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July 01, 2008

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Yeah, my friends do use some insults as terms of endearment (o.k., I play back sometimes, but I don't care for it). However, the C-word is still off limits -- at least as far as I can figure.

Personally, I think it's a rather nifty word, but maybe I've watched the Vagina Monologues too many times. That, and I have a linguistic appreciation for obscenities.

I get the impression that "cunt" is less hostile in British English, but I'd have to check with Lynne at separated by a common language to be sure. Certainly it's highly obscene in my idiolect.

Well, it's apparently not off-limits to the Republican presidential candidate; here's a great piece on the media's inability to cover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFCl3EUMHSc&feature=related.

"Petals around a miracle" - now that's a hoot.

Uh, that's "cover the incident." Sorry!

@Jessica: Love the YouTube clip. No cunt-try for old men, indeed!

While cunt is still obscene in BrE, it's certainly true that it's used more freely here. I think a key difference is that it's used of men. So, a man might call another man that he dislikes 'a stupid cunt'. It would sound worse if it were about a woman, and the word is used far less by women than by men.

There's a local construction crane company in my area named after the family that owns it: Mooncotch. I think mooncotch sounds like a terrific alternative to chocha.

@Lynneguist: Thanks for the UK perspective! Hard to imagine the converse: do women ever call each other "dicks"?

@Orange: Mooncotch is excellent! A little woo-woo, blessings-to-Gaia, let's-taste-our-menstrual-blood, but still ... a fabulous word.

In my family, it's always been your "cootch". Not too sweet, not too vulgar, just right.

The women's festival I attend in summers has a little general store selling everything from ice cream bars to tarps is called the Cuntry Store. Which I have to say, I love. My experience is that between lesbians, cunt can be used as a word that is affectionate, empowering and political. But coming from a man, I would take great insult. Mostly based on the fact that my "petals around a miracle" where being used as a degrading term. I personally would call men and women "dick" equally. Which I realize is pretty sexist of me!

"Chocha" is brand-new to me. Thanks for that! This has been a really fun ongoing discussion.

I've never heard a woman called that in the UK. I've seen it used that way on US T.V. but it is clearly meant in a different sense to what we mean when used toward a man and so is actually just meaningless vulgarity.

If anything, when I have seen it used on US T.V. it seems slightly pathetic, as though said for effect in preference to the meaning, and tends to cast the accuser as the villain, regardless of the context.

@Andrew: I can't remember ever hearing it on U.S. TV. In fact, I'd have said it was the last taboo. Where did you hear it? (I'm guessing Deadwood, of which I've seen only about 12 minutes. I heard a lot of cussing, but no "cunt.")

I have seen it a few times, but the one that springs to mind is Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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