Sexual slang

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Sexual slang is a set of linguistic terms and phrases used to refer to sexual organs, processes, and activities; [1] they are generally considered colloquial rather than formal or medical, and some may be seen as impolite or improper. [2]

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Related to sexual slang is slang related to defecation and flatulence (toilet humor, scatolinguistics). References to the anal tract are often given a sexual connotation in the context of anal sex (in particular, in a context of male homosexuality).

While popular usage is incredibly versatile in coining ever new short-lived synonyms, old terms with originally no pejorative colouring may come to be considered inappropriate over time. Thus, terms like arse/ass , cunt, cock and fuck should not be considered "slang," since they are the inherited common English terms for their referents, but they are often considered vulgarisms and are replaced by euphemisms or scientific terminology in "polite" language.

Pejorative usage

Terms of disparagement are used to refer to members of a given sexual minority, gender, sex, or sexual orientation in a derogatory or pejorative manner. They are used as insults by persons who are not or do not wish to be associated with the group being disparaged. For example, queer can be used as an insult by those seeking to deprecate homosexual, bisexual, and transgender or transsexual people, but the word has also undergone reclaiming, such that it can be used positively within that community. Which terms are used as slurs is determined by a society's or subculture's set of values, especially its biases against genders (sexism). For example, words such as whore and slut are typically used to refer to sexually promiscuous women.

Sexual slurs are common across many cultures and historical periods. The most common slurs directed against men historically include accusations of being a passive homosexual (Aristophanes notably enjoyed using such allusions) or of being effeminate; for example, in the Hittite military oath, oath-breakers are threatened with being made into women (a promise of either actual castration, or of divine revenge on the traitors' manhood). The pejorative term prick for a contemptible person is also usually used for men. [3]

Sexual slang and humor

In the popular jargon of many cultures, the use of sexual slang is a form of humor or euphemism that often creates controversy over its public use. Sexual humor has been seen in many circles as crude and unsophisticated, as well as insulting towards the subject it describes. Sexual slang has a long history in literature and comedy: examples from Shakespeare are well-known. The popularity of contemporary comedians who indulge in sexual humor, from George Carlin to Andrew Dice Clay, reflects the appeal of this form of speech. It is often seen as a form of taboo, in which much of the appeal lies in the shock value of daring to speak "forbidden" words in public.

See also

Related Research Articles

A dysphemism is an expression with connotations that are derogatory either about the subject matter or to the audience. Dysphemisms contrast with neutral or euphemistic expressions. Dysphemism may be motivated by fear, distaste, hatred, and contempt.

Sissy is a pejorative term, especially in the U.S., for an effeminate boy or man, with connotations of being homosexual or cowardly.

Snowballing (sexual practice) Sexual practice in which one person takes someone elses semen into their mouth and then passes it to the mouth of the other, usually through kissing

Snowballing or snowdropping is the human sexual practice in which one person takes someone's semen into their mouth and then passes it to the mouth of another, usually through kissing.

LGBT slang, LGBT speak, or gay slang is a set of slang lexicon used predominantly among LGBT people. It has been used in various languages since the early 20th century as a means by which members of the LGBT community identify themselves and speak in code with brevity and speed to others.

Terminology of homosexuality

Terms used to describe homosexuality have gone through many changes since the emergence of the first terms in the mid-19th century. In English, some terms in widespread use have been sodomite, Sapphic, Uranian, homophile, lesbian, gay, effeminate, queer, homoaffective, and same-sex attracted. Some of these words are specific to women, some to men, and some can be used of either. Gay people may also be identified under the umbrella terms queer and LGBT.

Beard is a slang term describing a person who is used, knowingly or unknowingly, as a date, romantic partner, or spouse either to conceal infidelity or to conceal one's sexual orientation. The American slang term originally referred to anyone who acted on behalf of another, in any transaction, to conceal a person's true identity. The term can be used in heterosexual and homosexual contexts, but is especially used within LGBT culture. References to beards are seen in mainstream television and films, and other entertainment.

A sexual slur is a term of disparagement used to refer to members of a given gender, sex, or sexual orientation in a derogatory or pejorative manner. The motivation for using a sexual slur is often sexism and/or bias against a sexual orientation or practice.

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to mean "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright and showy".

<i>Twink</i> (gay slang) Gay slang for attractive male from late teens to early twenties

Twink is gay slang for a young man in his late teens to early twenties whose traits may include: general physical attractiveness; little to no body or facial hair; a slim to average build; and a youthful appearance that may belie an older chronological age.

Dyke (slang)

The term dyke is a slang term, used as a noun meaning lesbian and as an adjective describing things associated with lesbianism. It originated as a homophobic and misogynistic slur for a masculine, butch, or androgynous girl or woman. While pejorative use of the word still exists, the term dyke has been reappropriated by out and proud lesbians to imply assertiveness and toughness, or simply as a neutral synonym for lesbian.

Sloppy seconds is a slang phrase for when a man has sexual intercourse with a female or male partner who already has received another man's penis in the relevant orifice and is therefore wet or "sloppy". The phrase buttered bun is sometimes used to refer to said orifice. The practice is also referred to as a "wet deck".

Cornhole is a sexual slang vulgarism for the anus. The term came into use in the 1910s in the United States. Its verb form, to cornhole, which came into use in the '30s, means 'to have anal sex'.

Pirate has multiple meanings in sexual slang. Several of them emerged in the 20th century and play off the tradition that pirates took whatever they wanted, including sex, which was "seen as a conquest."

Dick is a common English euphemism for the human penis. It is also used by extension for a variety of slang purposes, generally considered vulgar, including: as a verb to describe sexual activity; and as a pejorative term for individuals who are considered to be rude, abrasive, inconsiderate, or otherwise contemptible. In this context, it can be used interchangeably with jerk, and can also be used as a verb to describe rude or deceitful actions. Variants include dickhead, which literally refers to the glans. The offensiveness of the word dick is complicated by the continued use of the word in inoffensive contexts, including as both a given name and a surname, the popular British dessert spotted dick, the classic novel Moby-Dick, the Dick and Jane series of children's books, and the American retailer Dick's Sporting Goods. Uses such as these have provided a basis for comedy writers to exploit this juxtaposition through double entendre.

Prick is a vulgar word for penis as well as a pejorative term used to refer to a despicable or contemptible individual. It is generally considered offensive, though in the past it has been used as a term of endearment. Its history as a euphemism for penis goes back to the 1500s and has been used in wordplay by Shakespeare and other writers who have combined the vulgarism with the standard meaning of the noun, which means the act of piercing or puncturing. Most linguists believe it has only been used as a direct insult since 1929.

References

  1. Richard Guy Parker; Peter Aggleton (1998). Culture, Society and Sexuality: A Reader. Routledge. p. 421. ISBN   978-1-85728-811-7.
  2. Timothy Jay (2000). Why We Curse: A Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech . John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp.  176–177. ISBN   978-1-55619-758-1.
  3. Terry Victor, Tom Dalzell, The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Routledge, Nov 27, 2014

Further reading