etty moloji on the etymology of ‘etymology’

hallo, thirsters after knowledge! i’m etty Moloji and today’s lecture is about the etymology of the word ‘etymology’. by now most of you have googled it and perhaps you’ve found something like this, which i found here http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=etymology :

etymology (n.) Look up etymology at Dictionary.comlate 14c., ethimolegia “facts of the origin and development of a word,” from Old French et(h)imologie (14c., Modern French étymologie), from Latin etymologia, from Greek etymologia, properly “study of the true sense (of a word),” from etymon “true sense” (neuter of etymos “true, real, actual,” related to eteos “true”) + -logia “study of, a speaking of” (see -logy).

In classical times, of meanings; later, of histories. Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium. As a branch of linguistic science, from 1640s. Related: Etymologicaletymologically.
it’s in basic agreement with most of the others, so we might think of it as pretty well factual, n’est-ce pas?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
No, people. it is not even trying. i give it no marks. failed. undo the lot, unpick it, and do it again, this time with a scrupulous regard for academic HONESTY.they’re fibbing. telling whoppers. taking advantage of the carefully maintained ignorance and superstitious awe of the plebs.
let’s carefully deconstruct it, stitch by fibby, pretentious stitch.

  • etymology (n.) Look up etymology at Dictionary.comlate 14c., ethimolegia “facts of the origin and development of a word,”
late 14c here is a subtle one, that’s true, but there are no documents in existence that have the date thirteen somethingty something in the top left-hand corner. the earliest firm dates anyone has are known only from the institution of the gregorian calendar in 1582. some julian dates are prolly accuratish but who knows which ones? certainly not 19th, 20th and 21st century scholars and their consensus is not to be confused with fact.
  • from Old French et(h)imologie (14c., Modern French étymologie,

FROM????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

all they can honestly say is ‘also occurs in/as’ and the same cautions, chickings, re the date.

  • from Latin etymologia

FROM????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

all they can honestly say is ‘similar to Latin…’ no proof exists that any latin text is older than  medieval – only those extant during the renaissance have been preserved and dated by unsubstantiated guesswork to accord with biblical fibbery.(see https://hermannewthermeneutics.com/2010/09/27/on-the-non-antiquity-of-the-inflected-languages/). therefore the idea that any one form in any language comes ‘from’ another is GOING HORRRRRRIBLY BEEEYYYYYOOOOOONNNNNDDDDDDDD THE EVIDENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • from Greek etymologia

again, FROM????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

all they can honestly say is ‘similar to Ancient Greek…’ since no proof exists that any latin text is older than  medieval – only those extant during the renaissance have been preserved and dated by unsubstantiated guesswork to accord with biblical fibbery.(see https://hermannewthermeneutics.com/2010/09/27/on-the-non-antiquity-of-the-inflected-languages/). therefore the idea that any one form in any language comes ‘from’ another is GOING HORRRRRRIBLY BEEEYYYYYOOOOOONNNNNDDDDDDDD THE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and it’s a bit of a fib to call it a fact.)

 

  • properly “study of the true sense (of a word),”

darlingses, they mean prolly, not properly. use your head. (still it’s what it means now, so they can prolly get away with a few prollies and not look half as shonky as they really are)

  • from etymon “true sense” (neuter of etymos “true, real, actual,” related to eteos “true”) + -logia “study of, a speaking of” (see -logy). 


In classical times, of meanings; later, of histories. Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium. As a branch of linguistic science, from 1640s. Related: Etymologicaletymologically.

Teamhair, Tower, Tara: Towers in the Ancient World.

This article first appeared here: http://www.whiteoakdruids.org/EolasSamhain08.pdf

The word Teamhair occurs in Irish as Tara’s other name, and also in English where it is spelt Tower.

In English the pronunciation of the English form of this word, ‘tower’ varies a lot from person to person. Some pronounce both syllables clearly, others pronounce it as one, not always even prolonged, monosyllable, Tar, or even Tær, Tor or Ter with many not pronouncing the r, so that it becomes simply ‘taa’, ‘te’ or even ‘tae’. There are other pronunciations too, giving it either one or both syllables.

