15 Surprising Hidden Meanings Behind Rude Words

Who would have known that the C word was so... feminist?

Despite the accusation that swearing is the vulgar bastion of the unimaginative and the lazy, it's quite impressive how many different ways there are to call someone a b*tch. Okay, so sometimes it's more impressive to be more colourful without reverting to the gutter, but swearing is a tradition that goes back as long as language does, and when you're in the heat of a moment during an argument, you're not going to get out your thesaurus to look for synonyms. Plus, sometimes there's just no word more appropriate for the circumstance than "f*ck." The average person swears quite a bit, in fact, 0.7% of the language we use on a daily basis consists of curse words. Swear words are usually the first words you learn when your friends are teaching you a foreign language and many children understand that these are bad words and will say them before they reach the age of three or four. The more you think about swear words, the more likely you are to have some sort of an existential crisis. Why is a swear word a bad word and why are they deemed offensive? But you just accept that they are bad, just as you accept that a table is a table and not a window. They are just words after all, so why are some words still considered a bit taboo in a society that has freedom of speech and language? But more importantly, where do these words come from and were they always considered to be bad?

15. B*tch

What it means: Someone who is in prison and has a special, yet none voluntary relationship with another inmate because they are whipped and forced to do your bidding. However, this word is also used in a derogatory sense to a woman who is assertive and to a man who is passive; it differs depending on gender. Of course you've probably heard the saying that a woman isn't a b*tch, she's the boss. But what teenager in High School is a boss? When to use it: When you find out supposed best friend has replaced all of your weight loss snack bars with fat-packed protein bars. "You're a b*tch Karen, and I hope your spanks explode." Where it came from: The derogatory term came about in the 1400s and it was first used in this way in the Chester Plays with the sentence, 'who callest thou queine,skabde b*tch?' Basically, calling someone this was worse than calling them a whore. It also evolved into a form of complaint in the 1930s.
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Lover of Tolkien's world, Harry Potter and baked goods. A camel once put his head on my shoulder and it was the best day ever. sara@whatculture.com