Taboo (the c-word)

Over the next few days posts from me shall be scheduled ones. If anyone is interested, a particular set of circumstances lead to me scheduling a lot of posts in advance. They are: a lot of ideas, a block of free time all at once, uncertainty about when my next block of free time shall be. The first post is taboo. I’m confused on philosophy of language, but taboo is not something I particularly understand. Swear words are just words, and you’re more likely to ruffle my feathers using words like “moist”, or worse using the word “lush” wrongly. So what is the deal with swearing?

Other people’s writing has inspired this, and my next few, posts and I urge you to read the inspiring post for yourself.

(I might as well put it a “coarse language warning” here. Although it’s against the spirit of the post, coarse language is rare from me, so I my audience might want a warning)

The word cunt as a taboo?

Before I tell you about this post, I want to tell you why the word “doubt” has a B in it. In olde English, the word used to be spelt “doute”. But Latin scholars decided that the word would be better as “doubt”. Their reason is that its root word, in Latin, is “dubitare”. Here there is a B and you pronounce it. The word got into French as “doute” and then into English as “doute”, losing the B letter and sound.

Latin-speaking scribes put that B was put back in, not as homage to the Latin language but to tie the word “doubt” to other words that share the root word “dubitare”: dubious, indubitably. The word “doubt” means to be in two minds or to second guess ourselves. So, that B also relates the word “doubt” to the word “double” (through the Latin word “duo”). The meaning of the word is tied deeply to its history and context.

Now, to the post. The post is an argument for the word cunt to not be such a taboo. The history of the word cunt, as the post outlines, is tied up in female sexuality, by association with the genetalia; in educated and empowered women, by association with the “quna” and “kunta”. We have made a taboo of a word whose roots are that of female liberty and emancipation. That is interesting to consider.

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1 thought on “Taboo (the c-word)”

  1. Thanks so much for the link! I’m very glad you liked the post 🙂 The more people discuss, the more knowledge and understanding about the word is spread around.

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