The name of the rune Tiwas or Tiwaz is within the range of possible spellings for some pronunciations of the word now spelt towers. Tiw then is back-formed from it and means the awesome person who wields high authority from a lofty tower. This opens the possibility that Tell, Tall, and the whole array of related syllables may be cognate with the Tiw, Tow-, Teamh- array array. Many English speakers pronounce a final l as a w.

This diversity is not reflected in English spelling. In Irish, the Tar- of Tara is equal to English’s mono-syllabic spoken form, while the Teamhair represents the di- syllabic form. The word seems to have been the same in English and Ireland, with the Irish sense of it focusing not on just any building, but on the Hill of Tara specifically, while in English it can refer to any high building, or even earthwork, but especially specific politically significant towers such as the Tower of London.

This same word occurs world-wide with many different spellings – mostly based upon the monosyllabic form – in compound words and in combination with a range of affixes. It sometimes means ‘tower’ or ‘towers’ and sometimes not, but many occurrences are clearly related.

We see it as anything from place-names (Tours, Tehran, Taranto, Tarq, Tarsus) to the names of gods, (Taranos, Thor, Ishtar, Terpsichore); in fast food (tarts, torte), dog-breeds (terrier ) mineral resources (tar) and sailors incidentally, (Jack Tars), tiaras, turnips, tyrants, the tarot and perhaps also the Chinese Tao, since Taoism was a culture that built towers.

Variants such as Tur-, Tyr-, Ter-, Tor-, Tour-, Teir- are to be found all over the map, in place-names of great antiquity. Check the indexes of atlases, mythologies and histories and search the listings under T in foreign language dictionaries: not all occurrences will refer directly or obliquely to towers, but enough of them will for you to see the emerging vista. There are Thera, Tia-maat, and Ish-Tar, and in Sanskrit, Yudhishthira.

Analysis of place names confirm that the ancient Tower culture, richly described and lovingly preserved in fairy tales, legends and folk-memories of many countries today, really existed and was world-wide. Ancient eastern European Rapunzels probably were reared in towers by formidable witches with magical (medical) gardens in exchange for medicine.

The likes of England’s Alison Gross who lived “…in yon tower, the ugliest witch in the North Country…” probably really did tryst their reluctant lovers into their veritable dark towers, and during that same aevum, a few outlandish countries distant, the old spinster cast her spools, and spell-bound her castle from its highest tower, where the beauteous Aurora lay wrapped up in thorny briar roses for a century, fast asleep.

Many a veritable Childe Harold really did approach that daunting Dark Tower quailing, where ruled Tyrants cruel and benign, or Tartars, or the Tarquins. Glammed-up and perhaps flirtatious ‘tarts’ made cake ‘torte’ and pastries ‘tarts’ in Germany and England), and they wore tiaras, and understood the Tarot, and attended tournaments, and went on tours (travelling from tower to tower), introducing to the locals turquoise, tourmalines, tar, terrines, tureens and turnips – and significantly for reconstructionists, tartan.

As an Irish word Teamhair looks like a plural form of a (hypothetical) singular noun Teamhar. Teamhair would then mean The Towers. And if Tara means Teamhair, it too is a plural form, perhaps of (a hypothetical) Tar. That’s one of the ways English people pronounce ‘tower’ and, so it seems, some of the olden day Irish.

Were all the Tower builders Celtic? It’s difficult to say. It’s not easy to define Celtic in today’s world, and it’s a much more elusive concept in the past. Throughout the world and within its range the word Celtic itself has many forms, both labial (P- Celtic) and non- labial (Q-Celtic), each with many variants.

Then, the meaning has diversified as rapidly and continuously as the form, not stablising until the much more circumscribed array of more or less sharply different languages that we now take for granted started to emerge out of the linguistic melange of indigenous and imported ancient and mediaeval western, middle, northern and eastern Europe and the southern coasts of the Mediterranean.

In the past, that ever-evolving melange of languages reflected a similar cultural melange, with mass marriages of fifty or more couples between cities or even up to five hundred couples between countries helping to stir the mix.

As the data accumulates and the picture emerges, it becomes clear that the Towers were world-wide; and so were the Cells, Kils, or Kells, the polises and churches of the Keltoi, the Celts. Variously known as Sel- Pel- Bel- Hel, Tel- with the vowel very various, plus a full array of suffixes, prefixes etc, variants can be found all over the map.

