Re: RARA-AVIS: words you now can say on TV, at least on cable

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 09 May 2004

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark Sullivan" <> To: <> Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2004 2:13 PM Subject: RARA-AVIS: words you now can say on TV, at least on cable

> I heard someone commenting on all of the "dirty words" on Deadwood.
> wasn't disapproving, actually said he found them amusing, but claimed
> they were not historically accurate for the 1870s. He specifically
> listed fuck, cunt, cocksucker and "cutting the cheese." Now I know
> goes back further than this. The earliest use of cunt I know of is in
> Jelly Roll Morton's 1928 recording of Murder Ballad, but it didn't
> like he was making up a new word, so I'm sure it's much older than
> Although it's been some time since I've read it, I seem to remember
> Black (no, not the one in Tenacious D, who reign supreme, and School
> Rock) using cocksucker in I Can't Win. Wasn't that from the early
> century? Plus I've got to figure that if cowboys were paying for it
> whorehouses, they had to have a name for it. I have no idea how old
> "cut the cheese" is.
> Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had a slang dictionary that might
> gives dates for when these words entered the language.
> Mark

I don't know about "cut the cheese" or "cocksucker" but you'll find the other words, IIRC, "fuck" "cunt" and, indeed "cock" in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. (I think the Pardoner's Tale may be where you can find some of these words in use.) The words weren't new in Chaucer's time, either. These are the original Anglo-Saxon words replaced in "polite" society by Latin or French words. (Fuck/fornicate; cock/penis; cunt/vagina). Likewise "shit" & "piss" were the original Anglo-Saxon words replaced, again, in polite society by "defecate" and "urinate" as all bodily functions were similarly euphemised*.Polite people
(descendants of the French speaking Norman rulers of England, presumably) don't sweat but "perspire" (like ladies in my childhood). And for polite people who cant bring them selves to call a fuck a fuck, there's always that polite euphemism, "four letter Anglo-Saxon word".

*Not too sure if that's a real word but I guess people know what I mean.

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