Unless it’s already out of the news forefront, you’re probably aware that in the wake of last Sunday night’s Academy Awards, the official Twitter of news-satire website The Onion fired off a tweet (since deleted), the crux of which was declaring that Quvenzhané Wallis -the 9 year-old Best Actress nominee for Beasts of The Southern Wild- was “kind of a cunt, right?”.
The questions of comedy and its limits (or lack thereof) is endlessly interesting -to me anyway. So, alright, let’s talk about the Cunt.
Geoffrey Hughes wrote in his book Swearing, there were many such colorful names, but “the days when the dandelion could be called the pissabed, a heron could be called a shitecrow and the windhover could be called the windfucker have passed away with the exuberant phallic advertisement of the codpiece.”
Indeed we are in a time when few formerly naughty words still pack a potent punch, but “cunt” still holds a unique position. The C-word is one of the few remaining monosyllables in the English language with a genuine power to shock. In a BBC study of the most offensive words, it ranked No. 1, ahead of motherfucker, fuck, and even nigger.
Has that word always been so patently offensive? The answer is definitely: No! The word became offensive over the centuries.
Why has cunt become so much more taboo than, say, snatch or pussy? The main reason may simply be that it’s blunt. Linguists note that, unlike those other words for the female genitalia -whose origins are all Latinate, euphemistic, or diminutive- cunt is plain and Anglo-Saxon. There is also the sound of the word. Many of the most taboo words are monosyllables with short vowels, such as shit, piss, fuck, and cock. These are considered more offensive than words of the same meaning, like poopy, pee, screw, and willy. In fact, one of the only other words to share many of these characteristics is twat, which is also often considered highly offensive.
So … here is, in a ludicrous affectation of delicacy, my free translation of a poem from William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, also known as “the Troubador”, as my contribution to the vindication of the word “CUNT” -with sarcasm and humor.
Comrades, I’ve been all torn up, all fuck up and so upset
I can’t do any other song, and for sure I’ll regret
as I want no one to know what I usually secret.
And my thought I will soon tell you what is all about on this:
I don’t like camouflaged cunts nor more than lakes with no fish
or the praise of the wicked acting out their disbelief.
Lord God, who’s in the world the master and is of the world the king,
at the first to kept the cunt, how was chastened not condign?
Neither official nor guard ever came with such hoodwink.
But I tell you right away what is the law of the choot
as a man who has done wrong there, but also was there put:
With the use all is depleted, but improves instead the cunt.
And to whom won’t are to understand my,
go to see it in the forest, in a clear you would find it:
for every tree that is felled, always sprout two or three.
And when the forest is felled stronger is growing back,
and the owner loses there no interest, no gain, nor reward,
but he is unreasonable weighting about a later charge.
Wrong to mourn the logged forest as there won’t be any charge.
You could find here infinite uses of another colorful word: Enjoy “FUCK” !
C-word – By Dugutigui and the -spiritual- collaboration of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine
In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).