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Pussy is an English word meaning:

  • Cat
  • As vulgar slang, the vulva or vagina. The word "vagina" is used increasingly openly, and may conceivably supplant the slang term "pussy" considerably
  • Pejoratively, to demean those who do not conform to the expectations of the speaker, conflating their actions with a lack of "manliness". Especially of cowardice or weakness, and more widely, as an insult in general

Etymology Edit

The origins of the word are unknown. The Wikipedia:Oxford English Dictionary (OED) says that the word puss is common to several Wikipedia:Germanic languages, usually as a call name for the cat — not a synonym for cat, as it is in English.

The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's Third International Dictionary point out similarities with words including:

The medieval French word pucelle referred to a young adolescent girl or a virgin, although this derives from the Wikipedia:Latin puella,[1] rather than referring to cats (but cf. French chatte (female cat), a current vulgarism for the female genitalia). In the 17th century, the term was also used to refer to women in general.

Although unclear, the local term for "cat" in several Wikipedia:Austronesian languages have similarities to the word "pussy".

It has been informally suggested in Wikipedia:folk etymology that it is a shortened form of the word "pusillanimous", which comes from Latin words meaning "tiny spirit" and is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "showing a lack of courage or determination" or cowardly. Though this meaning would seem to be consistent with the intention of the word "pussy" when used as an insult toward a man, it is a Wikipedia:false cognate unrelated to the Germanic derivations of puss and pussy. The answer is much more simple: in the minds of those who use this phrase, maleness is equated with the qualities lacking in one insulted in such a way. The other, non-male, is within this mindset equivalent to the lack of these qualities. This is an artifact of the culture of men; just as it does not hold up to any scrutiny, so it is susceptible to break down if employed in rational thought.


Uses Edit

Cat and similar Edit

[[Wikipedia:File:Salix caprea 02.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Male Wikipedia:catkins from a Pussy Willow]] [[Wikipedia:File:Lucas Cranach d.Ä. - Herkules bei Omphale (Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum).jpg|thumb|right|250px|Wikipedia:Hercules and Wikipedia:Omphale's maids, by Wikipedia:Lucas Cranach the Elder]]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, puss was used as a "call-name" for cats in both German and English, but pussy was used in English more as a synonym for "cat": compare "pussycat". In addition to cats, the word was also used for Wikipedia:rabbits and Wikipedia:hares as well as a humorous name for Wikipedia:tigers. In the 19th century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the meaning was extended "in childish speech, applied to anything soft and furry", as in Pussy Willow. In thieves' slang, it meant "fur coat".

To pussyfoot around the question or point means to be evasive, cautious, or conceal one's opinions. The reference is to the careful soft tread of the cat and has no vulgar implications.

Genitalia Edit

The word "pussy" often refers to the vaginal genitalia. Used in conjunction with "some", the phrase some pussy refers to sexual intercourse (WP) itself. Most dictionaries mark the anatomical meaning as "vulgar" or "offensive" and its use is frowned upon in polite company.

The German form is cognate (Muschi (used for the female cat as well)), and the (vulgar) French term "chatte" (literally a female cat) is analogous.

Weakness Edit

The meaning "weak or cowardly person" has a separate etymology. Websters 1913 Revised Unabridged Dictionary lists this version of pussy as an alternate spelling of "pursy", an otherwise obsolete English word meaning "fat and short-breathed; fat, short, and thick; swelled with pampering  ..."[2] The interpretation is often misconstrued, as it contains multiple meanings which some consider derogatory.[3] In fact, when pussy appears in the earlier 1828 edition of the dictionary, this definition is presented for the word, while the older pursy is simply offered as a "corrupt orthography".

Pursy (pronounced with a short u, and with the r slurred or silent) was in turn derived from an Wikipedia:Old French word variously spelled pourcif, poulsif, poussif, meaning "to push, thrust, or heave". In this sense, it is cognate with the modern French verb pousser, also meaning "to push".

The word pussy can also be used in a derogatory sense to refer to a male who is not considered sufficiently masculine (see Wikipedia:Gender role). When used in this sense, it carries the implication of being easily fatigued, weak or cowardly.

Pussy-whipped (or simply whipped in slightly more polite society or media) is a term used to demean those who do not conform to the expectations of the speaker. It relies on the strength of the sexual urge, and implies that the man is "giving away too much" for sexual favors. More of the women's side of this phenomenon is shown in the Ancient Greek play "Lysistrata", where women withhold sexual favors to compel their partners to give them more. It is implied by this phrase that the man is dominated by women, particularly their partners or spouses. An earlier phrase meaning the same thing was 'Hen-pecked'.

