Spanish and French words for pussy

Natalie Maynor maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Thu Jun 24 20:40:46 UTC 1999

James Clapp wrote:

> Now, would anyone care to tell me when the verb "baiser" means "kiss" and
> when it means "fuck," and when or how it acquired the latter meaning?  My
> impression is that the meaning depends upon whether the verb is used
> transitively or intransitively and, if transitively, just what the object
> is.

I think your impression is correct.  My understanding is that it can be
used transitively with an object like "main" (hand) but that intransitively
it always means "fuck."  The usual way to say "kiss" (the verb) is
"embrasser," I think.  Or you could say "donner un baiser" (give a kiss)
-- the noun is always ok, as far as I know.

>   Seems like a word to be used only with great care,

Yes.  The advice I've always heard is that foreigners should just forget
the verb "baiser" entirely and be careful to make the middle of "baisser"
(to lower) clearly unvoiced.  (This advice assumes, of course, that the
the foreigner wants to say "kiss" or "lower" -- maybe some foreigners
have occasion to want to say something like "Il l'a baise'.")

>     and I wonder if the
> second meaning is of fairly recent vintage.

That depends on how recent "fairly recent" is.  I don't know the history
of the usage, but it's been around for at least twenty or twenty-five years,
probably much longer.
   --Natalie (maynor at

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