One of the most interesting is Gel, Gael, or Gaul, which seem to come from Goidh-el, which is variously spelt and related to Cath-al, which has P-forms related to the first two syllables of Parth-olan. These are traces of a truly international culture, incorporating Achilles, Apollo, Pwyll, Pali, Bali and more, extending perhaps into Australia, where names like Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie, Balladonia, and multitudes of other indigenous place-names occur alongside clear archeological evidence of an ancient Celtic presence.

International also were the Bans, the Danes/Danaans, Mona/Iona/Iuno, Mer, Cathars and Moors, to name but a few. Hybrid names such as tur-ban, Dardanian, Minataur , Kaftan, and similar reveal the cultural interweaving that produced the cultural melange we’re discerning there.

I’m seeing a system of paths, well-travelled mostly but with lonely stretches though green-woods and mirk-woods and over high mountains and across vast plains, penetrating to most parts of the world which was peopled with heroes, tyrants, the all-too-human gods, kings and queens, wizards and dwarfs, archetypes and stereotypes, and the plain men and women of folk-tales. Yes, and elves and fairies too, ancestral to today’s él­eves (French school children), fair ladies, and the Irish fear, a man.

Here and there are mighty towers where political power is held over surrounding lands, to protect or exploit according to the morality of the Tarts or Tyrants up in the Towers. It is possible that words for thunder, such as the Cornish taran and the Irish toirneach are also related to Teamhair, as there is evidence that they used explosives.

In Ireland long ago, no one knows when, in those places where the word had come to be pronounced tír, it underwent a semantic change, such that all the land surrounding the tower and under its control was called a tír. Now the sense of a central tower has been lost and the word tír denotes simply, territory, land or a country.

This is also true in Cornish, where ‘dor’ means ‘ground’, and in Latin, where ‘terra’ means land, earth or ground. But in Cornwall we also find that ternas is still a kingdom, or realm. The -nas is a double plural; the old Goidelic –ne or –na, which is –anna in modern Irish, shorn of its final vowel as in Germanic, and provided with a redundant English pluralising final s.

A similar semantic shift occurs in both Irish and Cornish and also Spanish and many other European words for a bull. In Irish it’s tarbh . The -bh is the remains of an old dative plural ending meaning ‘of’ or ‘with’. In Cornish it’s tarow, with –ow a plural ending. In Latin it’s tauros, torro in Spanish.

It’s easy to imagine why the word for bull would be synonymous for the word for a tower. Under best conditions, the tower is fortified, built very strongly and guarded well, and there are people there to work and maintain order. The surrounding people have a refuge there in war-times, and so their homes are not so strongly fortified.

Their cows, two or three at the most per household, and most often just one, need the services of a bull but once a year. A good virile bull depending on its breed needs to service a good few more cows than one household can keep, and indeed the tamest bull becomes very difficult to manage during rut, even if not frustrated. Keeping one healthy, impassioned bull per family is impossible.

The best solution is for many families to retain just one, and keep him within the thick stone walls of the tower. Each family leads their gentle house cow to him each year in her oestrous. That way he gets his fill of cows, and no one has to take their cow further than the centre of their community for a service.

To maintain best breeding standards and avoid in-breeding, the bull would have been replaced frequently. Every year or so you would have to kill the existing bull while he’s still young enough to be tender and not yet mature enough to be indomitable, and replace him with a carefully selected unrelated young bull from another tower. Imagine the pride of having your own family cow’s bull calf selected for the honour!

All other young bulls, perhaps yearlings, would be slaughtered for meat, while milk cows too would be carefully selected for each new generation. It would make sense to do this killing while the clans are gathered for formal business and in need of feasting and inclined to festivity. This would have been the origin of the idea of a ‘bull feast’, but no idea of divinatory rites is to be found there.

Tara changes to Tarbh by the addition of a suffix. Tur becomes Turk in the same way, with the –k being a form of the Irish –(e)ach, the English –ic, the Cornish –ek, etc. Related words are the old Irish Torc, meaning both a wild boar and a noble, a tower-ic person. They were clearly hunters of wild boar, because the Irish for ‘hunt’ is toireach. How did ancient Turks come to be so far from modern Turkey? Or should I ask, how did modern Turkey come to recede to so far-flung a corner of the range of the ancient Torcs?

