When I was in school, a friend of mine was a “librarian” of the sorts. And I would always go in there and looked at random books. There was one that caught my attention so deeply, that I went home and ordered it.
A year later (or so, it was actually just a couple of days ago) I opened it up to page 324. I laughed at what I saw, and wanted so much to read it to Mom. I did and we had a lovely discussion. Which brings me to my blog entry.
Warning: contains colorful language that includes everyday words turned bad by people who thought the tone of it was disgraceful.
The book is Word and Phrase Origins (by Robert Hendrickson). The words? Let’s start off small, shall we? Here are five swear/offensive words, that weren’t so when they were created:
You may have heard that this word comes from “ship high in transit”. Of course, it has the same first letters, but let’s dig deeper. The Indo-European rook skei, “to divide,” comes from the Old English scitan, “to defecate.” To shit literally means “to divide or cut (wastes) from out body.”
You shit head – Did they cut the waste of a head from their body? Or did they cut a head, which was waste, from their body?
Of course, this one isn’t super bad, but it is still considered a swear word. It ultimately derives from the Latin demnare, to condemn.
Damn you – I can see this as, “I condemn you for being awful!”
Daaaaaaaamn! (Ice Cube and Chris Tucker from Friday, anyone?) – I can see this as, “I condemn you for being so good-looking!”
This is the word that made me laugh. I hope it makes you giggle too (or snort, or snicker, or whatever you do). “Originally a quite acceptable word” is the first sentence going into the explanation. I love it. Its first recorded use was in 1503. Anyway, here it is. “Our word for the act of sexual connection may remotely come from the Latin for the same, futuere, but most probably is from the Old German ficken/fucken, ‘to strike or penetrate.'” Yes, it did originally mean “to penetrate,” but it also means “to strike”. And it’s German. I don’t know why I felt the need to point that out, but, there it is. (By the way, apparently, people thought this word came from “[book him] for unlawful carnal knowledge,” hence the title of this here blog).
Fuck you – Do you wish to strike me? Sometimes when people say this, I do think they want to strike someone.
Fuck this shit – Here we combine a word we just learned about, with our recent lesson. Strike this waste you just cut from your body? Are you looking for something in there? Did you swallow a penny or something?
This one I just found. It actually originally meant, “a dirty slovenly woman”. It may derive from the Middle English slut, mud.
You slut – Did she just go play in the mud? Or, this could have been something Cinderella would have been called (because she was dirty from the cinders in the fireplace, just in case you didn’t know).
I can’t even believe I am adding this word. Although, I do find it as interesting as the others. This word “…dates back (as cunte) to Middle English, deriving from a Teutonic word corresponding to the Latin cunnus, which is related to the Latin cuneus, ‘a wedge.'” A wedge? I can’t even make an example for this word…mostly because it’s only used in one aspect. So, with that being said, is that person a wedge? Metaphorically speaking, perhaps.
Of course, bitch was not included, because we all know it means “female dog” (it literally derives from the Old English bicchu, meaning “female dog”). Whore, on the other hand, goes like this:
Hore derived from Norse horr and Gothic hors, meaning “adulterer,” the word hore is related to Latin carus, “dear” (which gives us terms of endearment such as caress and cherish).
Those were just extra. You’re welcome.
Now, let’s make a scenario shall we?
Guy 1: Damn you, lid! I cannot open you! Hey, can you open this for me? [I condemn you for not being easy to open]
Guy 2: Just fuck it. [Strike it]
Guy 1: Oh thanks man. I hope I shit this out later. [I hope I cut this when it becomes waste from my body]
Guy 2: If it smells, it might put a cunt between us. [The smell might put a wedge between us]
Girl: I just tripped and fell into a mud puddle.
Guy 1: Looking like a slut there, girl. [Wow, you’re looking dirty]
So there you have it, an English lesson at it’s finest… This is quite strange, because as most of you know, I don’t swear. At all. And if you didn’t, well, now you do. I did swear once though, on accident. I tried to say, ‘sling shot’. Sling shit anyone? Mom caught it on tape and everything. Too bad it got stolen…
Feel free to do your own research. I just told you what the book said. Now I’m interested in what other ‘bad words’ mean.
It’s all about connotation people. Do your homework? Learn something.
Bye mother fuckers! Eesh, mother strikers? Better think that one through next time…