A Brief History Of Three Great Words

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As always, members of The Scorpion Army are up early finding things which normally would go unseen or unread. Today’s presentation briefly delves deep into the history of Fuck, Shit, and Cunt, three of my favorite four-letter words that have an intriguing and very fascinating history. Rather than being written in manuscripts by monks, we find them used by normal people and preserved in surprising places like place names, personal names, and animal names and they reveal more about our medieval past than just attitudes towards sex and body parts.

Fuck

Fuck isn’t thought to have existed in English before the fifteenth century and possibly arrived later from German or Dutch. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary says it wasn’t used until 1500. Using place names though, we can trace it back a bit earlier.

Many early instances of fuck were actually used to mean “to strike” rather than being anything to do with actual fucking. The more common Middle English word for sex wasswive, which has developed nicely into the Modern English word swivel, as in: go swivel on it. Some of the earliest instances of fuck then, turn out to mean “hitting” or “striking,” such as Simon Fuckebotere (recorded in 1290), who was disappointingly probably in the milk industry, hitting butter rather than doing anything else with it, or Henry Fuckebeggar (1286/7) who may have, unfortunately, hit the poor.

The earliest examples of fuck in English appear in place names. The first is found near Sherwood in 1287: Ric Wyndfuk and Ric Wyndfuck de Wodehous. These both feature a kestrel known as the Windfucker which, we must assume, went at the wind. The next definite example comes from Bristol 1373 in Fockynggroue, which may have been named for a grove where couples went for some quiet alone time.

Shit

Like fuckshit has a rich history, being used across the Germanic and Scandinavian languages, making it one of our oldest words. It originally had a technical usage, meaning diarrhoea in cattle, and it crops up in lots of place names from a time when people were herding cattle and naming things, such as Schitebroc—now Skidbrook—which literally means “shit-stream,” found in the Domesday Book for Lincolnshire.

Shit did not just happen in the countryside though. Street-names, for example, reflect the grotty state of urban living in graphic detail. Schiteburne Lane—now Sherbourn Lane in London—means “shit-stream lane,” and Schiteburg Lane in Romford uses borough in the middle, meaning a fortress, to paint a vivid picture of a privy, standing proud as a mockery of a palace in the middle of town.

Cunt

This too is an old word, appearing across the Germanic and Scandinavian languages, although any connection to the Latin cunnusis unlikely, despite the apparent similarity. Originally, rather than being a taboo word, it was the general descriptive term for the vagina. Cunt is, etymologically, more feminist than vagina, which is dependent on the penis for its definition, coming from the Latin for “sword sheath.”

Records of cunt start comparatively early. There’s a runic inscription which reads ‘kunt,’ but that was probably a spelling mistake. Nearly all of the early evidence comes from place names and even personal names—pity, or perhaps applaud, Bele Wydecunthe in 1328, for example.

The most famous of the place names is Gropecunt Lane which at one point appeared in twenty places, generally describing—with pleasing matter-of-factness—a red light district. These have all since been lost, or have been changed to Grape Lane, but all are still easily traced.

But other place names are no less revealing.

Shavecuntewelle in Kent in 1275, for example, could describe a nearby valley with a narrow wooded area—a literal lady-garden, if you will—or it could be a site where women were punished. Cuntewellewang in Lincolnshire (1317) seems to describe a similar type of landscape.

And the thirteenth-century Hardecunt? Who knows, it’s just a great name.

Perhaps the most glorious example of cunt in a place name is Hungery Cunt, found in a 1750 military map of Kinross-shire, Scotland. Disappointingly, though, this is probably just a mistake: a misreading of Hungeremout.

These early instances of now heavily taboo words open up the world of normal people in medieval England and a different—and more vibrant—picture of the history of our language. They allow us to meet a very literal and pragmatic people with a healthy sense of humour about their bodies and their environment.

Buying Stock In Personality Types

Opportunity

Let me first begin by letting everyone know that the reason I am doing this post is because I followed a link in a thread at Blogcatalog which was asking “What is your personality type?  (Myers-Briggs)”. Inside said thread was a link to a “Free Personality Test” so I decided to take the time to answer the 60 questions and see what it would say my personality type is. Generally, I stay away from things like these because I don’t need someone to tell me who I am. However, eventhough I only will list the one link here, I found myself taking 4 other similar tests expecting a total of 5 different results. Well, guess what, I didn’t get 5 different answers, I got the same answer each time, and that is that I’m a personality type “INTJ”. Not knowing what this is supposed to mean I did a little exploring for information. What did I find? The descriptions of the INTJ read allot like if I were reading the “description of” or the “how to” book for being a Scorpio. Really odd coincidence if you ask me. In the end, knowing who I am and what I stand for I cannot say I was surprised at all with what I was reading. But, for fun, I wanted share what I found out about the “INTJ Personality”  which I’m borrowing from the website “16 Personalities” and give them full credit for all of their work.