Purulent Edit

"Pussy" is sometimes used in speech, with the "u" pronounced as in "bus", to mean "containing Wikipedia:pus" when describing a wound or discharge; the usual medical written word is "purulent".

Word-play between meanings Edit

[[Wikipedia:File:BarrisonPussy.JPG|thumb|250px|right|The Wikipedia:Barrison Sisters lift their dresses to show a live kitten, a double entendre of "pussy".]]

The Wikipedia:double entendre has been used for over a hundred years by performers, including the late-19th-century Wikipedia:vaudeville act the Wikipedia:Barrison Sisters, who performed the notorious routine "Do You Want To See My Pussy?" (see entry for more); the Popular Great Depression Era song Wikipedia:My Girl's Pussy, the Wikipedia:Funkadelic song "Pussy", and the character Wikipedia:Pussy Galore in the Wikipedia:James Bond series, as well as the 1983 film, Wikipedia:Octopussy, which refers to a female gang leader. On his album, Wikipedia:The Gold Experience, Prince sings a song about a female protagonist named Pussy Control. The Belgian band Wikipedia:Lords of Acid also has a song called Pussy, almost every line of which is a double entendre.[4]

One surprisingly risqué joke, especially for 1940, appears in the Wikipedia:W. C. Fields movie, Wikipedia:The Bank Dick. The bar that Fields frequently attends (tended by Wikipedia:Shemp Howard) is called the "Black Pussy Cat", with "Black Pussy" arched over "Cat" to give it some visual separation. However, it was apparently tame enough that the Hays Office did not take action.

Another notable usage is in the British comedy Wikipedia:Are You Being Served?. The character Mrs. Slocombe is often heard to be concerned with the welfare of her pussy (cat), presumably unaware of the secondary meaning. This joke was also used with some other cast members of the show (particularly Messrs. Rumbold and Grainger), showing their unawareness.

In the episode "Calling All Customers", Mrs. Slocombe calls a lonely trucker on Mr. Humphries’ CB radio, setting up perhaps the most intricate "pussy" joke of the series. The trucker tells her he’s hauling dynamite, and proceeds to ask her about her interests. She notes gardening, but that her pussy is her favorite hobby. She exclaims that she has a mantel full of trophies and that it wins a medal every time she shows it. Then follows the sound of screeching tires and an explosion. Mr. Humphries laments, "He’s pulled off for a coffee".

The double meaning of the word was exploited in a 2005 episode of the American comedy program Arrested Development, where the word was censored if used as an insult, but not censored if used to mean sweet or gentle (as in pussycat).

The use of pussy to demean is used on the television series Wikipedia:Drawn Together, the episode "Wikipedia:Alzheimer's That Ends Well" and the Wikipedia:South Park episode "Wikipedia:Fun with Veal".

Wikipedia:Steve Martin had a stand-up bit (found on his Wikipedia:A Wild and Crazy Guy recording) in which the double meaning of pussy is explored, but more importantly forbidden words, social censorship and taboos. He declares that a woman he'd met had "the best pussy . . ." He realizes what the audience is thinking and immediately expresses outrage and disgust, objecting, "I'm talking about her cat!" and complaining "You can't say anything any more without people taking it dirty". He then boasted, under his breath, that "that cat was the best Wikipedia:fuck I ever had".[5]

Wikipedia:Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk-rock collective that stages illegal protests in Moscow against the Putin regime and the status of women in Russian society. Band member "Kot" says she knows how the word is used in English, and it is also used in Russian as term of endearment for little girls. These various meanings create a tension with the word "riot", which the group likes.[6]

See also Edit

External links Edit

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pussy

Wikipedia:Template:Sexual slang

References Edit

  1. The painting Hercules and Omphale's maids, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, has text on it in which the maids are referred to as puella
  2. "Pussy". Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828). machaut.uchicago.edu. http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?action=search&word=pussy&resource=Webster%27s&quicksearch=on. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  3. "Pussy". Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828). machaut.uchicago.edu. http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?action=search&resource=Webster%27s&word=Pursy&quicksearch=on. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  4. "Pussy - Pussy Lords of Acid". lordsofacid.com. http://www.lordsofacid.com/lyrics/index.php?show=51. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  5. Steve Martin - Sex Jokes on YouTube"" -starting at 2:29
  6. Wikipedia:Corey Flintoff (February 8, 2012). "In Russia, Punk-Rock Riot Girls Rage Against Putin". Wikipedia:NPR. http://www.npr.org/2012/02/08/146581790/in-russia-punk-rock-riot-girls-rage-against-putin. Retrieved Feb. 10, 2012. 
  7. Grandmother's Google

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