English

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Alternative forms

  • coynte

Etymology

From Middle English cunte, queynt, queynte from Old English *cunte, from Proto-Germanic *kuntōn. Cognate with Frisian kunte, dialectal Swedish kunta, dialectal Danish kunte, Dutch kont (arse) and Icelandic kunta. A relationship to Latin cunnus has not been conclusively shown. Partridge suggests cuneus, a wedge.

Pronunciation

Noun

cunt (countable and uncountable, plural cunts)

  1. (vulgar, countable) The female genitalia, especially the vulva.
    • 1930, D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Chapter 12 (speaking Midlands vernacular, but both Lawrence and his character know standard English)
      An' doesn't ter know? Cunt! It's thee down theer; an' what I get when I'm i'side thee, and what tha gets when I'm i'side thee; it's a' as it is, all on't.
    • 1983, Lawrence Durrell, Sebastian, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 1138:
      Ah! This power-house of human misery and ecstasy, the cunt!
    • 1959, William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch, page 68
      Blind boys grope out of huge pies, deteriorated schizophrenics pop from a rubber cunt, boys with horrible skin diseases rise from a black pond (sluggish fish nibble yellow turds on the surface).
    • 2004, Leo Benedictus, "A bit of hanky-panky", The Guardian, 23 Jun 04:
      Then there is a drum roll, and I watch open-mouthed as she bends over and produces a string of red cloths from her femininity. "What better way to celebrate 10 years of Camberwell Arts Week than pulling 10 red handkerchiefs out of my cunt?" she asks.
  2. (vulgar, offensive, countable) An extremely unpleasant or objectionable person (in US, especially a woman; in UK or Ireland, more usually a man).
    • 2009, Patrick Barkham, "Top Gear: Why We're Mad About the Boys", The Guardian, 12 Nov 09:
      He rails against political correctness and health and safety regulations, and earlier this summer was accused of calling Gordon Brown "a cunt" in unbroadcast comments to his Top Gear audience, whom he has also referred to as "oafs".
  3. (UK, New Zealand, vulgar, countable) An objectionable object or item.
    Fix the car? I’ll sort the cunt out at the weekend.
  4. (UK, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, vulgar) An unpleasant or difficult experience or incident.
    I had a real cunt of a day. It was a cunt of an experience getting through it.
  5. (vulgar, countable and uncountable) A woman, women, or bottom as a source of sex.
    I’m going to hit the clubs and see if I can get me some cunt.
  6. (Australia, New Zealand, UK, vulgar, positive, countable) (with words funny, good) A person (mostly between male friends); compare bastard.
    Yes, I do remember Dave, he was one funny cunt.
    Tom's a good cunt, he fixed my car and didn't even charge me for it!

Usage notes

Writing in 1961, Partridge notes the term has been avoided "in written and polite spoken English" from the 15th Century and has been considered obscene (and thus illegal to publish) since around 1700. Partridge further notes the absence of the term from the 1932 Universal Dictionary of English and the 1933 Shorter Oxford Dictionary. Partridge himself bowdlerizes the term as c*nt.

Quotations

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Anagrams

References

  • Eric Partridge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English from the Fifteenth Century to the Present Day. MacMillan, 1961. 5th. Ed.
Last modified on 27 March 2014, at 16:54