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Screenshot 2018-05-31 15.30.45.jpg

A (Very) Brief History Of The "C" Word

By Mieka Strawhorn | Think Pieces | May 31, 2018 |

By Mieka Strawhorn | Think Pieces | May 31, 2018 |

Screenshot 2018-05-31 15.30.45.jpg

It’s been a real cunt of a day, hasn’t it? It was especially bad for Samantha Bee who had to issue an apology to Ivanka Trump for calling her a feckless cunt. That had to hurt. I’m sure her use of the word “cunt,” hurt her more than it did Ivanka, who I’m sure has been called worse (and not just by me). Americans are so prudish when it comes to “the C word”. The Brits and the Aussies have been hurling cunts willy-nilly for decades, to great effect. It can be a fun little word, if used correctly. But why is it so taboo? I mean, you can call somebody a pussy, a dick, an asshole or a twat on network TV, but cunt is reserved for R-rated movies and premium cable? It’s a real pussy scratcher until you remember, “Oh yeah, misogyny”.

I’m no linguist, but I do know how to google “what is the etymology of cunt.” We all know what a cunt means, literally: It’s a pussy, a box, a gash, a cootchie, a taco, a fish whistle, a poontang, a poonanny, a snatch, a bearded clam, or a furburger. In fact, perhaps the most offensive word for a cunt is “vagina”, which comes from the Latin word for “sheath or scabbard in which to thrust a sword”, so, fuck that noise. Like seriously. Fuck it like a hungry beaver.

The word cunt, on the other hand, comes from “the Proto-Indo-European ‘cu’, one of the oldest word-sounds in recorded language”. Several sources note that the “cu” prefix is almost always associated with the feminine (as in CUnnalingis or CUnext Tuesday). Ms Magazine adds:

Proto-Indo-European “cu” is also cognate with other feminine/vaginal terms, such as the Hebrew “cus;” the Arabic “cush,” “kush,” and “khunt;” the Nostratic “kuni” (woman); and the Irish “cuint” (cunt).

But for some reason cunt has become taboo, despite its usefulness as both a non-gender specific swear word or insult (as I think Samantha used it), and as a less patriarchal word for vagina. A well delivered “cunt” is a delight. Cunt as an insult can be fine, but a cunt hurled in an attempt to assert power, belittle, or degrade- or to highlight or question somebody’s gender or sexuality is not. It all depends on the delivery, the recipient, the intent, the context, and person saying it. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER CUNTING WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!

Here is a collection of cunts I spent too much time looking up on YouTube. Please enjoy them while I go wipe my browser history. Each delivery is given with charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. And big duh, but NSFW audio below.

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Mieka is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.