Comments on: The D-word http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:23:22 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-528878 Mon, 11 Jan 2010 05:04:24 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-528878 Sisyphus, I think “lousy” has a much, much longer history of referring to actual louse infestation before trench warfare. My understanding is that the 17th and 18th centuries were full of them, chronically, everywhere.

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By: Sisyphus http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-528802 Mon, 11 Jan 2010 02:09:57 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-528802 I had no clue that scumbag actually referred to anything! (And likewise, when I finally realized that “lousy” had a literal origin in the louse-infested trenches of WWI, I thought, “yeah, but if nobody actually knows the word’s history and nobody cares, does it still really have the original meaning?”)

Oh, and I had a teacher in 9th grade who always yelled at us and gave us detention when we said something “sucks.” “That sucks” is a nasty, disgusting phrase and you are referring to a particularly dirty and disgusting sexual act when you use it, she’d say. I had had noooo clue; I used (and still use it) as a synonym for “that’s sorta bad,” or “that’s mildly irritating, too bad.”

So now I use the phrase “that sucks a$$” when I really want to get across that same sense of disgust and put new life in some old slang. Of course, that just gets back to the homophobic side —- really, what insults do I have left? I’m just going with douchebag! (and thanks for the link, Clio and Historiann! Never be ashamed to remember Gilda Radner!)

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By: Moria http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-528447 Sun, 10 Jan 2010 14:31:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-528447 The way I see it: douches are bad for vaginas. The myth that vaginas need to be cleaned up with smelly chemicals is a myth of patriarchal commercialism. Now, if douches are bad for vaginas, well! So are many men. When I call a guy (or, much more rarely, when I call a woman a douche), what I am saying is, in part, “You are an instrument of the patriarchy that I reject,” as well as, implicitly, “My vagina can clean itself all on its own, thanks! Yay for that!”

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By: FrauTech http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-528128 Sun, 10 Jan 2010 01:25:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-528128 Crap. Now what word am I going to use. Shithead is too borderline actual curseword, and asshole just seems too run of the mill and ineffective. I never thought about it being offensive in a sexist way. But now I see it, and I’ll have to find a substitute.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-527923 Sat, 09 Jan 2010 15:21:09 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-527923 I don’t think I learned about the origins of “scumbag” until I was in my 20s. Yeccchhh. I remember having a junior high school gym teacher who regularly used the term “wuss.” Unpleasant, especially because P.E. was not my best class as it was.

I’m with Frustrated Full Professor: sexualized insults no. But as Sweet Sue suggests: what’s wrong with the occasional Barnyard Epithet?

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By: Sweet Sue http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-527913 Sat, 09 Jan 2010 13:57:53 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-527913 The origin of wuss is pussy.
I find douche and douchebag offensive.
Whatever happened to good old “shithead?”

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-527680 Sat, 09 Jan 2010 09:28:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-527680 What is its origin?

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By: historymaven http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-527552 Sat, 09 Jan 2010 05:32:20 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-527552 Back in the 1950s Lysol was advertised as a douche. “Summer’s Eve” of the 1970s seems so gentle in comparison.

I seem to be in a county where no used the term “d–bag”–at least not within my earshot. Then again, I gave a lot of male and female friends a lessen in linguistics when they used the term “wuss” without knowing its origin.

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By: Frustrated Full Professo http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-527549 Sat, 09 Jan 2010 05:07:45 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-527549 It was one of the revelations of my young life when I was about 9 or 10 when a friend explained “scumbag” to me, in the sense that Wini explained, and said that you could find them in the Hudson river. And I am old enough to have been advised to use a douche along with a diaphragm…

I sometimes feel like my grandmother, but I try not to use sexual insults in general, just because in a funny way, even when women use them, I think it contributes to the oversexualization of everything in our society…

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By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/08/the-d-word/comment-page-1/#comment-527538 Sat, 09 Jan 2010 04:02:26 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=9057#comment-527538 Or, for that matter, “He’s such a mouthwash.”

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