Friday, February 03, 2006

A Word Strumpet

I found that expression on someone's blog.
Tickled me to no end.
Jeuvenile, I suppose, to take such pleasure in the conjunction and juxtapositions of unsuspecting elements, the verbal trickery. Probably sophmoric, unsophisticated of me.
They're like fun in bed.
All those rolling, robust words like "tart' and "trollop," "bordello" and "bawdy." The firm physical consonants, the sexy vowels as round as my heroine's bottom.
I don't remember who tossed it off but I remember the path that led me there. I'll have to hunt him down.
We whores, sluts and strumpets have to stick together.


Savannah Jordan said...

I'm with you on that one, my purveyor of fine prosetry!

Bernita said...

Blogger was cranky this morning and got me all flustered.
Should have mentioned words like "pimp" and "procurer" too

Savannah Jordan said...

I noticed that Blogger had it's knickers in a twist. *sigh*

Dennie McDonald said...

You're in a fiesty mood this morning -

Tsavo Leone said...

It's a fine line to tread. In my teens I described myself as a word-whore, in as much as I would read anything. Revising that definition now I suppose it actually meant that I would read anything I was paid to. Oh but for that to be the case...

'Prosetry': sounds very much like some kind of medical examination.

Slightly off topic but influenced by the above: whilst texting my lil' sis' yesterday I mis-spelt "shopping", missing out a 'p'. Lil' sis' responded by asking who exactly it was that I was pimping... predictive text, don't you just love it?

Bernita said...

You think I'm on the bounce - as Heinlein would say - Dennie?

Lil' sis' is quick, Tsavo. Did you notice Ivan posted Anonologue as Analologue t'other day? Don't know if it was a case of sang-freud or not.

Erik Ivan James said...

Swoooooosh! Wait for me dammit, wait for me! No, don't wait, I'm too far behind.

Bernita said...

Phooey, Erik.
You're not.
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
The difference between a soft-boiled egg and a hard-boiled egg is what? 2 minutes?

Erik Ivan James said...

Depends on who's cooking at Woodpecker's Diner.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Trained beyond my intellect, like the mis-spelt guy, I get my bible mixed up with Immanuel Kant (stop swearing said my actress friend), and I make spelling mistakes whenever I try to figure out Anonaloge, the site. I guess in Kantian terms, that comes off a' posteriori.
Maybe I've been hitting Ananalogue too much. Strange company there.
Trampling on not-at-all familiar commandments (I have tampered with too many of them, I fear):
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his goods or his ass?
Some readers of Ananalogue seem absolutely thrilled by that last Mosaic-Kantian reference.

Crikey, what a guy won't write instead of sitting down to a blog.

Oh Bernita, I guess you can see by Grumpy's blogroll, over in UK that he has a site called Bookslut listed. I guess tsavo leone must be hip to that too.
Also, doll, someone seems to be
having a little fun with your prose on the durable R.J. Baker site, comments under heading of Shame, or something, the "shame" referring to another matter but the little dig is in ther all the same, in good fun.
Why am I farting around today?
Like all basic male idiots, I seem to want to pick up a .22 and plink cans. The idiocy, I fear is somehow linked to the creative process. The great Jorge Luis Borges does attempt humour in his tales of Bustos Domenc--and (forgive me George) lays a collosal egg."Carry on, noble Theseus, your path will soon be free of danger. It will lead you straight to the Minotaur."
Malt does more than Milton can
To show the ways of God to man?

Bernita said...

A little dig?
Digs are never in "good fun."
Someone being bitchy?
Thinking I should be taken down a
Well, may their ass fall in a ditch. May they be hoist in their own juice and stewed in their own petard.
And here I thought it was just your typical cleverness with "analologue".

Muse said...

I've always thought of myself as a metapwhore.

Ric said...

Break out your thesuarses.
Anyone know why the female side gets such wonderful adjectives?
Are there any male equivilents?

Rick said...

A few whores for your consideration:

I was a bit dismayed to find that the wonderful expression "whoring after respectability" drew only one hit on Google. (And a crank site to boot.) Are we so far from the Victorian era that no one whores after respectability any more?

According to Google, "Oscar whore" is used in two distinct senses. One - the correct one, so far as I'm concerned - is a movie designed from the ground up to win an Oscar ("Brokeback Mountain," I'm outing you!), or an actor who go out of their way to take roles in Oscar-whore movies.

The other usage I see is self-description by people who follow the Oscars closely, but I think they're more correctly described as Oscar sluts. A fine distinction, I admit, but still a real one!

