"puss" in Icelandic ? Swedish ?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Aug 30 02:51:34 UTC 2005

Chris, I wish I had the phonological sophistication to comment on this definitively, but I'll have to leave that to someone else.  "Vulva equarum," however, is a new particular.

Interestingly enough, Vance Randolph encountered a dial. term "fud" for the female genitals, in the Ozarks between 1920 and 1954. It's hard to know if that's an incredible survival from Old English - or if there was some kind of weird German dial. survival in southwestern Missouri / northwestern Arkansas.

Curiouser and curiouser....  One begins to believe that people were actually having sex as far back as the tenth century; and in different countries, too.


Chris Waigl <cwaigl at FREE.FR>
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Subject: Re: "puss" in Icelandic ? Swedish ?

Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

>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
This seems almost too obvious, so please skip if it has already been
considered, but might there be a link to German _Fotze_ (vulgar for

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's dictionary has an entry for this, and a number
of now obsolete forms ("Fud", "Fut", "Futze"...) and great number of
compound nouns.

It's a little hard to navigate, but I gather they have been around since
Middle High German (quotes from the 15th century). (I'm marking
references to Icelandic and Swedish; "vgl." = "vergleiche", meaning "see".)

- from the entry "Fotze"

[...] vgl. _futlos_. auch aus der heutigen kärntnischen sprache bringt
LEXER 106b _fut_ bei, 48b _putze_, was sich mehr einem sl. _puzda_,
_pizda_ anschlieszt. serb. _pizda_, _pizdina_, böhm. _pjzda_, lit.
_pyzda_, _pissa_ (NESSELM. 299b), lett. _pihsde_. **isl. _pûss_ vulva
equarum.** **schw. _fud_, _fu_, _fo_, _fö_ cunnus (RIETZ 158)** [...]

- from the entry "Fut" (this is an older form, and the authors appear to
search further back in the etymology)

[...] mhd. _v u t_ (GA. 3 s. 23, 75--28, 274), _fut_ (vocab. opt. nr. 1,
200. altd. bl. 2, 198, 6. futilitates germanicae medii aevi s. 5--14).
niederrheinisch bei KILIAN (1599) s. 120b _fut_, _futte_, neben 119a
veraltet nl. _fotte_. nd. _fot_ neben _fotse_ (dies aus dem hochd.
entlehnt). brem. wb. 1, 444. SCHÜTZE 1, 332. **isländisch u. altnorw.
_fuð_ f., cunnus, matrix**, wovon ebenda _fyðill_ m., das männliche
glied. RIETZ 158a. heute norweg. _fud_, _fu_, _fo_, f., cunnus, matrix,
aber auch podex.[...]
[That's f-u-ETH, in case the letter gets messed up.]

Today, "Fotze" is the only one that is still current. I'd rate it as
more vulgar than "cunt" in English, but I may be more sensitive to
vulgarity in my native language.

Chris Waigl

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