Is it Irish to be Cuil?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 30 16:08:18 UTC 2008

At 11:57 AM -0400 7/30/08, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>At 7/30/2008 11:39 AM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>>If they want it pronounced like "cool" they will do well to use a different
>>brand name in   the Spanish-speaking countries (and even the French might see
>>it as an indecent pun).

Well, in French _cul_ is 'ass' (with the fundament, not donkey
reference) or 'arse' if you prefer, but I'm not sure the pun really
comes up since the pronunciation is /ky/ (with a front-rounded vowel
and no final consonant).  In any case, _cul_ appears elsewhere with
the obscene meaning bleached out, as in _cul de sac_ 'dead end', lit.
'bag's ass'.  I guess _culo_ would be more problematic, but Romance
speakers must be used to English speakers saying _cool_, after all.


The American Dialect Society -

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