OAD WOTY; Gawker on "squick"

Chris Waigl cwaigl at FREE.FR
Mon Dec 12 20:39:06 UTC 2005

On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 14:53:21 -0500, Laurence Horn typed:

> Very enlightening.  But I think the OUP folks are missing the boat
> if they're claiming that _squick_ is (i) onomatopoeic in origin and
> (ii) derived from the practice of skull-fucking.  If we are to
> retain hypothesis (ii), which seems plausible, I think a much more
> elegant etym(yth)ology is from an orthographic truncation and
> revocalization:
> sku[ll-f]uck > sku'uck > skuick
> Remember, you read it here first...

Two things:

1) I'm not convinced of the "skull fucking sound" origin. The
earliest citation on Google's Usenet archive is from October 21,
1990, under the subject header "Exploding heads in movies"
in rec.arts.movies:

Do these have to be human heads?? We were watching "Aliens" again
last night for about the 6th or 7th time :-) and after the marines
got wiped out after the first alien encounter and Ripley drives the
APC to save them, an alien jumps on the APC, she stops and throws it
off, and accelerates. Squick!! Bye bye alien head. I hope those tires
were acid resistant...

The next year (1991), it shows up a few times in alt.sex.bondage (the
first cite is from the FAQ):

Using a safeword can be hard to do sometimes.  It's important to
realize that no one is perfect, and if you as top do something that
squicks your bottom (i.e. pushes beyond your bottom's limits--
"squick" is a recent bit of a.s.b jargon), it doesn't mean you're a
bad lover or a bad person.  It only means that you ran into a limit
you didn't know was there, or you were tired or disconnected and not
in tune with your bottom.
i don't know why the term tolerance squicks me, but it does.  i
looked in my handy dandy dictionary and the definitions are all
right-on, but then i looked down a word and saw tolerate and i think
that is the source of the squick.  i see tolerance/tolerate as
putting up with something.  and that isn't part of the space i go to.

Some, however, seem to use the word to signify a particular practice.
Which unfortunately is not named, but it is certainly not literally
inserting a penis in an artificially created hole in the skull:

There are some things too repulsive to discuss in a public forum --
squicking is one of them.  I've only been squicked once, and if
someone wants me to be a squick-top, they'll have to beg FAR more than
for anything else I can think of (though it's not clear that I _could_
bring myself _to_ squick, even consensually...).

Squicking is one of those things that even a very heavy bottom can't
take too often -- once every 63 days is a bit too much (those who know
me personally know that I have a _very_ heavy bottom). There is no
such thing as safe squicking.

I try not to be a prude, and ghoddess knows I do some kinky shit, but
if anyone EVER tries to squick me again, they'll get a flying lesson!
April 1991, alt.sex.bondage

The invention of the "skull fucking" derivation is claimed by one
Geoff Miller, who comments on Nov 19, 1991, in alt.tasteless:

In article <3a_q... at rpi.edu> sch... at aix.rpi.edu (Eric A. Schwartz)

[regarding squicking]

>Same thing, at least, if due to trepination.  Squick is brain
>fucking, named for the sound it makes.


I posted that a year ago, and I *made it up!*  I just figured that was
the only activity that would make a "squicking" noise, with the
possible exception of slipping the salami to a sucking chest wound.
(We've heard of water in the lung.  But how would a doctor react when
he realized that someone had *jism* in his lung?  I don't think even
Rod Stewart could top that!)

The question about squicking was posted by a lesbian, and crossposted
to alt.sex.  She really wanted to know what it was.  She flamed me by
email for not being serious when she read my definition.

I never have found out the real meaning.  And now that I think about
it, maybe I don't really want to.  Maybe "squicking" is one of those
words (like "scrivener" or "wombat") that's better left to lurk
semivisible behind a mist of perpetual uncertainty.

Indeed, Geoff Miller's original posting is available, though the
"lesbian" he claims to have been replying to posted under the name
Matthew Harelick:
(alt.sex.bondage, Apr 22 1991)

2) What the article missed is the adjective "squicky" (referring to
something, in particular a sexual practice) that might squick the
reader, viewer or participant, i.e. disgust them or, as the
alt.sex.bondage FAQ said, push beyond their limits), and the term's
wide-spread use in the fan fiction community. This is where I first
saw it, perfectly unaware that it is a neologism. (Full disclosure: A
cyber-friend introduced me to the strange phenomenon of fan fiction a
few years ago. She is herself an author of such stories and hers
aren't bad at all, actually. The same cannot be said for most of the
thousands of novels that have been penned and posted on the web,

Chris Waigl

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