Let me also say a word for "whorehouse" - what a fine, sturdy word, that Carla's early-7th-century characters would surely understand in exactly the sense that we use it today.

Of the various not-really-euphemisms, "house of ill fame" has a certain retro charm. (And when I first encountered it in text, I had no idea what it meant.) "Brothel" has a bleak ring to me, as though no one is having much fun there, not even the johns. We won't mention the piano player, because a brothel wouldn't have a piano. On the other hand, "bordello" sounds cheerfully saucy. A proper bordello most certainly would have a piano player, and of course he knows what's going on upstairs, because a couple of the ladies give him tips, and not in the jar.

Ric - Male adjectives? I can't think of any, and the only noun I can recall offhand is "gigolo." (The -o ending doesn't work well for English adjective formation. Gigolo-ing? Gigolo-ish? Awkward!) Of course, "whoring" traditionally can apply to the johns as well as the girls themselves - when swashbuckling types go drinking and whoring, it doesn't mean they're offering themselves. Though maybe some are!

Bernita said...

You boggled me there for a minute, Muse - until I remembered you're a Heideggerian floozie.

Good question, Rick. Let's explore.
Gigolo is rather jiggy.
Boy toy? Main squeeze? Both modern and slang and without any serious provenance.
I've stopped a conversation cold with that one.
We're treading patriarchy waters here, I'm afraid, or scut or plain profanity.
Whoremonger, I like, as you know, but it's more of an ejaculation (!) and lacks a certain firmness.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Speaking of falling in a ditch...~blush~...this conversation ran right off into there..LOL...good morning ya'll!

Bernita said...

Damn. Have Rickets again.
Sorry, dear guy. Was in too much of a mad whoring rush.

Good stuff on the fly, Rick, it's a hard question.
Where are all the good words about men?

Bernita said...

I said that to my minister one fine morning when my husband couldn't make church, Bonnie.
I said, "his ass fell in a ditch," I did.
He always looked at me funny after that.I thought I was being very properly scriptural and he should have appreciated it.
Why are you looking at me like that?

Rick said...

Catamite has a specifically homosexual definition, so that won't really work. For that matter, a "male prostitute" is pretty much understood as serving a gay male clientele - though didn't I see a news item that Heidi Fleiss intended to open a legal bordello in Nevada, to service a female clientele?

"Boy toy" is trickily ambiguous - I've seen it used as meaning gigolo, but also by girls being naughty.

An ejaculation lacking firmness, huh? My my my. ;)

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Bernita. Yeah, Heidegger.
Iss das nicht ein Schmutlich frau?
Didn't know you dug Heidegger. Not sure whether there were fraus under his bed. Certainly no, uh, Catholics.
Ric, nice to see you back around.
I notice you have brought your dictionary and thesaurus, along with the other ingrediments.
...Just being an ass. I know you have great projects about to reach fruition.
Keep busy, or go mad, says Hegel.
I am busy, busy, busy...bu...

Bernita said...

Not I, Ivan, meine herr, but Muse.
I am neither "frau", nor frowsy. I am frou-frou. Go frowst.

Muse said...

Male metapwhores. Perhaps: Seminal works? Semantic commentary? A writer with excellent diction? Penetrating wit?

Yo; pimp my blog.

Sandra Ruttan said...

"We whores, sluts and strumpets have to stick together."

Not if you're working my corner. Then the gloves are off!

ivan said...

Sandra Ruttan,
Hw cool.

Bernita said...

Heh,heh, Muse. Academic language is so naughty. Having to show one's thesis as well.

No problem,Sandra, you're near the courthouse, aren't you, or the Station? I'm nearer the Park by the Library. Maybe we can get off the streets and into a House.

Rick, that was just airy persiflage, one word leading me on like a string of soap bubbles.

Sandra Ruttan said...

ivan, you have to pay for anything more than the gloves.

Yeah Bernita, I do seem to be a regular at the courthouse LOL! Well, and the station.

But if they're letting ivan out maybe we should get each other's backs. You can never be too careful...

Bernita said...

Good idea, Sandra, I'm easy(!) My name's Harris.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me

Carla said...

Lounge lizard? Lounge lizard-ing? Lizard lounging?

'Bordello', if memory serves (and I haven't checked the reference, so don't quote me) is actually derived from the medieval word meaning the lowest type of cottage, it might be roughly rendered by a word like 'hovel'. Because the poorest people were the ones most likely to be selling their services, it acquired the whorehouse connotation later. So probably not quite so much fun in its original meaning.

