Saturday, 2 April 2011

The "C" Word

No, I’m not going to say it; because if it’s a word I wouldn’t use, then it’s not one I’m going to write.   

When I get riled, I can swear with the best of ‘em, but there is one word I really do not like, and I mean… REALLY do not like, under any circumstances. Those that have seen my temper soar, and heard me curse, are incredulous when they see me openly cringe and object to the “C” word being used.

You see, even considering my occasionally disreputable non-humble opinions, I do not understand why this gender specific noun is used in anger or abuse. Remarkably, a feminist once told me not to get so high and mighty over this choice of expression, which is why I occasionally ponder my personal outrage over this issue.

When disagreements arise, we may be inclined to question another’s parentage due to a poor error in judgement, on either side. The libellous context isn’t always taken seriously, these days, when matrimony doesn’t have the same confirmation of respectability it once had amongst procreating adults. Although, even that, is no excuse to use such an insult at random, either.

When we tell people to go forth and multiply, we hope they go elsewhere to do it. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ve used that word, myself, in the presence of grown-ups, when angry, but I’d like to think it wasn’t used as a lame excuse for poor vocabulary.

However, back to the “C” word. After countless hours of thoughtful pondering, as to whether I may be a closet prim and proper prude, I have now realised why this word irritates me so.

When anyone calls another person one of the many pet names adapted for the male member, where some, not all, men’s brains are allegedly thought to stir from time to time, the terms can often be considered in other contexts. Dick, for example, can be a shortening of a more formal elongated name, and when you get the needle, a prick isn’t very nice.  Although, a man may see this perspective very differently and wish to debate my conclusions!

As for the “C” word… well, I only know one meaning for this harsh sounding vulgarism, which is with the female genitalia. Trying not to be too crude, or personal, but how can a bad person, situation or experience be associated with the channel to human creation where innocent new life emerges to take its first breath?


  1. Wow Miss JJ, I am not sure what I expected but I don't think it was that. Interesting thoughts on it. I don't care for the word myself, but having thought of it in such derogatory terms I can't say I didn't think it applied to a person or to in my time.

    That being said your idea on the word gives me pause. Thank you for teaching me something!

  2. Eloquently said, JJ. I empathise with your perspective. In the way we were raised and the times we lived in, our characters and attitudes were forged long ago. Bound by the same code of respect, I share your view, though it has to be said that it isn’t unique to, or typical, of our (poetic licence) generation. After all, the word – in all its uses – has been around for hundreds of years. I daresay the word was used just as vulgarly in Nelson’s day. The difference, I suspect, is that the self-respecting male of yesteryear would never use the term in the company of a lady.

    Working in a male environment for forty years, I’ve long since lost any claim to sainthood. Industrial language is rife, no hold barred. But that’s the way it’s always been. The man that doesn’t swear in the workplace is rare, but in most cases the man in the workplace is only being the man he has to be. In times past, nobody took that language home with them. The majority, I’m sure, still don’t. Sadly, the minority could be getting bigger.

    Hypocritical? Maybe. I wouldn’t dream of using the word in female company, but if the boss gets on the wrong side of me next week I can’t see myself marching into the locker room and denouncing him as a channel to human creation where innocent new life emerges to take its first breath. Somehow it doesn’t have the same punch.

  3. Although I follow your reasoning for a strong dislike of this particular word, personally it doesn't bother me more than other swear words. I suppose it might depend on the circumstances, but usually it seems the person has just used the rudest word they can think of without giving any thought as to its meaning.

  4. Thanks for the feedback. As I tend to work in male dominated environments, swearing is just one of those things, but this is a word I hear more amongst family and friends than the guys I've worked with. Me finks Mister Valance has answered why - Me colleagues treat me like a lady :o)

  5. 'Me colleagues treat me like a lady'

    And so they should.

  6. Does that mean you'll open doors fer this lady, Cowboy?

  7. Course I would, extra wide.

  8. I'm going to get a ladder so I can look you in the eye before I hit ya, Cowboy!