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Popular Ejaculations Explained

June 11, 2020

People often ask how it came to be that certain words of a sexual nature, burning with sacred fire and dedicated to the glory of God as they are, became adopted as terms of abuse among English speakers. It is really a quite fascinating subject and I would like to present a few of the basics of it here. For more information please consult your librarian.

I think we’d best start with go fuck yourself. What is the foundation of this expression, the mental ur-text? Might it be, and yes it is, go kill yourself? Sad to say, that abhorrent sentiment is found quite often among English speakers, not only Americans but also Canadians, Australians, and even some Trinidadians and Tobogonians. Let us place ourselves in the mind of an angry man for whom this vicious thought, from some dark and fetid place in his nature, has arisen and is seeking expression. In his rage he starts with the go. A fine word, a safe word, no harm done yet. But now there is no stopping, the fatal word is next. He is horrified at himself. What a monstrous thing to say! And what if, God forbid, the target of this abuse has suicidal tendencies? No, this cannot be! The mind recoils, with furious energy. It shoots back across its semantic space all the way to the opposite extreme, to the most wonderful thing it can imagine, fuck. “Go…  FUCK yourself!” he shouts, in a convulsion of strange conflicting passions.  What victory! Here is man at his finest, tempted by the devil but shouting him down by rejoicing in God’s greatest gift. Evil conquered, sweetened away by a spoonful of fuck.

Of course this reminds us of our usual use of fuck as a balm for our daily round of hurts. Stub your toe and fuck! you shout, as a reminder of the blessings of life. Sadly, this mantra can sour for the lonely.

Now we can move on to the use of common genital terms and we see the same thing. Tempted to address someone in a terribly cruel way — as a parasite on the working class or Christ-denying fistula provoker — once again the mind recoils, in this case to the glory of manhood, and the fellow is called a dick or prick or big hard pillar of glistening man-meat. Or, in the case of a woman, we may call her a cunt, after her special place of holy joy, that rubyfruit jungle from which none who enter wish to return. We find a very interesting phenomenon among the English, notorious for their polite and gentlemanly nature. So considerate is the Englishman that when roused to anger he will often call another man a cunt. “I say, ho, you there, you irksome bounder, scurvy dog, you… eh… eh… CUNT! Most glorious of God’s creations! O the humanity!” Such a thing you might hear in any English pub after a few rounds have been served and tempers warm.

I will not go into the Briton’s use of the word bloody here, suffice to say it refers to menses, the cycles of life, and the divine fertility of Woman.

To call a person a pussy is a quite different matter. Contrary to what many believe, it does not come from that term of endearment for the female genitalia. Rather, it is a direct, recoilless reference to the pussy-cat, or, you might say, scaredy cat. As a cat lover myself I do find this usage a little offensive. It is true that your typical puss will choose prudence over valor nine times out of ten. But anyone who has ever seen a mama cat defend her kittens from a ravenous fox or junkyard dog will never confuse a pussy with a wimp.

Finally, we come to the asshole. This is a particularly interesting case. If we follow our principle of recoil to the good, and I think we must, the popularity of asshole as term of abuse indicates a far kinkier, queerer, or at least fecal-friendly body politic than many would suppose. And indeed, historically we find that the rise in the linguistic use of the asshole is quickly followed by a rise in its ecstatic use. In calling a person an asshole one reveals not just anger, but a secret source of joy.

I hope you have enjoyed this short but penetrating introduction to a deep and convoluted subject, and learned a little something about our beautiful language, and maybe even more about yourself. God bless!

Rev. M. Hugh Spackman, D.D.

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