The Origins of Words with Obloquy (Obscenities)

NOTE: ALL OBSCENITIES USED IN THIS POST ARE USED FOR EDUCATION, THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO OFFEND OR DISPARAGE ANY PERSON OR PERSONS, NOR IS THIS INTENDED TO ENCOURAGE THE USAGE OF THIS OBSCENITIES OR DEROGATORY TERMS!

Ass/ Arse: “Old English ærs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aarsand German Arsch.”

Bitch: “Old English bicce, of Germanic origin.”

Bloody: “Mid 17th century: from bloody1. The use of bloody to add emphasis to an expression is of uncertain origin, but is thought to have a connection with the ‘bloods’ (aristocratic rowdies) of the late 17th and early 18th centuries; hence the phrase bloody drunk (= as drunk as a blood) meant ‘very drunk indeed’. After the mid 18th century until quite recently bloody used as a swear word was regarded as unprintable, probably from the mistaken belief that it implied a blasphemous reference to the blood of Christ, or that the word was an alteration of ‘by Our Lady’; hence a widespread caution in using the term even in phrases, such as bloody battle, merely referring to bloodshed.”

Bugger: “Middle English (originally denoting a heretic, specifically an Albigensian): from Middle Dutch, from Old French bougre ‘heretic’, from medieval Latin Bulgarus ‘Bulgarian’, particularly one belonging to the Orthodox Church and therefore regarded as a heretic by the Roman Church. The sense ‘sodomite’ (16th century) arose from an association of heresy with forbidden sexual practices; its use as a general insult dates from the early 18th century.”

Damn: “Middle English: from Old French dam(p)ner, from Latin dam(p)nare ‘inflict loss on’, from damnum ‘loss, damage'” 

Dick: “mid 16th century (in the general sense ‘fellow’): pet form of the given name Richard. Sense 1 [the obscenity] of the noun dates from the late 18th century.” 

Faggot/ fag: “Middle English (in the sense ‘bundle of sticks for fuel’): from Old French fagot, from Italian fagotto, based on Greek phakelos ‘bundle’.” Fag appeared as the shorted for of the disparaging usage of faggot in the 1920’s.

Fuck: “Early 16th century: of Germanic origin (compare Swedish dialect focka and Dutch dialect fokkelen); possibly from an Indo-European root meaning ‘strike’, shared by Latin pugnus ‘fist’.” 

Nigger: “Late 17th century (as an adjective): from earlier neger, from French nègre, from Spanish negro ‘black.’ The word nigger was first used as an adjective denoting a black person in the 17th century, and has long had strong offensive connotations. Today it remains one of the most racially offensive words in the language. However, it has acquired a new strand of use in recent years: it is sometimes used by black people as a mildly disparaging way of referring to other black people, in much the same way that queer has been adopted by some gay people as a term of self-reference, acceptable only when used by those within the community.”

Piss: “Middle English: from Old French pisser, probably of imitative origin.”

Shit: “Old English scitte ‘diarrhoea’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schijten, German scheissen (verb). The term was originally neutral and used without vulgar connotation.”

Tit: “Old English tit ‘teat, nipple’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tit and German Zitze. The vulgar slang use was originally US and dates from the early 20th century.” 

Twat: “Mid 17th century: of unknown origin.”

Queer: “Early 16th century: considered to be from German quer ‘oblique, perverse’, but the origin is doubtful. The word queer was first used to mean ‘homosexual’ in the early 20th century: it was originally, and usually still is, a deliberately offensive and aggressive term when used by heterosexual people. In recent years, however, gay people have taken the word queer and deliberately used it in place of gay or homosexual, in an attempt, by using the word positively, to deprive it of its negative power. This use of queer is now well established and widely used among gay people (especially as an adjective or noun modifier, as in queer rightsqueer-bashing) and at present exists alongside the other use.” 

Source: 

Oxford English Dictionary Online: oxforddictionaries.com

 

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