The C Word.

Cunt. It’s ugly. Shameful. Degrading. It has foul connotations, it is considered highly derogatory, and it sounds so, well, blunt. Right?

It wasn’t always so, although its origins are mysterious. It may have come from the Latin, cunnusm the word for the female pudenda. It may also have had its roots mixed up in the word ‘quaint’. Quaint’s first recorded usage in English was C. 1225. At that time, it was interpreted to mean “cunning, proud, and ingenious”. Apparently, it’s from the Old French, cointe, meaning “pretty, clever, and knowing”. This, I like. A kind aof testament to the power of vaginas. Geoffrey Chaucer, my boyfriend, used it in The Canterbury Tales. He was punning on ‘quaint’ and ‘queynte’. But he meant cunt. No doubt about it.

The cool thing was, back then, it wasn’t obscene. In 1230, there was a Gropecunt Lane in London or Oxford. I suppose it was the Red-light district. Kind of beats the pants off “Seymour Street” in terms of imagery and connotation, doesn’t it?

Cunt has been considered obscene since the 17th Century. Funnily enough, at about the same time, ‘quaint’ stopped meaning ‘pretty or clever’, and started meaning ‘old-fashioned and charming’. Strange, that something with power over so many men (and women, too, honestly), goes from being ‘cunning, proud, and ingenious’ (a fabulous review of the female genital area), to being ‘old-fashioned and charming’, and being considered obscene.

In essence, if the ‘cunt’/’quaint’ connection is a true one, the human vagina is so powerful, so threatening to men, that they’ve had to cutesy it up at the same time as making it obscene.

I don’t know about you all, but I always knew my vagina was smart.

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