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.
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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.
Has swearing lost its power to shock? »