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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Protection banner|main}} Cunt {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} is a vulgar term for female genitalia, and is used as a term of disparagement for females and males.<ref name=OED2014>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> The earliest known use of the word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was as a placename for the London street Gropecunt Lane, c 1230. Scholar Germaine Greer said in 2006 that cunt "is one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock."<ref name="Balderdash & Piffle">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=episode }}</ref>

Use of the word as a term of abuse is relatively recent, dating from the late nineteenth century.<ref name = "Morton">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Reflecting different national usages, cunt is described as "an unpleasant or stupid person" in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, whereas Merriam-Webster has a usage of the term as "usually disparaging and obscene: woman",<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> noting that it is used in the U.S. as "an offensive way to refer to a woman";<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and the Macquarie Dictionary of Australian English gives "a contemptible person."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> When used with a positive qualifier (good, funny, clever, etc.) in Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, it can convey a positive sense of the object or person referred to.<ref name="Irvine Welsh">For example, Glue by Irvine Welsh, p.266, "Billy can be a funny cunt, a great guy..."</ref>

The word appears to have not been strongly taboo in the Middle Ages, but became taboo towards the end of the eighteenth century, and was then not generally admissible in print until the latter part of the twentieth century. The term has various derivative senses, including adjective and verb uses.


Cunt sections
Intro  Etymology  Offensiveness  Usage: pre-twentieth century  Usage: modern  Linguistic variants and derivatives  Derived meanings  See also  Notes and references  Further reading  External links  

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Protection banner|main}} Cunt {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} is a vulgar term for female genitalia, and is used as a term of disparagement for females and males.<ref name=OED2014>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> The earliest known use of the word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was as a placename for the London street Gropecunt Lane, c 1230. Scholar Germaine Greer said in 2006 that cunt "is one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock."<ref name="Balderdash & Piffle">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=episode }}</ref>

Use of the word as a term of abuse is relatively recent, dating from the late nineteenth century.<ref name = "Morton">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Reflecting different national usages, cunt is described as "an unpleasant or stupid person" in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, whereas Merriam-Webster has a usage of the term as "usually disparaging and obscene: woman",<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> noting that it is used in the U.S. as "an offensive way to refer to a woman";<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and the Macquarie Dictionary of Australian English gives "a contemptible person."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> When used with a positive qualifier (good, funny, clever, etc.) in Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, it can convey a positive sense of the object or person referred to.<ref name="Irvine Welsh">For example, Glue by Irvine Welsh, p.266, "Billy can be a funny cunt, a great guy..."</ref>

The word appears to have not been strongly taboo in the Middle Ages, but became taboo towards the end of the eighteenth century, and was then not generally admissible in print until the latter part of the twentieth century. The term has various derivative senses, including adjective and verb uses.


Cunt sections
Intro  Etymology  Offensiveness  Usage: pre-twentieth century  Usage: modern  Linguistic variants and derivatives  Derived meanings  See also  Notes and references  Further reading  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Etymology
<<>>