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The most TABOO word in the English language? Options
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 9:29:23 AM
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I had always thought that the F-word was the most taboo word in English.

Apparently, I have been wrong.

I have just read that the world-famous and world-respected Oxford English Dictionary claims that the most taboo word in English is _ _ _ _.

It was so taboo (that) that dictionary at first refused to list it.

In my 80 years, I have NEVER said it.

I have NEVER heard it on TV or the radio.

I guess that it can be found in some current fiction, which I do not read.

I guess that it can be heard in some current motion pictures.

The word was invented by the Norwegians.

The first use of the word in English may have been in the year 1230 when a street in Oxford had the word in its name.

*****

Native speakers will immediately know the word when I report that the last letter of this four-letter word is "t."

If you are an advanced learner, you can send a private message to one of the members who answer questions in the "Vocabulary" forum and ask for the answer.

Remember: NEVER, EVER say or write this word!

tunaafi
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 9:39:01 AM

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For heaven's sake, Parser, if you are going to start a thread about a word, don't leave some learners wondering what you are talking about. The word is 'cunt' It is defined here in several dictionaries, including Cambridge, Chambers, Macmillan, Merriam-Webster, and Oxford.
BuffaloBill
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 10:21:03 AM
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Oops. And there was me thinking that the most taboo word has become 'sorry'...
Gary98
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 11:26:17 AM

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For heaven's educational sake, spell the word out. It made me, a beginner, mad when a grammar book talked about taboos, and "four letter word", and never said anything else about it, like its initial or something. It haunted me for a week, and I finally gave up.

What the ... fudge. Silenced Anxious
tunaafi
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 12:04:05 PM

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Gary98 wrote:
For heaven's educational sake, spell the word out.

As Shakespeare did in Twelfth Night, when Malovolio identified someone's handwriting:

By my life, this is my lady's hand these be her very C's, her U's and her T's and thus makes she her great P's.

The actor would have pronounced the word 'and' as /en/, and the audience would have understood the ribald joke.
tunaafi
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 12:12:11 PM

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TheParser wrote:
The word was invented by the Norwegians.


Where did you get that idea from? Read about the etymology here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunt#Etymology
whatson
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 2:12:36 PM
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*
One would have thought the word was invented by the Franks.

But seriously, Dear Learners, let the all-tactful Towerish Trump be your shining example.

Do you think that He would be now the First Gentleman of the U. S. A., had He not used

an alternative expression in His younger-buck days? Perhaps no, maybe yes.

He definitely would have drawn record crowds for the inauguration, as the Man Who Dares

To Make Taboos Great Again.



A horse, a horse, a hoarse horse!
Gary98
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 2:17:23 PM

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tunaafi wrote:
Gary98 wrote:
For heaven's educational sake, spell the word out.

As Shakespeare did in Twelfth Night, when Malovolio identified someone's handwriting:

By my life, this is my lady's hand these be her very C's, her U's and her T's and thus makes she her great P's.

The actor would have pronounced the word 'and' as /en/, and the audience would have understood the ribald joke.


The whole world is at its cleverest when sex joke is concerned.

I never would have got this if you do not mention it here. Obviously Shakespeare and his audience had more fun than I thought they did.
tunaafi
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 3:02:29 PM

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There's a lot of bawdy humour in Shakespeare's plays. Much of it is lost when reading the plays today, partly because changes in pronunciation mask what were obvious puns to Elizabethans, partly because some words have changed their meaning so that most of us today have no idea now that such words as 'nunnery' and 'nothing' can have bawdy implications, and partly because most teachers (if they understand the intended humour themselves) are unwilling to explain it to learners at school or, in some cases, even to university students.

Romany
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 4:19:50 PM
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Geez - not again with the 'cunt'.

It's a word we've discussed time and time again. There's no-one who doesn't know what it means: why the hell bring it up yet again? It's kinda creepy. (NB: the qualifying 'kinda' there.)

It's an alternative word for vagina. It was once the ONLY polite word for vagina.

Some people think a vengeful deity of some kind is going to punish them for saying this word. Some people don't. Some people consider themselves better than others because of THEIR opinion about this word. Some people don't.

The word has a long and interesting etymology, and has been part of classical English for centuries. If Shakespeare had decided never to write it or use it we would have lost some of the funniest passages in the English language.

In some places and among a shrinking group of people there are those I'm sure who share Parsar's view in other English-speaking countries. Indian English, particularly,I think takes the same stance.

Equally, there are those (like the Australians) to whom it's a term of endearment. While to most Brits and South Africans it's merely a slang word,so used accordingly.

There is NO word in the English language which cannot be said. If there are words one doesn't personally like? Then no-one will ever force you to say them. But nothing 'taboo' to people over the age of puberty. And no-one has the right to tell others what to say.

