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Re: YAEPT: Australian Milo

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Saturday, July 1, 2006, 16:20
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> Tristan Alexander McLeay wrote:
>> (Incidentally, I never knew "twat" was a swear word, nor that it >> referred to female genitalia. I just thought it was a bit of a light & >> dated insult. Well within the range of what a teacher might say to a >> student they considered mature in reference to someone else.) > > > Well, in the context, despite being a British show rather than > American, it was definitely being used in the way I'm familiar with.
Yep - but Tristan's an Ozzie, not a Brit :) But I am am a Brit and in view of the fuss over this little word, I thought I'd consult my dictionary. It gives; - the pronunciation as either /twQt/ or /tw&t/. - the primary meaning as a vulgarism for the vulva; the secondary meaning as a coarse term of reproach. - the etymology unknown. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that it might be heard on a British show (one assumes well past the 9.00 pm 'watershed') with the meaning of vulva, nor that it was pronounced /tw&t/. As a fellow Brit earlier wrote, both /twQt/ and /tw&t/ are used here - as the dictionary confirms. FWIW, I have rarely heard the word in use & always IIRC with the pronunciation /tw&t/. I believe I have heard it used in both meanings given by the dictionary. I guess that in Oz, from Tristan's mail and that fact he said the term was "dated", that the primary meaning has been forgotten, so the secondary meaning has, presumably, lost its coarseness. I'm sure a teacher who said it to a student here could well find himself in trouble. -- Ray ================================== ================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760