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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: July ::
Her C's . . .
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1665  Friday, 19 July 2002

From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Thursday, 18 Jul 2002 11:25:35 -0500
Subject:        Her C's . . .

In re Don Bloom's finding c-u-n-t in Malvolio's reading of the forged
letter.  Shakespeare is not at all beyond obscenity, but the obscenity
in question is not c-u-n-t but c-u-t.  The latter is a late medieval and
Tudor slang word for the former.  I have found it in several plays with
an obvious obscene intent.  Interestingly enough the concept of a cut
has survived to our times in the obscene euphemism of g-a-s-h for
c-u-n-t which incidentally does not have an etymon in common with c-u-t.

Yours for scholarly obscenity,
John

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