Early taboo, subclass sexual, words

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Jan 25 03:59:21 UTC 2008

At 1/24/2008 05:30 PM, you wrote:
>"Stitch" was pretty common in those days for "screw" (unattested
>before early 18th C.).

Didn't know that (not in OED2).  So this is another antedating?  In
the verse, I sense a pun on stitch also =ing sew up, close up (a
wound), mend (a rent), repair.


>   JL
>"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
>Subject: Re: Early taboo, subclass sexual, words
>At 1/24/2008 01:38 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>Farmer & Henley have cites for "knock" (v) 'to copulate' and "knock"
> >(n) ' the penis' [but not 'vagina'] going back to 1560. They trace
> >"cock" to Henry V, II.i (1600), but Shakespeare's use seems doubtful
> >to me with the relevant sense. Their first unambiguous example for
> >"cock" = 'penis' is Beaumont & Fletcher 1647. I don't find a bare
> >"cunny" there, as it were, alongside their "cunny-haunted",
> >"cunny-thumbed", and "cunnilingist" [sic]. Not to mention
> >"cunt-pensioner" (= 'a male keep').
>I didn't mean to claim antedatings wholesale for these. And we've
>discussed "cock" before (see Jon Lighter); the 1663 is merely somewhat early.
>OED2 has bare "cunny" from 1720 D'Urfey Pills VI. 197 All my Delight
>is a Cunny in the Night, When she turns up her silver Hair.
>As for "knock" = vagina, the following (1664) seems unambiguous:
>She standeth up with horrid face / And thus she argues of the case: /
>My knock doth piteously itch / O prethy Penion set to a stich. / His
>answer being thus to her / I will not prove false to thee my dear /
>But as thou didst desire me / Thy groaning hole Ill [sic] steech and
>see / And looking on in strange wise / She wet his nose and pist in 's eyes.
>["Steech" here I take as OED2 "stitch" (v1) = I. To prick, stab.]
>Yes, allegedly from a Suffok County, Mass., court case file! Were
>those Puritans poetic.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>Never miss a thing.   Make Yahoo your homepage.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list