View Full Version : Why are there "dirty words" in English? Blame the f**king French of course...

04-18-2005, 03:52 PM
Dear GOD, could the French do any more world-wide damage? :D


"Dirty words." Why we have them and the Japanese don't. Hint: Thank the French.
As all of us know English-speaking people have words in our language that are considered vulgar and inappropriate in most any conversation. Those of us who say these words, often make attempts to "clean up our language." Others simply don't say them, and frown when they hear them. These words are usually not permitted on network television, and trigger fines when someone has the nerve to mention them "on the air."

It doesn't take long to hear obscenities on HBO's "Deadwood."
If you watch cable TV, particularly HBO's "Deadwood," you'll hear a litany of these words. In fact, Deadwood's main villain, Al, the owner of the Gem Saloon, in just about every show, can be heard weaving a tapestry of obscenities, as skillful as any sailor or US Marine I've ever met.

Parents are horrified the first time they hear their children say the words we consider "dirty," with the offending child receiving a stern rebuke, a timeout or worse.

We even have a "Queen Mother" of dirty words.
We all know what these words are. I don't have to tell you. Without any effort, most of us are able to mentally roll right through the entire list . One of these words, in the movie "A Christmas Story," was referred to as the "Queen Mother of dirty words," and is often angrily flashed from one car to the next simply by raising one's middle finger (while keeping the rest of the hand clenched in a fist) and pointing and shaking it at the target in the other car.

Some of us say these "dirty words" in jokes, anger or in our normal everyday conversation. As a result of my service in the United States Marine Corps a few of these words pop up in my conversations every now and then, although I must admit, that I try very hard not to say them.

There are no Japanese "dirty words."
There's no doubt these "dirty" words play a significant part in our society. Yet, quite unbelievably there are no words that are considered "dirty" in the Japanese language. And believe it or not, there was a time when there were no obscenities in the English language.

Here's some good cocktail conversation.
You may wonder then, how did all of this "foul language" come about. Where did our "dirty words" originate? . Why was it just fine to say them long ago, but the mark of a heathen to blurt them out now?. Well, dear Blog reader, I thought it might be a nice change of pace to educate you in this regard. If nothing else, it'll arm you with some good cocktail party conversation.

The "Short Form" explanation of why we have "dirty words."
It all started in the year 1066. Prior to that there were no "dirty words", at least not officially. In fact, prior to 1066 the English language was spoken in its original form which was a called "Anglo-Saxon." Anglo-Saxon originated from the language spoken by the early Celtic tribes who inhabited what is today the British Isles. It was then influenced by the Romans who under Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 54 B.C. However, the Anglo-Saxon language really evolved when the Saxons, a collection of barbaric germanic tribes invaded Britain and conquered the Celtic tribes in the 9th century.

It really started when the early French invaded Britain.
In 1066, the Normans (a "more civilized" people who resided in Normandy - which is now France), led by William the Conqueror, invaded Saxony (which is now England). On October 14, 1066, the Saxons were defeated by the Normans at the battle of Hastings and the Normans eventually took control of the entire country.

It was no longer cool to speak Saxon.
The Saxons were considered by the Normans to be a vulgar, crude and uncouth people. As a result, speaking Saxon eventually became looked down upon, and in some cases was even deemed illegal. The Saxon terms for basic human functions and sexual acts were considered especially inappropriate and remain that way to this very day.

Saxon "dirty words" and their clean Norman counterparts.
What follows are the Saxon terms (all of which you should know) and their Norman counterparts. While both words mean essentially the same thing, you should notice that we've been trained to immediately consider the Saxon word to be "dirty," while the Norman word (which means the exact same thing) is perfectly acceptable. Here's a short, but profound list:

Saxon word: ****...(taboo!)......Norman word: Fornicate...(acceptable).

Saxon word: Cock...(taboo!)......Norman word: Penis.........(acceptable).

Saxon word: Arse...(taboo!)......Norman word: Derriere......(acceptable).

Saxon word: Piss....(taboo!)......Norman word: Urinate.......(acceptable).

Saxon word: Shit....(taboo!)......Norman word: Defecate.....(acceptable).

The list, of course, goes on and on.

Why the Japanese don't have "dirty words."
The reason the Japanese don't have "dirty words" is because they were not conquered and occupied by a foreign speaking nation that deemed their language crude and vulgar. Many aboriginal languages are good examples of languages with no obscenities.

The French still think the English are vulgar and uncouth.
So the next time you hear someone using "dirty words," it might give you a smile to remember that the words we now consider obscenities were once perfectly acceptable to utter (certainly among the pre-Norman invasion Saxons), and that the reason those Saxon words are now considered obscene is because the French (the Normans were really an early French tribe) decided that the early English or Saxon language was vulgar. As I understand it, since then not much has changed. I think the French still feel the same way today.

Hammock Parties
04-18-2005, 03:54 PM
Proud Scotsman right here. :D

04-18-2005, 04:28 PM
Proud Scotsman right here. :D

Shut the **** up, your a little piss-nosed nerd living in texas and still sucking on his mommys flap-jacked titties... You dont know a damn thing about being a scotsman, let alone ****ing using foul language..
Damn little ****...


Tribal Warfare
04-18-2005, 04:32 PM
Fornication Under Consent of the King

The Pedestrian
04-18-2005, 11:39 PM
Irish-Scotish-German-English-Russian-french....so I guess I can say whatever the $*(# I want. :D