new rude word

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Tue Nov 16 16:36:30 UTC 2010

Dear Eoin,
I take it that this word has not extended itself in Sussex the way the c--- word has in most of the UK, that it is used for the female genitalia itself and only extended to be used for females that you really don't like, i. e. like the c-word is here in the US.  One of the most striking things about swearing in the UK I noticed during my period living in Edinburgh was how the c-word was extended to males and could be used in a jocular fashion.  "You spawny c----!" was, in some crowds, nearly an emphatic way of saying, "You lucky dog!" , and if anything, was more applied to males than females.  That took a while to get used to, and was perhaps the most salient difference to me, even with new vocab at times.

Paul Johnston
On Nov 16, 2010, at 4:33 AM, Eoin C. Bairéad wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       =?UTF-8?Q?Eoin_C=2E_Bair=C3=A9ad?= <ebairead at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      new rude word
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Hi
> part of my job is to maintain the list of unacceptable language for
> our eMail system. They're accountants, and such words are
> inappropriate (although for how long more I don't know!) in messages.
> I recently added a new rude word. It's "clunge", and is a noun exactly
> synonymous with the "top of the list" word beginning with c, ending
> with t, and with nu in reverse order in the middle. A word which, if I
> spell it, gets kicked out by about 80% of mail filters.
> Its genesis is interesting. British TV, fast succeeding in its efforts
> to scale the cultural heights already achieved in the US, has come up
> with the formula of a comedy series based on obnoxious young people in
> a specific location in the UK, for example Essex, or Sheffield, or
> London. It is clear that local dialect is still strong in England, and
> the slang of the area chosen - in this case the area of West Sussex
> centered on the town of Littlehampton, is used extensively.
> And their local term for the vagina is, apparently, the aforesaid "clunge".
> Just to avoid misunderstanding, those who know the word can find it as
> deeply offensive as any of its synonyms, and, used aggressively to
> young women, it can be most hurtful - it is a 100% real obscenity.
> What, of course, is interesting, is that none of the rude word censors
> I have come across actually list it. I think I'm the first. And most
> people over about 25 don't understand it.
> So how can a word be really rude if only a small percentage of the
> population know it's really rude?
> Dunno?
> Eoin
> --
> --
> Eoin C. Bairéad
> Dublin, Ireland
> Áth Cliath, Éire
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