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Re: vulgarisms

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, November 12, 1998, 2:02
Carlos Thompson scripsit:

> The other phenomena I've found is how values changes. Vulgar words changes. > The history i heard says that the Spanish word "puta" (peyorative for hore) > comes form a Italian word meaning "miss". Which wasn't vulgar becomes that. The > Spanish verb "coger": "to take" or "to grep" has become vulgar in many > Latinoamerican countries with a peyorative meaning of having sex. "Coger" is > still used in Colombia with the standard meaning "to take".
This is very typical. The English cognate of "cara" ("dear one (f.)" in Romance lgs.) is "whore" (German "Hure") = "puta"!
> "cretino" which is not considered a vulgarity but is quite > offensive.
Most ironically, it comes from French "cretin" < "chretien" = "Christian"! Why, I do not know. English also has "cretin". The general pattern in English is that *domestic* animals are insulting: "dog", "cow", "bitch", "horse"; but not "wolf", "lion", "tiger"; still less "rhinoceros", "stegosaurus". -- John Cowan e'osai ko sarji la lojban.