Things have changed an awful lot.









Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 5:37:06 PM

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Gary98 wrote:
tunaafi wrote:
Gary98 wrote:
For heaven's educational sake, spell the word out.

As Shakespeare did in Twelfth Night, when Malovolio identified someone's handwriting:

By my life, this is my lady's hand these be her very C's, her U's and her T's and thus makes she her great P's.

The actor would have pronounced the word 'and' as /en/, and the audience would have understood the ribald joke.


The whole world is at its cleverest when sex joke is concerned.

I never would have got this if you do not mention it here. Obviously Shakespeare and his audience had more fun than I thought they did.


Shakespeare was competing for an audience with the brothels, gambling dens, ale houses and bear pits of the Bankside area on the south of the river Thames. Because it was not in the city of London which was across on the northern side of the river it was a bit of a lawless area. Do not think of people sitting in reverence at the words of the bard of Avon, instead think of places like the Globe full of people drinking, cheering the heroes, booing the villians buying snacks, heckling etc.

Many of his plays contain quick bawdy humour, for example in 'A Winters Tale' there is a Pedlar who sells many thing that women of the town might need, including a dildo, which is one of the first recorded use of the word in English.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 5:41:20 PM
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I was so rushed this morning that I forgot to give the source.

My bad [mistake]!



Author: Andrew O'Hagan.

Title of his article: "Who's the real [word deleted; cultured people NEVER say or write that word]?"

Publication: London Review of Books, 1 June 2017.

Mr. O'Hagan is reviewing a new book that is VERY critical of the Daily Mail newspaper (of London, England).

Mr. O'Hagan reports that the current editor of the Daily Mail regularly uses that word in discussions with his staff.




Gary98
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2017 9:34:46 PM

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Thanks to Romany and Sarrriesfan, Shakespeare feels much more likeable to me now, and is "of the people, for the people".
tunaafi
Posted: Saturday, June 03, 2017 2:12:10 AM

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TheParser wrote:
cultured people NEVER say or write that word]


Bollocks!
tunaafi
Posted: Saturday, June 03, 2017 3:40:03 AM

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tunaafi wrote:
Bollocks!


I do not recommend that learners use that expression of strong disagreement. It is considered by many to be impolite, or even offensive. I have to say, however, that forcefully using the apparently more acceptable 'Nonsense!' can be considered offensive by some.

But, like the word we are talking about in this thread, it is used occasionally by people from all walks of life, especially when they see hear something as patently untrue as 'cultured people NEVER say or write that word'. It is indeed true that some, possibly many people do not say or write that word; that would be an acceptable claim.

I am not sure exactly what TheParser means by 'cultured' people, but I have heard language from some highly educated people that some people who left school at fifteen would never dream of using.
almo 1
Posted: Saturday, June 03, 2017 6:57:03 AM
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When I was in Atlanta years ago,
some hispanic friends uttered a strange word 'coño' all the time,
and I asked what 'coño' was.




TMe
Posted: Sunday, June 04, 2017 11:20:38 AM

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Noun
coño m (plural coños)
(slang, Spain) pussy, cunt
Noun[edit]
But then it's an organ of the human body known by another name. May be TABOO for some but not for others (short-timers).
A TABOO is universal word but with no universal rules.. A certain word may be a taboo in one society but may not be the same in another society. So I will call it a 'Society Specific word".

Cunt, Pussy are used in different sense than vagina or female external sex organs. A shuttle cock is known by a different name in Hindi in certain parts of India which is a taboo.

Breast is a normal name for milk-producing organ for infants but is a taboo calling it by country name in many parts of Asia.

A word may be a TABOO for children, adolescents, youths, married, middle-aged, old persons, differently-aged ladies.

A universal definition for 'TABOO' is not possible. IMO.






I am a layman.
Priscilla86
Posted: Monday, June 05, 2017 6:45:11 AM

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TMe wrote:


Breast is a normal name for milk-producing organ for infants but is a taboo calling it by country name in many parts of Asia.




What do you mean by 'calling it by country name'?

Some words can be taboo for some people even without knowing the meaning. My dad always says this Javanese swear word whenever he's angry. I never know what it means and I dare not ask (don't even want to Google it!). My siblings and I hate it so much even though none of us knows what it means but from the way he says it, the tone and everything, we know it's a very bad word.


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Morgaen
Posted: Monday, June 05, 2017 4:08:33 PM

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Personally I like bollocks. Good ould round word, so it is.

By the way Twat is also a four-letter word that ends with a T - but apparently, it has less impact that cunt. Is that to do with the "T" versus "C" sound, I wonder?

