Saturday, May 4, 2013

obscure words part 2

People today have this idea that profanity, swearing, euphemisms and taboo words are some kind of modern phenomenon. Historical TV dramas and movies tend to romanticize the past and, I believe, don't give an accurate picture of everyday life. If you take away today's technologies, clothing styles and junk foods people were exactly the same as they are now. If  a scene I'm writing calls for profanity, swearing, a euphemism or some taboo word, most of which are not considered taboo today, I use them because people in the mid nineteenth century would have used them. Some of these words are timeless classics and need no definition like : fuck, shit, horny, screw, cocksucker, cunt, pussy, bastard, prick, [the]clap, and ass. However, there are some words that have faded, been redefined or have become acceptable. Here is and example of some of these words.
          1. Adventuress : this is a euphemism for a prostitute or a wild women
                A. Stay away from those adventuress types while your in the city.
          2. Condom : a taboo word because condoms were illegal for most of the century.
              Jesse : hell
                A. He beat the jesse out of that redneck.
          4. Leg : this word was considered naughty or taboo. People used ''limb'' as a polite substitute.
          5. Lickfinger : a suck-up or kiss-ass.
                A. That lickfinger told her everything we said!
          6. Necessary : euphemism for outhouse or bathroom.
                A. Where might I find the  nearest necessary?
          7. Scalawag : a mean, rotten, evil or worthless person.
                A. The inn keeper was a scalawag of the worst kind.
          8. Strumpet : a whore or slut
                A. Strumpets walk the streets day and night in Baltimore.
           9.Trouser, Pants : taboo for most of the century. Instead, people said inexpressibles, unmentionables,
                 nether garments or sit-down-apons.

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