eggcorn: "profound" (profane) words

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Jul 31 20:03:51 UTC 2007

My female students have informed me, with seeming unanimity, that the the C word (as a synecdoche) is the MOST offensive epithet that can be bestowed on a woman--the genderly counterpart of the N word racially, several have insisted.

In contrast, a casual "What a bitch!" is merely rude.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 15:31:46 -0400
>From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>Isn't the B word significantly less profound than the C word?
>Well, mebbe so as profundity (profunation?) per se goes.  But as a
>source of complaint, though, in this sort of context, I'd think the B
>word is pretty much always grounds for complaint (barring reclaimed
>uses by women or in literal reference among dog breeders, neither
>which are at issue here), while the C word in literal uses can be
>neutral, at least potentially.  A matter of personal taste, I presume.
>>But parallelism is a fast-fading skill in the culture at large.

The American Dialect Society -

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