  • The INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%), INTJs are often seen as highly intelligent and perplexingly mysterious. INTJ personalities radiate self-confidence, relying on their huge archive of knowledge spanning many different topics and areas. INTJs usually begin to develop that knowledge in early childhood (the “bookworm” nickname is quite common among INTJs) and keep on doing that later on in life.
  • When someone with the INTJ personality has mastered their chosen area of knowledge (INTJs can find their strengths in several fields), they can quickly and honestly say whether they know the answer to a specific question. INTJs know what they know and more importantly – they are confident in that knowledge. Unsurprisingly, this personality type can be labelled as the most independent of all types.
  • INTJs are very decisive, original and insightful – these traits push other people to accept the INTJ’s ideas simply because of that sheer willpower and self-confidence. However, INTJ personalities do not seek nor enjoy the spotlight and may often decide to keep their opinions to themselves if the topic of discussion does not interest them that much.
  • INTJ personalities are perfectionists and they enjoy improving ideas and systems they come in contact with. As INTJs are naturally curious, this tends to happen quite frequently. However, they always try to remain in the rational territory no matter how attractive the end goal is – every idea that is generated by the INTJ’s mind or reaches it from the outside needs to pass the cold-blooded filter called “Is this going to work?”. This is the INTJ’s coping mechanism and they are notorious for applying it all the time, questioning everything and everyone.
  • INTJ personalities also have an unusual combination of both decisiveness and vivid imagination. What this means in practice is that they can both design a brilliant plan and execute it. Imagine a giant chess board where the pieces are constantly moving, trying out new tactics, always directed by an unseen hand – this is what the INTJ’s imagination is like. An INTJ would assess all possible situations, calculate strategic and tactical moves, and more often than not develop a contingency plan or two as well. If someone with the INTJ personality type starts working with a new system, they will regard the task as a moral obligation, merging their perfectionism and drive into one formidable force. Anyone who does not have enough talent or simply does not see the point, including the higher ranks of management, will immediately and likely permanently lose their respect.
  • INTJ personalities also often shoulder the burden of making important decisions without consulting their peers. They are natural leaders and excellent strategists, but willingly give way to others vying for a leadership position, usually people with Extroverted personalities (E personality type). However, such action can be deceptive and maybe even calculated. An INTJ will retreat into the shadows, maintaining their grip on the most important decisions – but as soon as the leader fails and there is a need to take the steering wheel, the INTJ will not hesitate to act, maybe even while staying in the background. The INTJ personality is the ultimate “Man behind the curtain”.
  • INTJs dislike rules and artificial limitations – everything should be questionable and open to re-evaluation. They may be idealists (impossible is nothing) and cynics (everybody lies) at the same time. Whatever the circumstances, you can always rely on the INTJ to “fill in” the gaps in the idea – they are most likely to come up with an unorthodox solution.
  • Generally speaking, INTJs usually prefer to work in the area they know very well. Their typical career is related to science or engineering, but they can be found anywhere where there is a need of intelligence, restless mind and insight (law, investigations, some academic fields). INTJ personalities rarely seek managerial positions – if they do, this is probably because they need more power and freedom of action, not because they enjoy managing people.
  • Every personality type has many weak spots and INTJs are not an exception. There is one area where their brilliant mind often becomes completely useless and may even hinder their efforts – INTJs find it very difficult to handle romantic relationships, especially in their earliest stages. People with this personality type are more than capable of loving and taking care of the people close to them, but they are likely to be completely clueless when it comes to attracting a partner.
  • The main reason behind this is that INTJ personalities are both private and incredibly rational – they find it very difficult to understand the complex social rituals that are considered part of the dating game, especially in Western societies. Things like flirting or small talk are unnatural to them; furthermore, INTJs (especially females) tend to see typical attraction tactics (such as feigning disinterest) as incredibly stupid and irrational.
  • Ironically, INTJs are most likely to attract a partner when they stop looking for them – this is when their self-confidence starts shining again. There are few things that are more attractive than the unrelenting self-confidence that INTJs are known for.

There, of course, is much more information on this website as well as many others like it. Again, I just want to remind everyone that the text and descriptions written in yellow here is a direct “copy & paste” from the 16 Personalities website and I claim no ownership to any of it whatsoever, I’m only borrowing the information to share with all of y’all. As far as the pictures are concerned they were obtained with a Google image search for INTJ. This was a fun experiment because it just re-enforces what I already knew about myself. I didn’t really learn anything new but greater details were explained about why I just might clash with some people in the world. Here I thought it was just because I’m an asshole. Maybe that is still the reason and will always be the reason. Anyway, go take the test if you wish or don’t take it. I don’t put much stock in these things because if you are aware of who you are you do not need a test to confirm or deny your personality type.

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