December 12, 2003
Veritable Streaming Bloody Cunts of Information
Because of the recent rise of 'unacceptable content' on blather.net (according to Google) we have decided to go on the offensive.
By Barry Kavanagh, Oliver Bayliss, William Shakespeare, and with plagiarism from unknown sources because we couldn’t tell which parts of Bayliss’ crumpled and torn manuscript were copied verbatim from dusty history books. Copyright: whoever.
Because of the recent rise of 'unnacceptable content' on blather.net (according to Google) we have decided to go on the offensive against offensiveness. No more shall we be labelled 'an arrogant and depraved body of men’.
Our first task is of course to put a stop to all guttermouth expressions. Let’s start with ‘cunt’. As the source of life (see below), there is no better word with which to begin. Now, we fully intend to keep using this word, frequently, at every available opportunity, so the task is to de-gutter the word, or at least add to it a certain amount of intellectual respectability. We must use the tool of history to achieve this.
One possible origin for the word, ‘cunt’ is the High German word 'Kotze', meaning prostitute. The word would appear to have entered the English language during the early Middle Ages; in 1230AD, both Oxford and London were both endowed with districts called 'Gropecunte Lane', in reference to the prostitutes residing there. The Oxford version was later renamed the rather more highbrow 'Magpie Lane', while London's retained a sense of euphemism when it was changed to 'Threadneedle Street'. In a wonderful fit of irony, somebody went and built the Bank of England there.
Another possible origin is the word ‘kennet’, the name of the River Kennet in Wiltshire, England, the river being an ancient symbol of the source of life. This river flows through a most remarkable area of Neolithic civilization; its silvery form is encountered by all visitors to West Kennet Longbarrow and Silbury Hill.
Shakespeare almost used the word 'cunt' in Hamlet. In Act III Scene ii, there's a rather Sid James/Barbara Windsor moment between the Prince of Denmark and
Hamlet - Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
Ophelia - No, my lord.
Hamlet - I mean my head upon your lap?
Ophelia - Ay, my lord.
Hamlet - Do you think I meant country matters?
Ophelia - I think nothing my lord.
Hamlet - That's a fair thought to lie between maid's legs.
It is amusing that prudes may be using the word ‘cunt’ unwittingly. The mild British insult of 'berk' is actually cockney rhyming slang for 'cunt', as in 'Berkshire Hunt'.
And of course, 'google', in old Anglo Saxon in fact means 'cunt', according to research by Dr Samuel Johnson. King Alfred the Great, at the battle of Slaughterford, was heard to bellow at the Viking king Guthrum the Great "Only thy Edda's (Grandmother's) google is great," as he himself recollected proudly in his 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' years later. Alfred's own title of 'Great' was originally a reference to that battle cry.
at December 12, 2003 11:23 AM
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And then we have Barney Google, who is really Homer Simpson, who's drinking beer with the Queen these days, who had to suffer the invasion of George Bush, and bush means cunt.
Amazing what etymology can do in the hands of a liberal arts major not gainfully employed.
I love your work. Please keep it up, and ream 'em good.
Posted by: Melody Whitney at December 13, 2003 7:54 AM
According to a letter on page 15 of the latest issue of Private Eye (#1095 12-25 December 2003), London's Gropecunt Lane is now Grape St (WC2). Threadneedle St is some distance away in EC2. The same letter informs us that the second Gropecunt Lane was in Wells, Somerset.
In modern German, 'kotze' means 'puke'.
Posted by: shitler at December 14, 2003 9:33 PM
The aforementioned word is an Anglo-Saxon East Anglian word properly used to refer to the vulva and vagina of a cow. In East Anglia it is still used, perfectly properly by farmers to denote that part of a cow. Interestingly it is one of the few obscene words which is still used in their original and proper way, while also enjoying a more widespread though less specific currency.
Posted by: garrettfagan at December 17, 2003 12:42 PM
The Grape Lane formerly dubbed Gropecunt Lane is the Grape Lane in York; London's was indeed Threadneedle Street. The Smoke used to be peppered with profane streetnames, such as Cheapside, Bladder Street, Shambles, Stinking Lane, Hole Way, and so on. The Victorians found it all uncomfortably obvious, so set about renaming it all.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 'cunt' is a word of Germanic origin. I’d say it was Old Norse. My Granny always used to perch me on her knee and tell the story of the Great Dane, King Canute, trying to hold back the tide, and how in the years to come lowly English serfs would gather together to quaff ale around their fires between the fields, under the free and starry night sky after their Lords' day's toil, and heartily they would laugh and sing, and bait each other with cries of "You daft Canute", with much gesturing of hands and parts.
Posted by: NowtBetterToDo at December 18, 2003 7:13 PM
Although Canute is famous in legend for trying to hold back the tide, according to historians he was actually being sarcastic.
"Look, look at me, I'm trying to hold back the tide, see? And it's not working! WHICH MEANS I CAN'T DO BLOODY EVERYTHING, can I?"
Posted by: barry at December 19, 2003 11:16 AM
In 16th C Britain 'cut' was also a slang word for the same thing. Hence amusing puns on 'cut and thrust' not just meaning swordplay. Also in Shakespeare's Twelvth Night, when the servants of Olivia (?) send a letter to Malvolio proporting to come from their mistress and asking him to wear yellow hose, cross gartered, he says something about recognising her handwriting "these are her very Cs her Us and her Ts" Add an N and you get the not terribly subtle joke!
As 'cut' is so terribly close to 'cunt', perhaps they may be related? I think we should be told.
Posted by: Alison at December 19, 2003 11:25 AM
"Kotze" does mean puke (vomit) in German.
In old south German it also denoted a course woollen blanket - maybe that´s the connection! Or maybe you made a mistake, confusing "Kotze" with "Fotze", which is German for... cunt!
But let´s not forget that "Cunnus" is another Latin word for "Vulva" (I will avoid here the obvious chestnuts about Irish airlines and T.W.A. tea), and maybe some ready wit came up with a Canute/Cunnus wordplay - Canute´s name originally being "Knud", (pronounced Knut - one speaks the K) where a simple flip of the n and u gives us Kunt.
As indeed, should everything.
May the Fort be with you!
Posted by: Deep Stoat at December 23, 2003 2:47 PM
Cut to the chase....Cunt is derived fron the German simply because they are all cunts....
Posted by: Helmut Kunt at January 29, 2004 12:04 PM
This is all very well - but if the word really stems from ancient Norse how do we account for Ikea's popular Kunti range of wall shelves?
Posted by: Andy at March 6, 2004 10:32 PM