"puss" in Icelandic ? Swedish ?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Aug 24 02:15:03 UTC 2005

Although Modern English "puss," vulva, is also real, and well attested, I find no documentation of its existence earlier than syn. "pussy."

Does the existence of apparent cognates in other Germanic languages really tilt the scales in the direction of an ancient origin ?  Or is the matter still up in the air ?

Stay tuned while I check out the MED and EDD tomorrow.


"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Douglas G. Wilson"
Subject: Re: "puss" in Icelandic ? Swedish ?

Etymology of "pussy" given in MW3:

<_-y_, diminutive suffix; akin to Old Norse _pu[macron]ss_ pocket, pouch,
Icelandic _pussa_ vulva, Low German _pu[macron]se_ vulva, Old English
_pusa_, _posa_ bag, Greek _byein_ to stuff, plug>>

Seems reasonable; could be an adoption much more recent than Viking days.

-- Doug Wilson

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