Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 6 February 2014
The obvious popularity of my game got me thinking about the 'C' word in general, and the translation into English of the Chinese gynaecological sign-board got me thinking about how it has turned from a perfectly ordinary, day-to-day word to describe the thing itself, into the most powerfully offensive word in the English language.
It is - as you might expect - an Anglo Saxon word, and they used to use it for particular topographical features when water flows from or between two hills or tracts of land, as in Kent or the Wiltshire area, Kennet. That's right, Kent means Cunt.
It was so commonly used in medieval times (in both senses) that there are small streets in many English towns which used to be the hang-out of low-life prostitutes, called 'Grope Cunt Alley' or Lane until the Victorians shortened the names to 'Grope Lane', as they did in Shrewsbury. Moll was a bit offended by this small piece of factual information, but she did ask.
In the 1970s, a feminist friend belligerently asked me if I could think of a single insult which involved male genitalia, and I quickly rattled off quite a few, starting with 'prick'.
In modern day parlance, a 'cunt' is an industrial-grade 'cad', whereas a 'twat' is a less serious, more silly one, even though the two words mean the same thing. A 'twat' is another four letter Anglo Saxon word meaning 'a hole in a hedge through which it is possible to squeeze'. Gedditt?
My father used to say that if I knew what the word 'twat' meant, then I wouldn't say it. He regularly called me a nincompoop though, and I have only just found out what that word means. According to my dictionary of slang from 1820, a 'nincompoop' is a man who is so stupid that he has never seen his own wife's cunt. I wonder if my father knew what it meant when he called me by that name?
Years ago in my youth, I started off using the word to describe horrible men as a joke, because it was so unacceptably rude, that using it was - at the time - quite funny. The way things have gone as my generation has grown up and placed themselves into positions of power and influence, means that I now often use it quite seriously because - quite simply - nothing else will do to describe my feelings about them, apart from listing their faults on several sheets of A4 paper, which would take too long, and there are now too many of them to waste the words on.
I never - not even as a joke - use the word against women, no matter how unpleasant I think they are. I would rather write it all out on A4 paper than do that, so I do retain some vestiges of old fashioned respect for the opposite sex, if you look hard enough.
Ironically, nobody invests the word with so much vitriol and hatred as a man with a Kentish accent. Go to any pub in Kent when builders are having a couple of pints after work, and you will hear the drawn-out vowel (Caaaaant!) in every sentence of every conversation. I actually surprised myself by being shocked at this, the last time I was in a pub in Faversham. I almost complained to the landlord - me!
Anyway, too much analysis makes one self-conscious and that would be bad for the game. Forget everything above and carry on playing it without another worthy thought on the matter.