Skip to content
Advertisements

Infographic: The Origin of Vulgar Words

Today’s post might be R rated.

If you’ve ever wondered when the vulgar names of certain body parts entered the English lexicon, then wonder no more.

Today, I present to you an extremely “handy” graph created by Lapham’s Quarterly , and it shows just that.

Here’s what I find funny: 

Almost all the terms for “butt” are so polite. There’s “fundament” (1297), “buttocks” (1300), “rump” (1475), and “bumfiddle” (1675). Bumfiddle? In 1851, we progress to the vulgar “rear end.” It’s not until 1930 that we actually see a somewhat vulgar term used in “ass.”

Now, compare that to the terms used for sexual intercourse: “swiving” (1300), “carnal knowing” (1400), “occupying” (1544), “(To play at) Hot cockles,” (1627). Then there’s the boring “sexual intercourse” (1753), followed by “shagging” (1772), “mattress jig” (1896), and “nookie” (1930).

Perhaps the most vile words are saved for lady parts. The most amusing contrast is “nature’s treasury” (1635) and “c**k alley” (1785). I fully blame the extreme shift in vulgarity over that 150 years to the creation of America. ‘Merica.

I’ll have to stop there. Many words I dare not repeat on this blog for fear of horrific search terms finding their way on here. My Lolita book review attracts enough creepers and perverts, so I’d rather not make things worse.

Here’s the full graph from Lapham’s Quarterly. Guard your eyes and prepare to blush (Click twice on the graphic below to see it full size):

You can also see the full graph at Lapham’s Quarterly.

Advertisements
10 Comments Post a comment
  1. priyanka #

    Haaaahaaaa. Interesting . good to know 😀

    Like

    February 3, 2015
  2. Swiving, eh?

    Like

    February 3, 2015
  3. Bumfiddle? You’re having me on!

    Like

    February 3, 2015
  4. Some are relatively new, interesting

    Like

    February 3, 2015
  5. I guess the really vulgar words never make it into the Oxford Dictionary. 🙂

    Like

    February 3, 2015
  6. Hilarious!

    Like

    February 3, 2015
  7. Great post!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Like

    February 3, 2015
  8. Reblogged this on zenatheelephant.

    Like

    February 4, 2015
  9. Super interesting….

    Like

    February 4, 2015
  10. Reblogged this on bedsoc.

    Like

    February 10, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: