The "two Beastly Monosyllables"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Mar 14 17:43:09 UTC 2013

On Mar 14, 2013, at 6:19 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 3/14/2013 03:20 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> FWIW, in Farmer & Henley the 850 synonyms for "cunt" are listed at
>> the entry MONOSYLLABLE. The 1340 synonyms for "fuck" are entered
>> under GREENS.  So "cunt" was even more of a monosyllable than
>> "fuck", at least by the late 19th c.
> Fascinating.  But what are GREENS?  (And where in the OED
> definitions?)  And why are GREENS less of a monosyllable?
Farmer & Henley don't say "greens" isn't a monosyllable.  It's just not THE monosyllable.  I'm in Potsdam and didn't bring my F&H with me, so I'm not sure exactly what "greens" signifies (when it's being used as a synonym for "fuck"), much less why they chose it among the 1340 (plus or minus a few) listed synonyms to serve as the point of entry.  As it were.


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