Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pudenda Addenda

Before we continue - by popular demand - with historical slang and colloquial euphemisms for the female persuasion, may I draw your attention to a different site?

Yesterday, Miss Snark posted a link to a funny and informative article by Kit Whitfield called The Secret Language of Editors.
The article clearly articulates the point I tried to get across in my previous post on queries, ie. you must consider how your query information will be read/received from the agent's/editor's perspective.

Now, from the R's:

1. rasp - low, 19-20th c. Apparently, experienced prostitutes used an astringent ( pucker-water, ie. an alum solution) to counterfeit virginity. Said solution roughens and hardens, therefore the term. Also a verb.

2. rattle-ballocks - low, 18-20th c. A vigorous, brassy term. They always believe they clank when they walk.

3. regulator - colloquial, 18-19th c. Probably from the Standard English sense of a regulating power or principle. A term suggesting
resentment, I would think.

4. the rest and be thankful - 19-20th c., obsolete. Implies gratitude.

5. the ring - low coll, 16-20th c., euphemistic S.E. Also, black 0r hairy ring.
Associated with cracked the ring - to lose one's virginity.

6. road - 17-20th c., either low coll. or a S.E. euphemism derived from road-making. Also refers to a harlot.

7. roasting-jack - low, mid 19-20th c., from the S.E. The mechanism that turns the spitted meat over the fire. A hot time or place. Roast meat sometimes referred to a woman's favours. Involved semantics.

8. rooster - mid 19-20 c., in the sense of roost, a perch, a resting place, a bed for the cock of the flock.

9. rufus/Rufus - mid 19-20th c. Derived from rufous, meaning of a reddish colour.

10. rose - 18-20th c. Called, with a certain pure-souled, prissy umbrage "a debasement of medieval and literary symbolism." Really, now.

The things one learns...


Sam said...

oh dear - rasp - lol.
I won't be able to look at a nail file for a while.

Meant to say I LOVED the poem below!! Wonderful!!

Carla said...

There's a road pass in Argyll called 'The Rest and Be Thankful', on the way to Inverary. I shall never see it the same way again:-)

Bernita said...

Makes one cringe, doesn't it, Sam?
Thank you so much. Glad you liked it.

AND, Carla, it's a road ...a double blink.

Ric said...

what an intriguing discussion!

kmfrontain said...

Funny. Rose is the nicest, and yet it's been put down (by the editors of the dictionary?). I'm wondering if the editors wanted to put people off from using it, thinking it might get really popular.

I vote for rose! Everyone treat your roses with respect. Roses are for pleasure. Roses smell nice. Mostly. Some don't smell at all, though I doubt this. Always wash your roses after they've had fertiliser. Roses must be well cared for and given adequate attention.

I could go on and on. :D

Sela Carsen said...

Loved the link! And LOL at Carla and KM!!

Bernita said...

Take a crack at joining in, Ric...

Found that comment in the entry really interesting, Karen. As if the symbol was somehow sacrosanct and separate.

An excellent essay, Sela.

jason evans said...

My Victorian sensibilities are all aflutter.

Fun posts, Bernita! :)

Ric said...

Baiting me with that line, Bernita, trying to draw me in.

High school English would have been much more interesting...

Budding Rose
Taking the bloom off the rose
Picking the rose

Bernita said...

A number of them do seem to have emerged from that era, Jason.
Would you say unflattering, if not pejorative?
Highly amusing.

Of course, Ric.
You have the right attitude.
rosa mundi.

Dennie McDonald said...

I never knew... who knew... =)

Rick said...

I agree with kmfrontain - I'm rather partial to rose. And sometimes you have to get past a thorn or two to pluck one ...

Bernita said...

Some are certainly surprising, Dennie, and

I won't say it, Rick.
~slap my hands~
Yes, "rose" helps redeem the rest.

S. W. Vaughn said...

I must check out "The Rest and Be Thankful" -- how fascinating!

Bernita, thank you for re-posting the link from Miss Snark. I couldn't get it to work from there. Great article!

AE Rought said...

Taking this one step further--'the rest and be thankful'... Hmmm, seems that concept is all but lost on today's society!

Bernita said...

Useful and amusing advice, I thought, Sonja.
Miss Snark is even worse than I am for buggering up links, it seems.

There is that, Savannah, on the other hand it could imply viewing the woman as something like a recliner chair...

Jaye Wells said...

Couple of thoughts. The "rest and be thankful" reminds me of the soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" for some reason. I think that would be another nice euphemism.

Also, my favorite is "regulator." Don't mess with her.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yet another good list to add to my collection...Good job...!

Bernita said...

I checked out "bold", Jaye, it seems free of any specific historical association - unless one applies it to "wanton," as in "a bold wench."
So the phrase is for grabs.

Eh, Bonnie, you would enjoy the book or one like it.

Carla said...

Gives a whole new meaning to "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet", too.

Dave said...

Speaking of Rose - Do you see the tie in to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and the maternal line of descendants? The the Rose Cross and Rose Line etc...

Robyn said...

Sorry, can't comment on roses or regulators. The 'Rasp' has horrified me beyond further thought.

Bernita said...

It does, indeed, Carla.
~I'm trying really hard to keep my face straight here~

Haven't read it, Dave, but a rosicrucian tie-in does not surprise me.

Winceable, Robyn. Very.
Where did "silky" go?

Cynthia Bronco said...

Even as we speak new, uh, euphemisms are being created for lady-parts.

On a lighter note, I am so ready for the Crapometer! Are you?

Ballpoint Wren said...

In reading these "pudenda" terms from this post and below, it strikes me how quickly the language changes. I mean, these terms mean nothing to me, but to think that they might have been whispered at one time and everybody who heard knew what they meant.

Bernita said...

"lady parts,"...I like that, Cynthia.
Don't plan to enter this time, though I found the first one VERY valuable, and expect to learn much by reading the brave souls who do this time around.

Another I didn't mention gave me the giggles, Bonnie.
"Rummage" meant, in the 19th c.>, colloquially, "to caress a woman sexually, to possess her."
And I thought of all the dear church ladies presiding over rummage sales in respectable innocence.
It's a good thing, perhaps, that some meanings wear out and disappear.

Ballpoint Wren said...

That's too funny! Let's hear it for the church rummage sales!

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