Reclaiming the C-Word!

A stone yoni found in Cát Tiên sanctuary, Lam Dong, Vietnam.

A stone yoni found in Cát Tiên sanctuary, Lam Dong, Vietnam.

I’ve been interested to find today that the word “cunt,” which is used in our society most commonly as a degrading insult, is actually an old term that was demonized by medieval clergymen.

As our friend LaciGreen highlights, inspired by the work of Barbara G. Walker, the word is derived from the name for one of the Great Oriental Goddesses: Cunti or Kunda, the “Yoni of the Universe.” It was a word that represented beauty, power and the amazing ability of the female body to bring new life into the world.

Yoni (Sanskritयोनि yoni) means “source or origin of life.” The ancient Vedas contain the word yoni in various contexts. The meaning of the word expanded, and got a secondary meaning “Divine Passage.” A child was considered to be born from a “yoni of stars” – constellations that prevailed during the child birth.

Yet, as with many other aspects of ancient culture, the word “cunt” was and still is strongly demonized by the culture of Christianity (and monotheism in general, it seems) – which has a well-documented history of making the aspects of the old culture into the demons of its own.

Understanding our past is vitally important. To me, it makes me continually remember how truly human we have been for a long time. The Ancients were far from barbaric buffoons; all too often it seems they were more respectful (especially to women!) than our culture is today.

25 Comments

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  1. OY VEY
    Yes the same old tired story of my cult verses yours, BIG COCKS AND BIG CUNTS TO BOOT! Are we as people obsessive compulsive about sex? But yeah I’d rather look at a cunt than my own cock!

    Time to let superstition go, with either male or female we cannot exist, and for the girl mentioned in the video those boys aren’t worth the effort, and do educate and support yourself before ever considering entertaining any males!

  2. Quick! Someone get this info to Hallmark!

  3. Still a little rough
    I understand how words are co-opted over time and changed but this is still a bit rough :-/ Can you imagine your wife coming home and you say “hello you beautiful c**t”? I think I’ll pass…

    1. Well that made my morning!

      Klaatu,

      The point of this article wasn’t ‘lets educate our friends and family about it’s original meaning and then start using it’.

      But rather, just to point it out.

      The most interesting thing, I think, was to point out that facets of the pre-Christian/Monotheistic era have been made ‘dirty’.

    2. just shows that an adrocentric perception still dominates…the word was co-opted and it isn’t a matter of a man coming home to his wife and saying hello you beautiful cunt…nor should it be considered the most filthy word anyone can say…nor should it be used to demean and condemn any being to having NO value…it was and still should be a powerful word that women themselves (re)own…in this way women change the meaning to be something they are proud to identify with…

  4. Fascinating, I did not know about this. 😆

    1. I knew this decades ago after reading Godfrey Higgins massive work. What brought this article on? 😛 I am sorely tempted to post a cute little video about this special part of the female anatomy….lol! Funny thing most men are trying to get back in what they came out of!

      Ah! the ying and yang of life. :woohoo:

      1. This article was inspired by the video.

        I used to be friendly with Laci but haven’t spoken to her for well over a year.

        But I still keep an eye on her work on YouTube.

  5. Wow
    Thank You, I’m sending this to all my daughters!

  6. C.U.N.T.
    C – created, U – under, N – natural, T – terms or technique. LMAO ! Women hate to be called this because – 1.) It’s the one thing that definately is the master of the earth. 2.) It attractes men more then anything else and doesn’t have to say one word. 3.) It makes men happy. 4.) They are jealous of it’s power. 5.) women know that everything a man does for a woman isn’t because of her, it’s because of her cunt. 6.) it gives women hell once a month. 7.) has a nicer smile. 8.) can make money without doing a dam thing. there are some people so far from the truth that they would kill the people telling the truth !!!

    1. Around here there is a cult of female only cavers that call themselves the
      ColoRADo
      Underground
      Navigation
      Team
      :woohoo:
      Nice to know the word isn’t really *dirty* at all. Hahaha 😆

  7. Kund is water reservoir.
    Please type in ‘KUND IN UTTARANCHAL’, in google search, and you will get a list of lakes in an northern himalayan indian state called uttaranchal.
    Most Indians instinctively realise that the christian piracy has extended to all terms which were common to sanskrit and latin in the pre-desert cults of chistianity and islam.

  8. Reclaiming
    What a Qwyent!

    What about the British-ism: “Fanny”?….an ancient Babalonian Goddess of the Sacred HooHoo!

