slang terms for "clitoris"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jul 22 19:10:26 UTC 2004

That "quintessential femineity" stuff is from Partridge's "Origins," and must not be taken seriously.

Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: slang terms for "clitoris"

At 12:01 PM -0400 7/22/04, Page Stephens wrote:
>Not exactly clitorus but when I was looking for it online I did find this
>interesting dissertation about the word cunt.
>Page Stephens
Well, the commentary has redeeming social value, as we used to say,
but I'm not sure Mr. Hunt's expertise as an etymologist does much to
inspire confidence:

"The prefix 'cu' is one of the oldest word-sounds in recorded
language. It is an expression quintessentially associated with
femininity, and is the basis of 'cow' ('female animal'), 'queen'
('female monarch'), and, of course, 'cunt' ('female genital')."

The "prefix 'cu'"? "One of the oldest word-sounds in recorded
language?" "An expression quintessentially associated with
femininity"? (Not to mention the fact that "cow", via OE cu:,
derives by regular Grimm's Law changes from g(w)ou-, while "queen"
comes from g(w)en-, as in gyn[ecology], so the "oldest-word sound"
wasn't in either of them, nor is it clear what other "expressions
quintessentially associated with femininity" trace back to the
primordial cu- "sound".)


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