bunnies as sexual euphemisms

Jim Rader jrader at M-W.COM
Fri Jun 25 09:14:40 UTC 1999

The vulgar sense of <con(e)y> very likely had a role in pushing this
word out of English in favor of <rabbit>.  Likewise, in French the
homonymy of medieval French <connin> "rabbit" (by suffix substitution
from <connil>, from Latin <cuniculum>) and <connin>, a derivative of
<con>, resulted in literary double entendres, and <connin>
eventually faded in French as the "rabbit" word in favor of <lapin>.

Jim Rader

> Throughout trhe Renaissance, as I understand it, it was the rabbit that took
> the role that the pussy does now, perhaps because of the alternative name for
> rabbit, conny. There was an Elizabethan tract, wasn't there, called THE ART
> OF CUNNY CATCHING that must have been a pun?

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