dirty words in dictionaries

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Jun 4 00:02:03 UTC 2004

On Thu, Jun 03, 2004 at 07:52:50PM -0400, George Thompson wrote:
> If a Latinist among us can suggest other Juvenalian words
> Fred or another with this book in hand might check to see
> whether this sort of vernacular definition was the editorial
> policy.  The male organ of generation is, I think,
> "mentula"?

Yes. I'd like to see how it defines "irrumare", or any of its
relatives (irrumatio, irrumator). This word, which means 'to
fuck the mouth of' (and is equivalently vulgar), is very
common in Catullus, who's often read in first- or second-year
Latin courses. It's defined by Lewis & Short as "to commit
beastly acts"; it's not in the non-small Cassell's Latin
Dictionary I used in high school, and Quinn's student edition,
from the 1980s or so, "defines" it as "mentulam in os inserere"
(I thought that habit had died a century before). The Oxford
Latin Dictionary, which I don't have at home, does give it a
reasonable, if overly proper, definition.

Jesse Sheidlower

P.S. "futuere" might be another one worth checking, of course.

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