The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1665 Friday, 19 July 2002
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,
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