tagReviews & EssaysMy Cute Stumpy Thick End

My Cute Stumpy Thick End


I confess to getting as excited, well almost, when the titans of punctuation lock horns on lit. as with the steamy stories - hey guys, you can dangle your participles in front of my eyes any time you like; fancy a conjunction? - and would love to see even more wise pieces on grammar and punctuation: 'Should it be Tess' or Tess's pussy? Discuss.'

But really, can we please have more discussion on words. A good story is like a beautiful building. It is the bricks, the words, which strike you; not the mortar, the grammar, which sinks into the background, provided it has been neatly applied.

Words paint coloured pictures in your mind. There, I've revealed my Englishness. If American, I would have written 'colored'; but it is a case of "you say tomato and I say . . ." Did you know that nice Mr Bill Gates offers us sixteen different versions of an English spell check program? That is the joy of words. They flow, move continents and get different interpretations through their travels.

There are some good articles on lit. about words but, often, I find them a bit two-dimensional. Highly regarded authors will tell you when to call a cunt either a pussy or a vagina but they never tell you why; why it feels right to them. I know you have to use it in stories but, am I the only female who never has a vagina except in the presence of a gynaecologist? Even that is Greek; gyne meant a woman. Can't we have a campaign to convert the medical profession to 'babecology'?

Words have baggage. They are like mobile giant redwoods that last millennia and change their clothes with the passage of time and their travels.

If literotica was called litvenereal would you still be so attracted to it? I thought not. But it's all in your mind, you know. The two words mean almost exactly the same thing, erotic desire or sexual relations. Venereal has fallen by the wayside, associated unfairly with disease and nasty things. Blame the medical profession for sullying our minds about sweet Venus. Is it possible to take 'venereal' back as a sexy word now we've moved on to talk about STDs? Probably not.

We're still quite happy to talk about our mons veneris, mound of Venus, without trying to call it a mound of Eros. I do like the sound of 'mons erotica' though. The medical term 'mons pubis' doesn't light our fire either; even if a pubic mound seems to set a few hearts racing. Venus's Greek twin, Aphrodite, has come off much better with her aphrodisiacs.

The same goes for Eros, the Greek god of love. The poor Roman equivalent, Cupid, only seems to pop out on Valentine's Day and then, only as a chubby baby without his diapers. Even cupidity, which used to mean sexual desire, now means great desire for wealth. The term, 'erotica' was only invented in 1854 as a bookseller's catalogue heading.

Before we strip off and get down to basics, a few comments about underwear; or do you prefer lingerie? Lingerie, which in French is far less sexy, meaning things made of linen or a laundry room as well as women's underwear, came into England in 1850 as a euphemism for the scandalous word 'under-linen'. Now it is the sexy older sister of the Plain Jane 'underwear'. In fact, 'ladies' unmentionables' have always been a bit naughty whilst men's undergarments are pretty uninteresting.

Lit. is liberally sprinkled with brazen hussies going pantiless or men's noses pressed into sopping gussets. I've yet to find a story where the heroine is erotically sniffing the crotch of a pair of soiled boxers. And there's a thing. It's boxer shorts but then boxers; we do like our plurals for singular things that cover the butt. Except, isn't it funny that hose, usually two garments, sounds singular but is actually plural; and why not 'pantieshose'?

English women wear knickers; a word that sounds very odd to American ears but is quite titillating on the other side of the pond. The strange thing is that the word came from the US originally. Washington Irvine wrote 'A History of New York' in 1809 featuring Diedrich Knickerbocker and the drawings of the funny pants in the book inspired the word 'knickers' in the UK for women's panties.

Panties followed the opposite path. Pantaloons, tight pants for men, were all the rage in France in the 17th century but English writers poured scorn on the fashion and the word never really caught on. The US took it up and, by 1840, most American men were wearing pants. Perhaps not quite cross-dressers, but in the same era American men were wearing panties. The word originated as a derogatory term for men's drawers.

At the time, before they started wearing the panties in the house, American women were wearing bloomers. This was a scandalous style promoted, but not invented, by Amelia Jenks Bloomer, one of the first US champions of women's rights. They were originally called Turkish trousers (not pants), ankle length and baggy. They were much more practical under shorter skirts for the latest fashion, riding bicycles.