Consider the widespread dominion of the Tower culture from antiquity until the Roman take-over. You might see it as a cultural pool which now dries up as its well-springs are destroyed. Isolated remnants still recall their ancient past, and are still named for it. But the original Turks were not middle eastern only, they came from all cultures, all over the world, and were loved and hated and feared according to their deeds. Gallant young Austrians to this day are called ‘young Turks’. Turkish magic is deep and profound.

The x in Latin words sometimes denotes the Greek guttural chi, which is like the Celtic ch. So the -torix in Vercin-ge-TOR-ix is more likely to mean Torc, the Vercin Tower people than any of the current guesses.

Some of these towers must have had all the grimness of the fairytale accounts of them. Words for darkness including English dark, Irish dorcha, Cornish tewl, and taw which means silence. But others cultivated a different image. In Cornwall, tewedh a lisped form of towers is synonymous with stormy weather, indicating that that’s where people went during very bad storms for friendly protection, and may be another reason for the folkloric association with thunder and lightning.

It’s possible to see similarities to the old Taran system of rule and regulation in our modern civil services and systems of government. It’s also possible to see developments in multiculturalism that might allow reconstructionists to experiment intelligently with networks of local administrative centres based on the old tower system.

But even if all we do is gently sift through the right words and the right evidence from other sources, we can help our real past to re-emerge in our history books. Linking in our own thoughts, through our own understanding, to Tara’s name all that rightfully should be logically linked to it can help to restore a vital circulation which once sustained not just the sacred Hill of Tara, but the whole worldwide network of dark, solemn, mysterious, friendly, terrible, enlightened and magical towers that were a part of our ancestors’ lives and our own past lives more than a thousand years ago.

Vyvyan Ogma Wyverne

god and the devil

now what i’m trying to say is that it is very hard when perusing the languages in old texts from the renaissance and earlier, along with later literature and more recently recorded speech such as we find in dictionaries old and current, and place names and personal names and piecing together the whole picture from the scraps historians have inherited from those turbulent times, to not notice or even care when an infinitive has been split, and more relevantly to not notice that when you use your common sense instead of the text book methods, dieu (french for god) is totally and irrevocably a variant of di’el (english for devil). you’d think that would interest the scholars? they don’t burn heretics anymore do they? look also at dyw (cornish for god), deus (latin for god) and a great many other words that don’t have to be listed here in the languages of far western europe. now despite the textbook adherence to arguably fictitious chronology derived from or mocked up to accommodate the bible (whose antiquity is not proved – no evidence sustains claims to its being older than the renaissance) nobody seems to have noticed this. i know funding is short, but…

god = goth

god = godd- = goth. it meant an officialdom – all humans, also known as the cathars. it depended on which dialect you spoke. other variants include caesar, cephas, cad, cassius, caes, gas, geas, caf, guv, sephas, gad, gard, cuss, cuth- and many many more.

i can find no evidence of pre-gregorian belief in god or gods as a supernatural, superhuman being or beings. or devils or dei for that matter. they are all just people.

the greek texts are medieval – greek was a medieval school language, not older. the currently accepted chronologies are fictitious, supporting the bible chronologies which are pure fantasy. the gregorians were superstitious fanatics. history since then has been dominated by pickwickian dotards. naked emperors. billstumpsxhismark has nothing on what they make of the ‘antiquities’ they find.

dieu is jew is diw (cornish, equated with god). tewdar is judah. dieu is diel is devil. diel is dell, dail, deal is a parliament, legal deal or tower. diw is tiw is tiwas is towers. all depends on your dialect.

the devil is not always reviled. some sources portray him as easily duped, swindled and cheated. poor devil. as a culture the dev-dav-duff-dubh people were widespread. they include people from devon, descendents of david, welsh families called davies and the town of deva. not a supernatural baddy, but naive farmers.

dieu is related to theos, meaning thells (a-thel-flaed) or cells, or sels etc, ie, celtic polises. so is zeus. ll is often u in dialects of many languages.

so joe = jew, and what of josephus? dia- diw- jew- + sephas/cephas?

