Saturday, February 27, 2010

The "C-Word"

“What is the difference between a circus and a strip club? The circus has a bunch of cunning stunts.” This spoonerism creates a word play just like the bumper sticker “Buck Fush.” Although, I have to admit this one is cleverer because “fush” isn’t even a word.

But what, exactly, does the “c-word” mean? Here are a few theories:
1. A reference to female genitalia
2. Unpleasant or stupid person
3. A disparaging term for a woman
4. A despicable man
5. A term of endearment

When used with a positive qualifier (such as “good”) it can take on a positive connotation in New Zealand or Australia.

Feminists reclaim the word

As an abusive term, the “c-word” implies that a woman’s primary usefulness is as a sexual object. Many feminists have tried to reclaim the word the same way the LGBT community has reclaimed “queer.”

Inga Muscio’s book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence claims that
“only by reconnecting with a love for their genitalia can women achieve personal and political power.”
Literary references

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales uses the word as a non-offensive term, closely associated with “quaint.”

Shakespeare used wordplay to suggest the then-offensive word with the phrase “country matters” in Hamlet.

A few CANOEs

A "cuntline" is the space between casks stored side by side on a ship, and a "cunt splice" refers to a type of rigging.

Okay, I will finally type it out. Cunt.


  1. Here is a spoonerism that seems related:

    What's the difference between a pick pocket and a peeping tom?

    A pick pocket snatches watches.

  2. good one. see, I could never actually tell one of these "jokes" without saying it the wrong way, though.


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