dirty words in dictionaries

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Fri Jun 4 13:08:24 UTC 2004

> > ...But filing-cabinets are not literature. The 100-page index that
> > accompanies the work, with its glossary of technical terms,
> maps, and
> > guides to pronunciation (pilum: pee-loom) reinforces the point.
> This,> she says, is evidence of her ''scholarship''; but who cares
> about her
> > ''scholarship''? She is writing a novel, not a text-book (and she
> > thinks that a fellator irrumates and vice-versa, which does not give
> > one much confidence in her ''scholarship'' either).

The standards of scholarship at TLS are very high, indeed.

Ron Butters states:

"I have never seen IRRUMATE used in English to mean 'fuck the mouth', but
maybe I've just missed it.
"I don't find either IRRUMATE or IRRUMATION in any of the English dictionaries that are on my desk at the moment."

As I recall, Gershom Legman was very insistent on the difference between fellation and irrumation; probably in his books on dirty jokes (all 1400 pages) but he was inclined to repeat his whimwham, so it may be in several places there and in some of his other books as well.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African
Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list