As someone who uses cunt to refer to my own genitals, this has always seemed a little wrong, and frankly somewhat shocking. Won't stop me using the word, though.
benpeek
May. 8th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
hey, where'd you hear the word slurry out of?
(no subject) - ironed_orchid - May. 8th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lyndarama - May. 8th, 2006 11:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - May. 8th, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
nick_kaufmann
May. 8th, 2006 03:38 am (UTC)
I thought C was for cookie, and that was good enough for me.
benpeek
May. 8th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC)
cookie also means cunt.
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
May. 8th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
Re: good kitty
yay!
detritus2099
May. 8th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
As for not hearing cunt common usage - move to a country town. Especially where there is a lot of drunk indiginous people. FWC is the most common thing you'll hear at a drive through, and at a hospital later on that night.
kazzibee
May. 8th, 2006 07:45 am (UTC)
just to re-cunt what has already been said....
ain't it purdy?......
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benpeek
May. 8th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
Re: just to re-cunt what has already been said....
i just knew you'd do that...
sonanova
May. 8th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
Yet again, I am reminded of why I have you on my friends list. Thank you for the detailed explanation of my most favorite of words. Mind if I post a link to it in my LJ? I know a few others who may share the appreciation as well.
benpeek
May. 9th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
link away :)

for future reference, you never have to ask to link. it's a public blog, all for linking.
bodhichitta0
May. 8th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
I thought slurry was a drink at 7-11. Dude, I am SO out of it.
benpeek
May. 9th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC)
you are so 1980.
(Deleted comment)
exp_err
May. 10th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
I find it potentially pretty offensive, and won't use it myself, but of course everything depends on context. I'm not offended when I see it in your blog because you don't use it with venom. But in most of the contexts that I hear it used, it is (as it is intended to be) very strong. For what it's worth, I find the male equivalent (the other four-letter "C" word) just as offensive, and I won't use that either. I've only recently realised that this appears to be uncommon.
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