Speaking of inventions, you would have thought that only a man could come up with that instrument of female torture, the brassière. No, we owe that to one of the sisterhood, a New York socialite, Mary Phelps Jacobs. In 1909, our Mary was going to a grand ball in a sheer evening gown and realised she couldn't wear a boned corset underneath. With a couple of handkerchiefs, a bit of ribbon and some cord she created the first backless bra.

Why she called it a brassière when she got her US patent, goodness knows. The word means children's reins in French and, in Quebec, women wear a soutien gorge (support the throat!). Perhaps a term like 'breast support' didn't sound quite right in polite American society.

Incidentally, why do women have breasts and a guy only has a breast? Well, we're back to the euphemisms again. Long ago we used to have tits or more politely, titties. The word was derived from teat. Somehow this slowly became too brazen to use in genteel society and we started talking about a woman's breast or bosom. It's clearly a bit funny talking about sucking the left half of a breast so, for convenience really, the plural came about.

The modern slang use of tit, from teat, seems to have started in 1928 without any awareness of the old polite usage of the word. So, the 'new' tits shouldn't be 'titties'.

Now, here's where it gets confusing. Teat is still a perfectly acceptable synonym for a nipple even though it originally started out as being a breast. Nipple comes from the old English word 'nebb', a beak or nose. 'Neble' came to mean a little nose and hence, nipple. Neb is still in use as meaning a bird's beak. Nub, however, derives from an old dialect word 'knub' or small point (the nub of the matter), which also gave rise to 'knob'. I still giggle at the sound of knob because, barely pubescent, it was our rudest word for a guy's manhood.

In old erotica you come across 'nubbin' as a euphemism for a clitoris, which also amuses me. American farmers derived this from 'nub' to mean an imperfect ear of corn. How about, "She orgasmed powerfully when his finger stroked her dwarfed ear of corn."?

I could go on about thongs and G-strings (a native American Indian word originally) but I've teased you enough. Let's get the underwear off and see the bare flesh.

Unfortunately not a story about a horny dinosaur, Whispersecret's Sexsaurus (actually 'Erotic Synonyms') is a little treasure trove of erotic vocabulary. Why, though, do we need so many terms for certain parts of our anatomy? A vagina can be more than 20 things; for example, a vulva, a pussy, a cunt, a snatch, a hole, an opening, a muff, a twat, a quim; even a fanny in the UK. Try finding so many terms for an elbow!

In fact, it's always a bit disconcerting crossing the Atlantic knowing that my fanny, ugly word, is moving from the front to the back. But why? No-one is quite sure. The possible origin is an English erotic novel of 1748, Fanny Hill, but how it came to mean 'vagina' in England and 'ass' in the US is a mystery. Perhaps there's some deep Freudian significance.

In the same vein as arguing whether the plural of computer mouse should be mice or mouses, do two women have two pussies or two pussys? For most of my life I believed that my pussy was so-called because of the soft coat of fur it wore (sometimes). This was reinforced a while ago, before my Other had become Significant, when being anatomically investigated by an adorable Frenchman who asserted that I had "une jolie chatte," – "a pretty female cat." I was quite disappointed to find out that the French word originally meant a small hole, with no feline connection at all.

The same, sadly, is true of 'pussy'. You can laugh knowingly when some character, looking for a euphemism, starts talking about her 'kitty'. Pussy was imported into America by Irish immigrants and, in old Irish, simply meant 'lips'. So, strictly, anyone writing about pussy lips is really only saying 'lips lips'. Of course, most of us know that labium is just a posh Latin word for lip but, even with this erudite knowledge, I haven't taken up SO's dare to go to the mall to ask for a stick of pussy gloss or a labia salve.

Speaking of genitalia, did you know that every Roman soldier had a vagina? No, they weren't a total bunch of gender-benders; it was just a sheath or scabbard where they stuck their swords. In fact, even Napoleon's soldiers in 1800 were still stuffing their swords in their vaginas; painful. So perhaps those critics who condemn expressions like "He stuck his lusty weapon in her silken sheath" could take a moment to reflect why they are so troubled.

It was the medical profession, searching for euphemisms to spare delicate ladies' blushes about three centuries ago, that coined 'vagina' for a pussy. A bit posh sounding and Latin, it seemed more high-falutin' than 'sheath' and less earthy than 'cunt'. In fact, the medics have taken the game further. "Have sexual congress with my female intercrural foramen! (between the legs opening)" doesn't seem to convey quite the same sense of erotic urgency as, "Fuck my cunt."