'Brothel' comes from the Old English 'ruined, worthless', so its bleak image hasn't changed.

'Balderdash and Piffle' this week informed us that the usual medieval English name for the local red-light district (as attested in charters and other documents) was 'Gropec**t Lane', later rendered more politely as 'Grope Lane' or 'Grope Street', occasionally 'Grape Street'.

I always loved the lines in 'Shakespeare in Love' that go:
Gwyneth Paltrow (shocked): But this is a house of ill-repute!
Will Shakespeare (gleeful): But of excellent reputation!

Rick said...

Carla - I love the phrase "lounge lizard." Though the connotation is that he gets his way through phoniness rather than a straight cash deal.

My venerable Oxford Universal dictionary bears you out on "bordello" - related to "bordar," the lowest class of serf, and ultimately to board in the sense of wooden plank. A complete surprise to me! I assumed from the modern form that it was a much later loan word from Italian, or maybe Spanish.

Balderdash & Piffle: how ... quaint. ;) I'll have to sometime locate a red light district on Grape St.

Bernita said...

Brothel is from OE meaning to go to ruin.Used in ME to mean a degerate person.
Bordel is ME and OF meaning hut.
So say both Chamber and Blackie.
Interesting that slum areas where prostitutes and cut-throats congregated was later( 19thc.?) sometimes referred to as "the stews" - a take-off on "broth," meaning drink,as gin-palaces were solace and cheap liquor available, I suppose.Blue ruin and all that.
Wine and women are always associated it seems.

Carla said...

Lounge lizard, toy-boy and gigolo, imply to me a rather longer-term arrangement, more like 'mistress', than a straightforward cash-down one-off deal. Can't immediately think of a male term for that kind of activity, probably because it's rather rare behaviour.

If you go to and type in 'Grope Lane' or its variants in the 'Street' field, you'll find they exist in London, Leeds, York, Whitby, Shrewsbury..... So as they're still on modern maps and the term itself is medieval, you can certainly have one in a pseudo-Renaissance setting.

Gabriele C. said...

Bordell is a rather neutral German word for it, though nowadays they tend to be called Eros Center. Hurenhaus is Mediaeval and today used pejoratively, and another Mediaeval word, Schlupfbude, refers to women wo did it in covered wagons or tents. A trend that comes into fashion again, along the border to Poland and Chechoslovakia the girls offer their services in trailers.

There's this old lady walking along the Reeperbahn in Hamburg and, overcome by curiosity, she asks a cop what all those scarcely clad girls were doing there. The poor cop, after a lot of ahem, and well, you see, ahem, informs here that those girls are prostitutes.
"So? Prostitutes?" the old lady says. "I bet there's quite some whores among the lot."

archer said...

"Pimp" is excellent.

I don't believe this! I've got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I'm being chased by Guido the Killer Pimp.

Bernita said...

That reminds me of the mother and child watching a naval wedding.
"Oooh, look at all the oars!" said the little girl.
To which her scandalized mother replied, "Them's ain't 'oars, them's broidesmaids."

Hi Archer!

Another word is "doxie" - down the scale.

Kirsten said...

Ric - Male adjectives? I can't think of any, and the only noun I can recall offhand is "gigolo." (The -o ending doesn't work well for English adjective formation. Gigolo-ing? Gigolo-ish? Awkward!)

Googolo has possibilities . . .

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

This is getting me back to my German dictionary.
Hurenhaus. Gotta find.

Ric said...

See what you started, Bernita?

Strumpets, bordellos, gigolos.

I assume the reason there are so many adjectives for the ladies is that men, by virtue of being men, are expected to engage in such behavior.
Women, on the other hand, are supposed to stay virginal and perfect, while fending off the advances of men desirious of just the opposite.
Interesting concept.

Rick said...

Ric - Feeling in a crankish (not cranky!) mood, good old Econ 101 says you don't even need much difference between the sexes - for whatever reason - to get this. Suppose that in a village of however many people, there are 30 men looking for some action, and only 29 women looking for it. Result? An ... ah ... sellers' market. :>

Gabriele C. said...

I hate Blogger. Comment eating bastard. Son of a whore. :-)

H.S. Kinn said...

Found you via Savannah Jordan; I think a lot of women enjoy embracing their bawdier side. I believe I told Savannah at one point Aphrodite's Apples was almost named "Smut Peddlers, Ink!" For that matter, my best friend has nicknamed me an intellectual tart. ;-)

Bernita said...

Hi, H.S,
"Intellectual tart?"
The very best kind. said...

If you want a seriosly good laugh watch these hillariously funny videos Laughter