"puss" in Icelandic ? Swedish ?

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Aug 30 05:18:12 UTC 2005

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 01:04:24 -0400, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

>>If it's truly cognate, then it's an incredible survival from Old
>>English, no ?
>MW3's etymology for this "fud": <<perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to
>Old Norse _futh_ vulva, Norwegian dialect _fud_ buttocks; akin to Middle
>High German _vut_ vulva ....>>. Seems reasonable to me. Is/was there a
>cognate in Old English? I don't know, my OED doesn't give one; but even
>if there is/was it may not have been an ancestor of modern Scots "fud".
>I suppose, perhaps naively, that the lineage might be Norse > Scots >
>Ozarkian, with Anglo-Saxon bypassed.
>BTW, my OED and MW3 show the "arse" and "[rabbit-]tail" senses but not the
>"female pudendum" sense.

That sense didn't get added to the OED till 2002, though it's attested
back to 1771.


    fud, n.1

  * Chiefly Sc. The pubic hair (esp. of a woman); cf. sense 2. Also: the
female genitals. Now coarse slang.

  1771 ‘CLAUDERO’ Hen-peckt Carter in Misc. Prose & Verse 95 Each hair of
her fud is the length of a span, What fud can compare to the fud of
Joan? 1835 D. WEBSTER Rhymes 24 Ye could hae seen in curious cases,
Their bits o' fuds. 1937 E. PARTRIDGE Dict. Slang, Fud, the pubic hair:
coll. when not Scottish or dial. 1995 D. MCLEAN Bunker Man 23 It really
looked like the cock was firing off into a big square fud.

--Ben Zimmer

More information about the Ads-l mailing list