While we are in the region, let's get down and dirty. If the Romans had a strange idea of what a vagina was for, how did they distinguish between where to plant their swords and what to do with their cocks? Simple, Slot B was a cunnus. Ah! You see where I'm going. Well, no, you don't actually. The Old Norse word 'kunte' is usually given as the forerunner of cunt without any connection to cunnus being found.

For hundreds of years cunt, or cunte, was a perfectly acceptable, if anatomical, description of the female genitalia. For centuries, the word wasn't vulgar. In fact, in the 13th century there was a street in London picturesquely called Gropecuntlane; suitably, a haunt for prostitutes. In a funny parallel, medieval Paris sported a 'rue Grattecon' (Scratchcunt Street).

From its ancient roots, the word has ended up in some form in most European languages; originally acceptable but now rude. The Dutch got a bit confused because a 'kont' means ass and a 'kut' is a cunt. You can forgive the Dutch, though, because they have invented two lovely nouns, 'liefdesgrot' (cave of love) and 'vleesroos' (rose of flesh).

We all know what we're getting with a bit of cunnilingus, but strictly the word means the person not the act; a licker of cunts; note the plural, SO reminds me. Those of us researching a bit of historical erotica keep coming across a cunny or cunney. This is just an Anglicisation of the plural of cunnus, cunni. It was a way of being vulgar without resorting to the shameful word 'cunt'.

In fact, but for the descent into obscenity of a cunny, Coney Island would probably be pronounced 'Cunny' Island. Coney, meaning a rabbit, used. to rhyme with cunny but had to change it's pronunciation in the 18th century. There was a bawdy wordplay that butchers' wives were supposed to say to their poor husbands at the end of the week, "No money, no coney!" Think about it.

If you are writing a historical story dated later than 1600, it's quite OK to use quim if you don't like cunny. The only problem is, no-one seems to have any idea where it came from. The trail is not just hazy; it simply doesn't seem to exist. I would love to find some clue or suggestion to the orphan birth of this strange word.

Recently I embarrassed myself completely by convulsing in laughter when a beautiful black American introduced himself to me as John Thomas. In England the word is slang for a penis. I don't know why. Perhaps there is some connection with an American 'john'. Anyway, in the resulting conversation on the history of words he told me that 'poontang' can also mean a cunt. I thought it just meant a slut or fucking, but apparently not. It seems to have come from New Orleans Creole around 1900 from the French word for prostitute, 'putain'.

Just how the 'cave of love' got to be called a vulva is also a bit mysterious. In Latin, the word meant a womb or matrix but somehow slipped down the body as the Anglo-Saxons preferred the German word 'wombe'. Revolve has the same parentage as 'vulva'; which will come as no surprise to many a pregnant woman.

Yes, I did say 'matrix' as a synonym for 'womb'. This means a mould in which anything is shaped or formed and comes from the Latin for mother, 'mater'. Would Keanu Reeves have appeared in 'The Womb Reloaded'? In fact, the ending '-trix' is a standard way of creating a feminine word; think of a dominatrix or a fellatrix. So why can't we stop talking about female lovers and just have a lovetrix?

Now it's time to get hysterical. A word I don't much care for is uterus, a synonym for a womb, which comes from Greek. Hysteria comes from the same word. The Ancient Greeks; bless them, they were only men; thought that an outbreak of frenzied uncontrollable emotion could only happen to women. So, hysteria was regarded as a women's disease caused by a disturbance in the uterus. Well, at least you can understand 'hysterectomy' now; a removal of the hysteria organ.

Along the same lines as Columbus claiming to have 'discovered' America in 1492 – didn't the ethnic population know it was there already? – a macho Italian anatomist claimed to have discovered the clitoris in 1550. Hadn't we girls had known all about it for a few million years beforehand?

I am prepared to accept his arrogance because, as clitoris didn't exist, he dreamt up a most beautiful name; "Amor veneris, vel ducedo"- the love of Venus, veiled in sweetness. A bit of a mouthful when all you want to say is, "Lick my clit," but, deep in my soul, it makes me feel so good.

There's a bit of uncertainty over the real origin of 'clitoris'. It's only been around since 1615 and the most common view is that it came from a Greek word meaning 'little hill'. It may not be right but I prefer the variant on the same Greek word, 'to incline towards pleasure'. I suppose it just shows the romantic in me. What does seem surprising though is that 'clit' has apparently only existed since 1960.

