>On one of the many sites on which I've been devouring political discussions lately, a self-identified PUMA* was irritated that no one decried an Obama supporter who wore a t-shirt that read "Sarah Palin is a cunt" to a recent rally. To which my first thought was, "Well, she is a cunt, so why would I get my knickers in a bunch?" Then I felt a little bad, since I would probably be furious if someone wore a shirt like that with Hillary Clinton's name. Except that HRC is not really a cunt, so that's why I would be so irate. (Bill Clinton, however, is another story.)

Perhaps, I wondered, was I being unfair because I loathe Sarah Palin's evil social policies? Only an impartial and wise source could settle the matter for me. I whipped out my trusty slang dictionary, Slang and Euphemism: A Dictionary of Oaths, Curses, Insults, Ethnic Slurs, Sexual Slang and Metaphor, Drug Talk, College Lingo, and Related Matters (2nd Revised Edition) by Richard A. Spears. ("College lingo?" Seriously?) It read:

cunt (see also c*nt, c**t, c***,****,----) 1. the female genitals, specifically the vagina. [said to be from Latin CUNNUS (q.v.)] 2. women considered sexually. 3. copulation [in numerous spellings since the 1300s] The word was banned from print in much of the British Empire until the middle of this century, and it is the most elaborately avoided word in the English language. There are numerous dimunitives: CUNNICLE, CUNTKIN, CUNTLET, CUNNY. Avoidances are: INEFFABLE, MONOSYLLABLE, NAME-IT-NOT, NAMELESS. Disguises are: GRUMBLE AND GRUNT, SHARP AND BLUNT, SIR BERKLEY HUNT, TENUC, UNTCAY. See MONOSYLLABLE for additional synonyms. 4. a rotten fellow; a low, slimy man. [colloquial, 1800s-pres.] 5. to intromit the penis. [attested in a limerick, late 1800s] See also DECUNT.

Whew! That didn't entirely clear the matter up for me, but I believe that she meets definitions 1 (she is certainly interested enough in what comes out of other women's vaginas, anyway), 3 and 5 (she is totally going to screw us if she gets into the VP's office). Hence, Sarah Palin is, in fact, a cunt, and the t-shirt is accurate. Perhaps, however, anti-Palinites might want to wear shirts reading, "Sarah Palin is a monosyllable" to confuse her supporters and avoid controversy. (Plus, "monosyllable" is a great double-entendre in this case.)

Wasn't this fun? Not only did I learn interesting facts about my grandmother's favorite word (I love that she hates the word "fuck," but will cheerfully spew out a word that is otherwise "the most elaborately avoided word in the English language"), but also that I run against popular sentiment in my embrace of the word cunt.

*A group of the Clinton supporters who are possibly the sorest losers in political history.

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