[Ads-l] fuck ton

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 7 11:09:01 EDT 2018

I see Farmer & Henley have “leather” (‘female pudendum’) back to 1540, with a crafty couplet from Robbie Burns:

Hunter, a willing, hearty brither,	        
Weel skilled in dead and living leather.  (“The Court of Equity”, 1796; cf. https://www.bartleby.com/334/746.html)

F&H also have an entry for “cockles” = ‘labia minora’ but no female-genitalia sense for “cock”; nothing relevant in OED.  Doesn’t settle the question—I’m sure Jon’s theory is sound.


> On Aug 7, 2018, at 10:21 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> P.S.: I can't recall any U.S. exx. of "cockey/ cock" 'clitoris,'
> Now I wonder if the vaginal sense was transferred from the clitoral sense,
> w/o gratuitous  interference from "coquille."
> Theory: we'll never find out.
> JL
> On Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 10:18 AM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> From last September. The 19th C. ex. referred to was from a bawdy song of
>> the 1830's. If it can't be found in the Archive, and I didn't post it can
>> find it at the campus library (I think). The simplest explanation seems to
>> be that U.S, currency came from England.
>> Seems I posted an English ex. from the 19th century at some point, though
>> I can't find it quickly in the archive.
>> This is from a traditional song collected in Gloucestershire in 1978.
>> Note  the archaic use of "leather."  The diction generally is 19th C. Many
>> texts of the song have been collected and printed (since the 1960s), but
>> this is the only one I've seen with "cock."
>> http://glostrad.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/151-Danny-Brazil-Crabfish-TheSC.pdf
>> "She run downstairs for to piddle in the pot....
>> Up jumped the little crabfish and caught her by the cock.
>> "Oh husband, oh husband, oh husband come hither,
>> The devil's in the chamber and got me by the leather."
>> On Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 9:47 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
>> wrote:
>>>> On Aug 6, 2018, at 12:09 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Not to boast, but all the um- and non-um-words in that collection of
>>>> Joyce's letters that are relevant to American usage are in (or were
>>> slated
>>>> to be in later volumes of)  HDAS.
>>>> JL
>>> True enough, but while _cock_ ‘vulva” has an entry in HDAS*, the Joycean
>>> _cock_ ‘clitoris’ (as in the 3 December 1909 letter to Nora excerpted
>>> below) or, for that matter, _cockey_ (from the letter to Nora six days
>>> later), does not.  I would wager, without any particular support for it,
>>> that many languages use a diminutive for one of their ‘penis’ words for
>>> ‘clitoris’, a la _cockey_.
>>> LH
>>> *HDAS, s.v. _cock_, n. 3: So. & Black E.
>>> a. The vulva or vagina; cunt.
>>> Jon does give a tentative etymology:
>>> “perh. fr.  Eng. Dial. _cock_ ‘cockle, shell-fish’”
>>> which does indeed seem to suggest the “coquille” etymology Gawne notes.
>>> Am I right in recall some pushback from someone on the list (maybe Jon
>>> himself) against this derivation? The 1867 Doten journal entry which (after
>>> decoding) reveals that the diarist and his “lady love went to bed and felt
>>> of each other’s cocks all [they] pleased” before she climbed aboard would
>>> seem to challenge the idea that the two senses have completely distinct
>>> etymologies and to point toward polysemy rather than homonymy.  Or (just
>>> speculating) could Doten have been referring, like Joyce, to “that little
>>> cock at the end of [her] cunt”?  Does it affect our speculation to recall
>>> that Doten, who hailed from Plymouth, MA and traveled to California for the
>>> Gold Rush and Nevada, was (like Joyce) not fluent in either So. or Black
>>> E.?
>>>> On Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 10:55 AM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Very nice, and it speaks below to a thread we indulged in a while back,
>>>>> with a slight twist.  (And note the references to Jesse and Jon.). The
>>>>> derivation of _cock_ ‘vulva’ (as opposed to ‘clitoris’) from
>>> _coquille_ was
>>>>> indeed entertained in our earlier colloquies but, if memory serves,
>>>>> dismissed (or at least vigorously challenged).
>>>>> LH
>>>>> P.S.  Nice glosswork by Lauren Gawne, but can someone who labors in the
>>>>> vineyards of antique umliterature really have been innocent of
>>>>> “cockstand”?
>>>>> =======================
>>>>> Cock (female genitals)
>>>>> “If he did, did they go far enough to touch that little cock at the
>>> end of
>>>>> your cunt?” (3 December 1909)
>>>>> The use of ‘cock’ to mean clitoris is uncommon. There’s no attestation
>>> in
>>>>> the OED, MW or even Green’s Dictionary of Slang.
>>>>> Update: The above paragraph previously read: “The use of ‘cock’ to mean
>>>>> female genitalia rather than male is uncommon.” There is an entry in
>>>>> Green’s Dictionary of Slang for ‘cock’ meaning female genitals in
>>> general,
>>>>> and attested use in British English from 1833. He gives the origin as
>>> the
>>>>> French coquille (a shell of the kind like an oyster or cockle). This
>>> sense
>>>>> of ‘cock’ has also been the predominent sense in Southern American
>>> English.
>>>>> In an article on the US ‘cock’ dialect divide, Jesse Sheidlower notes
>>> that
>>>>> in Historical Dictionary of American Slang the earliest record of
>>> ‘cock’
>>>>> for female genitalia is 1867. I learnt a thing today.
>>>>> Other example:
>>>>> “Tickle your little cockey while you write to make you say worse and
>>>>> worse.” (9 December 1909)
>>>>> ======================
>>>>>> On Aug 6, 2018, at 10:22 AM, Andy Bach <afbach at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>>>>>> On Mon, Jul 30, 2018 at 7:34 PM, Jonathan Lighter <
>>>>> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> A handy guide from Iva Cheung on the Strong Language blog...
>>> https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/units-of-fucking-measure/
>>>>>> Interesting site - they offer up yet another "mickey" which might help
>>>>> the
>>>>>> "take the mickey out of" search, from James Joyce's lecherous letters
>>> to
>>>>>> his wife, Nora:
>>> https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/fuckbird-cockstand-and-frigging-some-annotations-of-james-joyces-erotic-letters-to-his-wife-nora-barnacle/
>>>>>> Mickey
>>>>>> “gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist
>>> mouth”
>>>>> (8
>>>>>> December 1909)
>>>>>> This is a predominantly Irish English slang term for penis. Two of the
>>>>> four
>>>>>> quotes in the OED for the term are from Joyce (one of which is from
>>> these
>>>>>> letters). Be careful though, ‘Mickey’ is a lot of things to a lot of
>>>>>> different people, not only is it a cartoon mouse, but also a Roman
>>>>> Catholic
>>>>>> or Irish person, or (I assume by extension) a potato (US English), a
>>>>>> bullock or noisy miner bird (Australian English) or a small bottle of
>>>>>> liquor (Canadian English).
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> a
>>>>>> Andy Bach,
>>>>>> afbach at gmail.com
>>>>>> 608 658-1890 cell
>>>>>> 608 261-5738 wk
>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>> --
>>>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
>>> truth."
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> --
>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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