Cunt. There, I said it. I got the taboo word right out of the way!
But where does the term cunt even come from, and why is it so offensive? Plus, what does it have to do with vaginas? You’ll probably be surprised to learn how the c-word has changed over time and the history behind it. So, continue reading below to have all your burning questions about answered about the word cunt.
WHERE IS THE WORD CUNT DERIVED FROM?
Truth be told, the history of the word cunt is quite interesting. Seriously, if teachers taught this to us in history class, we may have actually listened! There are dozens of unique sources for the c-word, from Germanic to Scandinavian, with some Latin thrown in between. Indeed, in Latin, the word ‘cunnus’ means vagina. #TheMoreYouKnow
Dating back even further than those cases, there were inscriptions found on pre-alphabet runes that read ‘kunt.” So, in essence, we can compare those markings to present-day crass drawings on a nightclub stall. It’s good to know that some things will never change . . .
“Cunt” has also been used in vulgar Renaissance verses, including Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. However, it wasn’t until Shakespeare’s time that the meaning of cunt began to shift profoundly. While no one can really isolate just one origin of the word, it has appeared quite a bit in literature, and good ol’ Shakespeare was clearly a fan.
So, the answer to whether or not Shakespeare invented the word “cunt” is both yes and no. However, he is chiefly responsible for common cunt euphemisms. Although the word dates back thousands of years, its use today is predominantly because of Shakespeare.
When Did the Term Become So Offensive?
Most women cringe at the word cunt, but when did the term become offensive? There’s so much to uncover with this four-letter word, but at least now you know where it comes from. The truth is the word cunt only started becoming offensive when puritans decided to stigmatize sexuality. In the Middle Ages, Christian clergymen give sermons regarding the idea that a woman’s genitals are a potent source of evil. I mean, speaking from experience, they do have a valid point, but I digress. The term “Cunnus Diaboli,” means “Devilish Cunt.” And during that period, the divinity of the cunt was something to be hidden and ashamed of.
Taking the Power Back
Therefore, if cunt simply means vagina, then what’s wrong with vaginas? Vaginas are freakin’ awesome! They provide people with pleasure, they give life, and they’re even a naturally developed lunar calendar! So, why would someone refer to a pissy person as a warm, squishy birth canal? That beats the hell out of me. As someone who loves words, the ill use of cunt is entirely mind-boggling. It’s undeniable that language changes over time. Nonetheless, as responsible, mindful citizens, we should work against constructs that steal power from one group and hand it to another.
I genuinely believe that it’s time to embrace the term cunt again. It’s a tiny word that bears a lot of weight, but it should be anything but scary or offensive. It can be a massive dose of love instead of an enormous force of hate if we actively define our vocabulary rather than letting it define us.
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