When Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he used the word "nigger." It's considered an offensive word, yes, but it's also part of an important and well-loved piece of American literature. Many of them, in fact. Before the first Red Sox game following the Boston Marathon bombings, David Ortiz said, "This is our fucking city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong." Now "fucking" is generally considered offensive, but it was spoken from a place of pride and passion, and truly, no other word would have conveyed what it conveyed.
So all of this is leading up to four words that the Oxford English Dictionary added to its lexicon this month. As I said, we fear no words, but these four are derived from quite possibly the last truly taboo word out there -- the so-called "c-word" -- so if you're offended by that particular word, you might want to sign off now. Otherwise, read on.
The new words are cunted, cunting, cuntish, and cunty.
What's interesting is that for a root word that still hasn't really found its way into common use -- even among the cursing proud -- it's certainly spawned a lot of variations. Remember, these words need to be used with some degree of frequency to show up on the OED's radar, so someone's using them.
With no definitions or context -- other than them being identified as adjectives -- it's pretty easy to discern what cuntish and cunty mean. But don't cunted and cunting sound like verbs? It's possible that cunting is used the same way fucking is, e.g., "He's a cunting idiot." But cunted as an adjective? Weird.
So there we are. The same word list that ushers "beatboxer" and "science fantasy" into this venerable dictionary brings those four as well. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
By Steve Boudreault