  9. GOOD
    Simply put… I don’t doubt it ❗ I wouldn’t doubt thousands of years of misunderstanding between men and women were born of a fast one…pulled several thousand years ago by anal men. Cats… have often been compared to Women.. Men often are uncomfortable around cats… I think this is not an accident… As well I think Egypt Worshipped cats…The feline ability to be in tune with nature.. to land on its feet.. was respected by the eastern peoples… As the religious energy’s past into and through the western nations a more masculine/canide twist was attatched. Dogs.. are a more masculine creature… more dependent on social structure/hierarchy… less on instinct. So the western more masculine (cerebrally) peoples put the female deity in her place…Our snake ate her snake/cunt… She became the devils advocate/Eve and our super daddy became the only important deity. Woman.. don’t worry.. I respect your cunt 😛

  10. Chinese origin: Kun
    Hi Acharya, this topic is one I looked at earlier. I wrote a comment about another writer who dealt with the origin of the C-word:

    I wanted to check out the socially accepted etymology of a word that I think originated with a Chinese term. The Chinese term is one of the eight ones that are contained in the Ba Gua (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba_gua), which is a system of describing the physical universe as an increasingly complex outworking of the binary reality starting with the “monad” or Yin-Yang symbol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_yang).

    I will digress so that I have it noted in this email that the male-dominated world that we have today is reflected in the description of the Yin-Yang trigram and the I-Ching –which is a set of 64 combinations of the trigrams (8 times 8 equals 64). This trigram and the eight sets of three lines is the basis of the I-Ching (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching). FYI: the I-Ching is best translated by Ralph Alan Dale in his version of the I-Ching (http://www.amazon.com/Tao-Te-Ching-Lao-Tsu/dp/0760749981).

    The male-dominated interpretation of the appearance of each line is described almost universally as a “solid” line versus a “broken” line.

    For several years now I have advocated that humanity grow up and become more honoring of each of our two sexes, especially in looking at the I-Ching. If there were a matriarchial society in which men were subjugated as women are today, this description would become the “closed” line and the “open” line. Each of those two ways of describing the term ends up giving a somewhat negative term to describe one of the two sexes.

    However, I propose society now use one from each of those descriptions and call the lines a “solid” and an “open” line. Such a use of terms would automatically bring the newcomer to the concept face-to-face with the fact that women and men are so different as to make it necessary to give each a sovereign description.

    Re: The C-word — In the Bagua, and the I-Ching the two outstanding trigrams are:
    Qian (Heaven) represented by a set of three solid lines, and
    Kun (Earth) represented by a set of three open lines.

    The reason for my writing you is simply to say that the Chinese came up with the basic word first that later became known as “cunt”.

    Now that I have read your essay, http://www.billcasselman.com/unpublished_works/cunt_wordorigin_use.htm , I think that the added “t” likely came from the Jewish writers as you describe in the essay: “In Semitic languages, for example, terminal /t/ is the standard marker for grammatical femininity.”

    Your essay poignantly describes the indignation of women over the use of various four-letter words and how your career has been significantly impacted by their reactions to your literary use of them. I agree with them that women deserve respectful and equal treatment with men. Hopefully writers such as yourself can contribute to the awakening that has to happen, “one man at a time.”

    I know that you are writing as a humorous Canadian, and that you likely aren’t going to pass this along to organizations that are responsible for deciding what is included in dictionaries, but at least it gives me a chance to begin writing out the informtion. Maybe someday I will find time to contact some magazine or even the dictionary compilers and give them this observation that the Chinese used Kun first. You have my support in sharing this with anyone in any way possible.

    Best wishes to you in your continued enjoyment of creatively working with words.

    Healthful regards,
    Ralph Wilson Washington DC

    1. Hey Ralph –

      Thanks for your long and thoughtful comment. You provide some very interesting information.

      I didn’t write this piece, however, and I’m not Canadian. The person who wrote this piece is Brenton Eccles, an Australian man. B)

  11. CUNT
    When I think of a woman who has had the term directed at her, I think of someone who is a real bitch, who is moody and who is in a rage because of her PMS, (being controlled by her hoohoo) or just because she feels she has license to be a bitch.

    I think in the story Laci tells us its simply a case of the boys being jealous of her or having a crush on her so they attack her. Kid these days, haha. Glad i was never like that ; )

    I don’t condone using the word but I think there are some women who fit the mold.

    I’ve heard men say, in referring to a woman exhibiting these characteristics, “she’s only good for one thing”, or “she just needs a good f**k”

    Ugly language but it’s how men see women who are hard to be around. Take my ex-wife for example…

    haha

  12. The Origin of the word Cunt.

    I have been doing som research on the origin of the word ‘cunt’ and have an interesting hypothesis.

    The modern word ‘cunt’ is regarded by most as derived from the Proto-German word ‘Kunto’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunt

    This is correct, but the origin of the word Kunto itself derives from the Indo-European word Kunti.

    Kunti is a Hindu Goddess worshipped still today ;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunti

    So this means the origin of the word is from the era before the Proto-Indo European language entered India.