From vaginas to clits, we must surely be approaching a climax. Hold on to your love lollipops, guys, we've a way to go yet. A climax comes from Greek words meaning to climb a ladder or slowly reach a goal. It's only been around since Marie Stopes, the patron saint of birth control, coined it in 1918 as an easier word for us simple girls to understand than 'orgasm'.

Now, if you've stayed with me so far, I want to pose a question that troubles me. Ma Stopes used climax to mean the female orgasm. How many times have you read a story which talks about a man reaching a climax? Then there's orgasm itself, which is all a bit confusing.

Of course from Latin originally, the noun orgasm was taken into French three hundred years ago meaning the swelling of an organ; any organ. In terms of sex, it is much newer. Most dictionaries will tell you it means the male or female sexual climax; which is already rather strange because climax is supposed to be a girly thing. Without getting too nerdy, I'm not sure men can orgasm. Hell, isn't it just the opposite? The old schlong starts off all swollen and upright and ends up floppy and teeny weeny. As a verb, orgasm has only been around for thirty years or so and most references are to the female climax.

So, come on guys, get your thinking caps on. I'm with you in not particularly liking words like ejaculate, and the very new 'cum' for 'come' is a help; but really, the vocabulary for male pleasure is just too limited and mundane. I know, you prefer to just do it rather than talk about it; but cum off it!

All this is getting me horny. Well no, strictly speaking, it can't. Horny, sexually excited or lecherous, is a boy thing. In the early 18th century a hard-on was known as a horn or 'the horn', probably 'cos it looks like one. James Joyce uses it in 'Ulysses'. So, a guy with 'the horn' was said to be horny. I think this is a case where we are seeing a word change its meaning in front of our eyes. A horny woman doesn't sound strange to me.

Well, fucking me; fucking you! Sounds like an old Abba song doesn't it? Haven't you ever wondered how this little monosyllable got its power to shock, insult, titillate and generally be such a bad boy?

It has always been a bit rude but it is a bit difficult to trace its history because, between 1795 and 1965, all English and American dictionaries ignored its existence completely. In fact, there were laws in the US and the UK banning its use in publication. Unlike cunt, pussy, cock and prick, fuck seems to have been beyond the pale for quite a while.

In 1278, there was a renowned Englishman called John le Fucker. SO dreams of aspiring to the title. But, joking apart, something along the lines of 'cunt', there seems to have been a time when the word was a more acceptable way of saying 'copulate' or 'sexual intercourse' than nowadays.

As there are no written references, the history is a bit suspect but the best guess is that the origin is Scandinavian or German. The words fukka, ficken and focka all meant fuck and, in old Swedish dialect, a fock was a penis. The idea of an ancient Swedish lady saying 'I've just been focked' appeals to me. The word seems to have travelled across to Scotland, down into England and migrated to the US. Perhaps those Pilgrim Fathers were less straight laced than history makes out.

In fact, it was only with James Jones's 'From Here to Eternity' in 1950 that 'fuck' found its way into print. Jones's book included fifty fucks but there had been 258 in his original manuscript.

All the insults; fuck up, fuck you and motherfucker, only saw the light of day in the 20th century. Maybe it was just because the word was taboo and has such a nice rude sound. I can't think of any other reason to explain why a mess, a balls-up should be a fuck up. Mind you, the Ancient Egyptians often used to include in legal agreements the phrase, 'If you do not obey this decree, may a donkey copulate with you'. I guess that's the first ever reference to being ass fucked. This brings me neatly to the back side, or backside. Even with my English English education, I go along with the view that 'ass' is more erotic than 'arse'; especially written down. The readers can pronounce it as they like. The old English word, 'aers' just meant the hind quarters of an animal. There is quite a tradition in American English for dropping the 'r' in words; curse/cuss, burst/bust, horse/hoss etc.

Why the gluteus maximus, a bit of flesh and muscle about half way down, should be called a bottom, escapes me. It comes from an old German word for soil or earth and has only meant 'a human posterior', since 1794. Apart from monkeys, animals don't have bottoms do they?

Well, it seems only humans have butts. The origin was the 14th century old English word 'buttuc', an end or short piece of land. This gave us all buttocks and butt was used to describe a stump or a thick short end of something. Think of a rifle or cigarette butt. By 1450, butt had started to be used for the human posterior; hence my cute stumpy thick end!

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byelfin_odalisque© 23 comments/ 46877 views/ 18 favorites

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