no wonder no one’s ever been game to focus on this bizzare piece of medieval lingustics.

i’m focusing in england, cornwall and ireland and other western european lands, and more and more i think that i’m right to do that. josephus of arimathea is where i’m focussing more and more…

what ox, which ford, and what’s a university anyway?

herman announces:

morning all, i’m as you know herman newt poking about in the medieval mire looking for scraps of history, and in my perambulations mysterious and deep i find myself up against the mysterious and deep mythology surrounding the famed name of oxford and not a whit the less of university, so i thought at once of my dear friend, etty moliji.  i find her in a sunny meadow on a mild may morning surrounded by a circle of admiring students and i arrange  my gills tidily over my shoulders and i raise my nice amphibian hand and i ask my questions most respectfully, as a good newt should.

herman boldly enquires:

where is the ox ford after which oxford is named, and who first called a university a university?

etty replies:

oxford is og’s fort, not oxen ford. og=egg. they were birds (confused nowadays with bards) and that was a kenning.

university is from iona/juno/ionia/jonah/jonas dion etc+gwersi+ty. no one was ever inventive enough to think up ‘one turning’ as a good thing to call an educational institution – imo! i could be wrong. maybe someone did and everyone just sooooo agreeeeeed with him/her because of the powerful force on their imagination of that glorious metaphor, but no, i think it meant gwersi/verses, and that meant rote-learnt chanted verses, and specified those of the joneses and not those of say the cailleach/colaiste/colleges.

keith, an earnest pupil, protests:

but ms moliji, is wikipedia so lost in its sin? why would it misinform us while referring us to academic resources?

wikipedia says

from wikipedia

common sense etymologist

word doctor

etty persists, gently but firmly, choosing her words with care:

ahem, yes. the ford for oxen. that seems to be current textbook opinion. well, i can’t say i’ve ever successfully pinned this one down, but here are my thoughts so far. the university of oxford is in oxford and oxford is in oxfordshire. now i’m not saying that anyone knows the origin of any of it – there’s nothing older than the old texts – and i’ve never seen anyone verify, in any way you could call academic, the folk tradition that it is named for a river crossing for oxen.

i find it unlikely that they would have named a whole shire after a famed city named after a river crossing so primitive it hasn’t even got a bridge and then put a university there. if you are establishing something so proud and elevated as a university you’re not going to name it after a particularly polluted and obstructed part of the local landscape relevant only to labourers, carters and other low types.

so i take leave of the textbook models which are still writhing in the grip of false bible-distorted chronologies and the cultural neurosis around sacred texts and the myth of the antiquity of the potted-into-paradigms ‘school’ languages such as latin and greek, and long overdue for an update, let alone lawkes a’mighty an up-hahaha-grade, heheheheh, because of course it’s so hard to get funding for anything that might threaten the credibility of the establishment with its investment in the magical events of the noughtth of nought noughteen noughty nought, which is of course the start of everything sort of. prolly adds up to 42 but i ran out of fingers and toes.

and yes, belinda, you do still get flamed and sometimes cruelly, for heresy/errorsie/errors, though there’s a sea-change in view as post-modernism unpacks the politics of academic discourse and makes us all behave. but like i said, you’re always treading on someone’s corn – ovia (oops, cor/kor/kernowvia)  wherever you go and there are sore points everywhere…

like i said, the etymologies have never been done. the plethora is unplundered. the richest, plushest, preciousest treasures of the english speaking world are buried undiscovered beneath the screen memory scab of the glorious biblical glossages of the renaissance, restoration and general rehash since the introduction of the gregorian calendar. (i allow myself the occasional coinage.)

nb (re above parag) notice the astounding spirit of eloquence that seizes me when i draw nigh to ogma. i recite anything you like, backwards or forwards, or boustrophodon and no one has to ask what is in that bou/bull’s troph.  i chant lists of lists of lists off by heart, all the way to ninthly, and tenthly and beyond. my captive audience is spellbound as if by the golden chains of my dogma – aye by the dogma of ogma.

