Monday, January 14, 2008

Dirty words

Writing what we do, you have to come up with words to describe body parts and acts. I have a list on my site of historic terms used for this but...
when I started writing Erotica I cringed every time I came to the BAD words. You know Cunt, Cock, Fuck, Dick, Pussy.

No matter how you try they come up... whether in dirty talk or in descriptions. These words have been around for ages.

Here are their descriptions:
Cunt: Female genitals or vagina. According to Hugh Rawson in Wicked words, 1989 it was the "most heavily tabooed of all english words." John Wilmot the earl or Rochester. 1648-1680 was one of the last to use the term openly. having just described a premature ejaculation in "the imperfect enjoyment". he wrote:"A touch from any part of her had done't:/ her hand , her foot, her very look's a cunt."

Cock:Penis from the 15th century through the 18th century this was standard english. only in the 19th century did this become vulgar. Ex. "O man what art thou when thy cock is up?" Nathaniel Fields, Amends for Ladies 1618.

Fuck: Copulate the earliest recorded use of this taboo term was in 1503 in Northern England and through its etymology is not certain it is likely derives from middle english funken or German Ficken, meaning strike. it appeared in dictionaries in the 16th century.

Dick:Penis As a common term dating back to the 19th Century Dick may be the most popular of the many names applied to the penis. It comes from the word derrick a crane that can rise up.

Pussy:Female Genitals. This usage dates back tot he 17th century.

The word that gives me the most trouble is Pussy... it raises all the little hairs on the back of my neck when I say it and when I type it. I feel foolish speaking it... LOL. I have no idea why. blush.

What are the words you have difficulty with?

Hugs and Kisses,


Kate Pearce said...

it's cunt for me. In the UK it's used as a term of abuse and I just can't bring myself to use it in a pleasurable, sexual way.
Pussy is fine by me though!

B.E. Sanderson said...

Kate Pearce took the words right out of my fingers. It's the only word I can't bring myself to say, and reading it just turns me off.

I'm fine with the rest of your list though.

Eva Gale said...

Now see-I'm the complete opposite. Cunt is fine with me-I turned it around in my head. Pussy is cat. I guess I'll have to turn that one around in my head, too.

Jackie Barbosa said...

I'm with Kate and B.E. I have more trouble with the female "C" word than the "P" word.

That said, I won't use "dick" in my historicals, since according to the etymology I've seen, it didn't come into usage with that meaning until 1891 and all my stories are Regency or early Victorian.

And I still can't follow the advice to read my manuscripts aloud, in large part because they include the naughty words. I have no trouble writing or reading them silently, but SAYING them? No can do ;)!

Pam Rosenthal said...

Cunt never bothered me -- I've always used it, sort of as the female of "cock." And according to the OED, the pejorative meanings only began in the 20th century, so I'm reasonably accurate as a historical writer.

Also from the OED, here's a historical usage of cunt that I love: "for ilka hair upon her c--t [sic] was worth a royal ranson." That would be Robert Burns.

Tumperkin said...

Pussy is the pits. Cunt is fine. As is quim. I think I hate pussy because it's all faux-cutesy; a horrible knowing little euphimism.

Jane Lockwood said...

Lacy, I've been a longtime admirer of your list of historic dirty words! It's one of the online references Pam and I use in our workshop on writing the hot historical.

I think "cunt" can be wonderfully strong in the right context--remember how it's used in Atonement? The look on James McAvoy's face as he saw what he'd just typed...beautifully done. I believe it and quim are from the same word root as "queen," so it's a word with a respectable provenance. And I'm with Tumperkin in hating "pussy"--it sounds infantile and demeaning. I hate clitoris shortened to clit for the same reason.