    The Proto Indo-European language shares many other connections between the Celtic and Hindu language ;

    http://www.hinduwisdom.info/articles_hinduism/258.htm

    Old Irish – arya (freeman),Sanskrit – aire (noble)
    Old Irish – naib (good), Sanskrit – noeib (holy)
    Old Irish – badhira (deaf), Sanskrit – bodhar (deaf)
    Old Irish – names (respect), Sanskrit – nemed (respect)
    Old Irish – righ (king), Sanskrit – raja (king)

    The ancient Aryans, who were White Europeans that invaded India from Central Asia via the Indus Valley, encountered the aboriginal Indians who are known as the Dravidians, who are todays low caste Untouchables, whilst the descendants of the Aryans are todays the Brahmin caste.

    http://www.idiscoverindia.com/Discover_India/brief_history_india.html

    Therefore the origin of the word Cunt goes back to the original descendants of Europe and Central Asia, the Aryans, who then spread the word to India during the Aryan invasion of 1500 BC.

    The word remained in the European lexicon as a part of the Celtic language that evolved from the original Indo-European language of the Aryans and then became part of the Proto-German language.

    The same thing happened in India and the word still retains its sacred meaning.

    The fact the word remained as part in use as derived from the original lexicon was due to its power – it must refer to the female power of nature, that mysterious and sacred space within which life is created.

    1. Kunti wasn’t a goddess, she was just a mythological princess who was the mother of all pandavas. Also, Kunti would never have been spelled with a “c” or pronounced the way “cunti” is. Again, this is all information my Hindu friends have given me. This article and Laci Green and Barbara Walker are all incorrect.

      1. Without actually having studied what Barbara Walker wrote and consulted her sources, one cannot state that her information is incorrect. Hindus do not automatically know the history of the myths they believe in, anymore than Christian fundamentalists know the true origins of Christianity. In fact, Hindu fundamentalists will tell you that these are not myths but historical facts.

        Here is an INDIAN MAN, Swami Ram Charran, essentially saying the same thing in Sexual Death:

        Kunthus is athe Greek goddess of fertility. Together with the Sanskrit term _kunti_, the Kunthus is reflected in the presently used slang word _cunt_. The sacred origin of this term shows clearly that it was not intended to be a derogatory or vulgar word.

  13. None of the Cunti stuff is correct. There was no Cunti goddess nor was there a Kunda goddess. I’ve spoken to two Hindu friends and both are rather angry this lie is being passed off as fact. Please do not spread this misinformation anymore.

    1. I too know several Hindus and have known Hindus for the past 30 years. Again, simply because they are believers does not mean they know the origins of their beliefs. On the contrary, we often discover that the more fervent a believer, the less they generally do know about religious origins, as they do not subscribe to the notion that they are myths and are loathe to pursue such studies.

      Ms. Walker is generally quite accurate, and I submit that neither your nor your angry Hindu friends have studied her work in any depth. There should be nothing whatsoever to be angry about with the information presented here. On the contrary, it gives greater depth to Hinduism and does a great service to women everywhere. I further submit that to become angry over such information may represent a sign of misogyny.

  14. Researches with Proper Linguistic Materials

    The word’s believed by *experts* to have come from the Proto-Germanic “kuntōn” (vagina), itself with possible links to Latin’s “cuneus” (wedge). There never has been a “Cunti” goddess. There was a mythological princess (not at all known for her vaginal prowess so I fail to see a link), yes, but not a goddess and certainly not the Great Goddess.

    The word’s been considered obscene since the 1400s but that’s more likely to do with Christian sensibilities as it means vagina, not because it’s to do with women but because the religion is known for its prudishness, the same would apply for synonyms of “penis”.

    The harshness of the word would have played a key factor as it does in our consideration of what makes language vulgar; take “fuck” and “shit”, for example, both harsh sounding words. Another factor is the “respectability” of “vagina”. It’s the medical term nowadays and as such any euphemism is considered inappropriate or childish, I imagine the same counted back then but with less education, there would have been more control over what entered recorded language and the taboos have remained with us.

    On a final note, Proto-Germanic is an ancient language itself and with the word “kuntōn” meaning nothing but simply “vagina”, I think it’s somewhat ridiculous to suggest that people called each other “vagina” as a mark of respect before the advent of Christianity.

    1. Thanks for that analysis. Your claim about Cunti not being a goddess already has been addressed in the comments here. Having studied comparative mythology and the works of the *expert* Barbara Walker, I find the contention that she was a goddess to be convincing.

      No one is suggesting anyone call each other “vagina” as a “mark of respect before the advent of Christianity,” so I agree that would be ridiculous.

      The title of this post is “reclaiming the C word,” and I think the point is perfectly understandable, since the word has obviously been degraded to the point of it being an insult.

  15. This is an unlikely etymology. It’s not at all unlikely that the two share a root – but the most likely etymologies for “cunt” go back to Proto-Germanic kunton, meaning the same thing, and thereby to Proto-Indo-European, which Sanskrit is itself descended from!

    I might also point out that “oriental” is not a particularly nice word; it turns an entire continent into a single, alienated mass of Others.

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