i believe we learn more from a different kind of analysis, dealing in syllables as if they were whole words each with its own meaning, conscious of the limitations of the so-called ‘corpus etymology’ of the old comparative philologists and looking not so much for adam and god in the garden as for the bitchy snitchy sprangly, wrangly racist pious elevated debased degraded lah-di-dah, lithping, putting-on-the-dawg medieval patois/padua/pathways, focusing on english forms of it, since it seems to have been spoken in various local forms worldwide..

even aotaroa is water-rower in the patois. same words, different accent. and yeah, they sure were water rowers.

i should have added scholarly to that list of adjectives and even still ‘noble’ enough to be potted up for chanting in class.

og is irish for young. it occurs in words like dogma, pedagogy, ology. (i disagree with greek origins for these words, maintaining that they, like england, got them from their local patois, the forms being diverse but often still recognisable. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE BELIEF IN THE ANTIQUITY OF ‘ANCIENT’ ‘GREEK’. they appear to me to be medieval.)

og/ag/ug/ig/og all have been ways of pronouncing it. the g can become a v or f or bh or y or i. it can pick up remnants of old articles, t-og, d-og, thug, yog, sieg, zieg, hag, hog, higgs, hug, hugh, or from the invading normans/romans, l’og,  lag, leg, lugh, etc – all are possible, some are probable, but i have a different derivation for lugh and haven’t finished comparing it with this one. then any of these might pick up remnants of old plurals such as ogre = og+array agnes/agonies oglaigh, oygle, aggle, hagel, hagan, hogan, and blimey, blokes, we’re all over the map of europe again and bá í craic í if it ain’t the court of the crimthann king.  yep the kremhild/cream guild that lugh invited in to teach the irish dairying and the making of butter and cheese.

si-(e)g seems to have been fried.

and this is what i see emerging from the mythtth. it all fits/fitz/feats. this has been fit/feat/fight the severalth.

herman winds up:

well, that was etty on the subject.

i’ll now go and see if i can waggle up some wireless and i’ll try and post it to you all.

slán

rude words, rude thoughts and references to very rude behaviour

euphemisms are like a disease, like lesions, or running sores. take sex for example. when I first learnt the word it had only one clearly-defined meaning: sex is whether you are a boy or girl. everyone is one or the other or some variation upon the theme, so everyone has sex – all the time. foetuses, newborn babies, children adults, old people, all have femininity or masculinity or some mixture of the two continuously. it isn’t something that comes and goes.

Everyone has sex 24/7 from birth to death.

that wasn’t too difficult to understand.

then in the 60s they started to use the word sex to mean fucking. that meant you could no longer use sex to mean whether male or female or some variant, without invoking the too-rude idea of fucking. so, when sex contaminated itself in replacing the now too-rude fuck, it became now too rude for m/f/other, and in the latish seventies some people started calling it gender. 3rd wave feminists seemed responsible.

up until then, gender was a grammatical term, with only incidental reference to sex. close relations of the word gender include kind (meaning sort or type) and genus. nouns, adjectives and articles can be masculine, feminine, neuter, common etc. now it also refers to what shape wee wee you’ve got, so soon it will be so contaminated with evocations of rude thoughts that we’ll have to replace it. but what with? how about manner of personhood, or beasthood to include all animals, or beinghood to accommodate all species? we could abbreviate it to mop or mob. what mop are you, male or female? who do prefer to have gender with, same or opposite or both or neither? that way we’ve done away with both sex and fuck, or only very rude people would say them. but gender would soon be contaminated too. the only way to stop it is to recognise the fear of mentioning fucking as a cultural disease and relieve us of it. it pullulates through our language like ulcerations in flesh, like a bad case of linguistic clap. dab on the Dettol. sex isn’t dirty.

poor fuck – it is itself a contaminated old euphemism derived from a variant of medieval words like make, work, fake, the latin facere (pronounced fuckery) and of course, viking, mac(k), mucker, and wake, the last three all meaning worker. was it replacing another word too rude and direct to say? rut or root perhaps? or was rut without a name because no-one had thought to give it one?

my guess is that the word it replaces died of disgustingness imputed by people who were sick in their own reproductive fuckery, sickened perhaps by the waves of syphilis and gonorrhoea going through during the medieval period. not physically sick, mentally sick. some euphemisms are symptoms of mental illness, part of a cultural neurosis. we should get over it.