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  • — Women Only —
    Posted by Anonymous

    How did the words CUNT and PUSSY come about?

    #8695 — Comments (2) — Jun 22, 2007 at 3:53 AM — That's Juicy! (0) Remove It.
  • 1
    Pussy as a slang term for the female pudenda is thought to derive ultimately from Low German puse "vulva" or Old Norse puss "pocket, pouch". It didn't arise in English with a sexual meaning until the 19th century, but prior to that it had been used to refer to women in general (16th century). It has since also come to mean "effeminate, feeble, or homosexual men or boys" (20th century).

    A reader has asked about the word cunt, wondering if it had something to do with "cunning" as in "a cunning woman was a negative thing". It has nothing to do with cunning (which is related to the verbs ken and can) and everything to do with what it means today: "female genitalia". It first shows up in a list of London street names of about 1230. That street name was, interestingly, Gropecuntelane, one of a warren of streets and alleyways all given over to the lowest forms of prostitution and bawdry. It lay between Aldermanbury and Coleman Street (where the Swiss Bank stands today) and it belonged to one "William de Edmonton". Curiously, medieval Paris had a street name with an identical meaning - Rue Grattecon. Oxford and York apparently also had similar versions of that street name.

    Cunt is believed to derive from a Germanic root *kunton "female genitalia", which also gave rise to Old Norse kunta (ancestor of Norwegian and Swedish dialectical kunta and Danish dialectical kunte), Old Frisian, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch kunte, and the English doublet quaint. And, by the way, the word wasn't always considered derogatory, even though it is today. Be careful about assuming that a word's modern connotations must have governed its formation. By the way, no connection has been made between the Germanic words and Latin cunnus. The proto-Germanic root of cunt is ku- "hollow place", while the Indo-European root of Latin cunnus is (s)keu- "to cover, to conceal", the etymological meaning of cunnus being "sheath".
  • 2
    That's the most erudite post I've read on this board ever.
    Kudos to you, sir, for your remarkable post.

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