I find interesting how we take up the vocabulary of these very body parts that many of us keep under cover for a great part of the day, to use as insults. I don't know if that's true, but the use of cunt as an insult word is supposed to be relatively recent. As noted in one encyclopedia, the first recorded insulting applications of prick, cunt, twat and tit are 1928, 1929, 1929, 1947 respectively. Think
Romany
Posted: Monday, June 05, 2017 7:36:45 PM
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Morgaen,

Yes, you're right - as you might have seen above, the use of names for body-parts were just, well, names for body parts. If you're a student of English Literature you'll find them scattered throughout the great classical works of the English Canon unapologetically.

It was Victoria, of course, who changed things. After Albert died she went a bit funny about sex and bodies etc. almost as if, because she wasn't getting any loving, then one should just pretend sex & the organs thereof no longer existed. It wasn't particularly the slang words - it was any mention at all. So all women had to pretend that they too knew nothing whatsoever about such matters!

And, btw, people in the LGBT community are offended by the word 'vagina'. The literal translation is 'sheath' - something which needs to have something inside it in order to have any use! While most women would object to that too, the lesbian community get quite put out about it!
almo 1
Posted: Monday, June 05, 2017 9:57:00 PM
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Now I'm almost certain that if Dr. David were Hispanic
he would yell "coño" when he's going to transform.






youtube.com/transformacion David Banner







NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 12:48:14 AM

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Nobody can say "pussy" without creating confusion as to whether it's felines or genitals being discussed. The same was once true of the coney (pronounced to rhyme with honey), which is why we now refer to conies as rabbits.

The Parser might want to steer clear of Henry Miller. You could travel the world, reading the graffiti on toilet doors in every country, yet still not see "cunt" in print as many times as in either of Miller's Tropic of ... novels.

I read Gargantua and Pantagruel (English translation of Rabelais' great work), where the word used was "contrapunctum". I laughed pretty hard when I worked it out, which I admit took a while.


When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 12:52:22 AM

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Gary98 wrote:
Thanks to Romany and Sarrriesfan, Shakespeare feels much more likeable to me now, and is "of the people, for the people".


You might enjoy Filthy Shakespeare by Pauline Kiernan. Hilarious book!

When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 9:19:36 AM
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NeuroticHellFem wrote:


The Parser might want to steer clear of Henry Miller.



Hello.

I never read fiction of any kind.

I have been told that I am missing a lot, and I am sure that I am.

But fiction simply bores me.

Regarding "dirty" words, I agree with those who say that authors who constantly use them simply show their lack of talent.

Someone has said that the "good" thing about censorship is that it forces the author to be truly creative.

And when motion pictures used to be censored, the screenwriters were forced to come up with creative ways to express certain situations.

Remember when Alfred Hitchcock showed the male and female stars entering a train sleeping compartment? Then the very next and last scene of the movie cut to a train entering a tunnel!


Have a nice weekend!
Romany
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 1:31:49 PM
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Hey NHF - Good to see you around again - everything good?
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2017 5:04:35 PM

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Romany wrote:

Hey NHF - Good to see you around again - everything good?

Hi Romany!

I waste so much time playing Word Hub that I'm not on the forum often. I think it's an addiction. Brick wall


When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2017 5:27:19 PM

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NeuroticHellFem wrote:
Romany wrote:

Hey NHF - Good to see you around again - everything good?

Hi Romany!

I waste so much time playing Word Hub that I'm not on the forum often. I think it's an addiction. Brick wall


We missed you!

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
tunaafi
Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2017 6:05:50 PM

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TheParser wrote:
Remember when Alfred Hitchcock showed the male and female stars entering a train sleeping compartment? Then the very next and last scene of the movie cut to a train entering a tunnel!

When I first saw the film, I missed the suggestion. You were clearly better at detecting sexual innuendo than I. Mind you, that does require a mind that sees sexual suggestion when the more naive among us don't.

I am reminded of the (probably apocryphal) story of Samuel Johnson. When complimented by a lady for not including 'improper' words in his dictionary, he responded:“So, madam, you have been looking for them?”
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2017 2:33:04 PM

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Hope123 wrote:
NeuroticHellFem wrote:
Romany wrote:

Hey NHF - Good to see you around again - everything good?

Hi Romany!

I waste so much time playing Word Hub that I'm not on the forum often. I think it's an addiction. Brick wall


We missed you!


Thanks Hope!

When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
almo 1
Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2017 6:53:28 PM
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You Are a Cunt by Kat McSnatch






Kat McSnatch is a Sydney, Australia-born songwriter, singer and comedian.







NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 5:05:38 PM

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almo 1 wrote:


You Are a Cunt by Kat McSnatch

Kat McSnatch is a Sydney, Australia-born songwriter, singer and comedian.


Well that's really catchy almo! I can see myself singing that when stuck in traffic. Whistle

When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
almo 1
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:28:24 AM
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I lived about 10-minutes walk from Fox Theater.







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