Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Was it Kierkegaard or Mark Wahlberg who once said that learning something new everyday is the key to life? Regardless, here's the juicy tidbit I just came across:

The word "sucker" originally referred to fellatio which helps explain why a guy called this 50 years ago would get so mad. It's hard to believe someone would get angry at being called a "jerk" unless you know that the word is actually a reference to masturbating.

The words "sucks", "bites", and "blows" also originated as sexual insults (P.L.T.).

Here's the full article where I learned this info as well as an interesting passage from it:

"Over time, taboo words relinquish their literal meanings and retain only a coloring of emotion, and then just an ability to arouse attention. This explains why "Close the fucking door", "What the fuck?", "Holy Fuck!", and "Fuck you!" violate all rules of English syntax and semantics—they presumably replaced "Close the damned door", "What in Hell?", "Holy Mary!", and "Damn you!" when religious profanity lost its zing and new words had to be recruited to wake listeners up."


Sarah said...

you can't see me, but i'm going the ross & monica gesturec[from friends}. that'll show you!

Coconut said...

I think I'll to revert to the old slang.

Love the new layout, BTW.

Rocketstar said...

Y0ou have now chnaged the question, "Can I have a sucker?".

disestablishingpuritanism said...

I love this post. Never knew that "jerk" literally meant someone who masturbated. Hey, thanks. I had a hand party last night, you should've been there. Here's some catch phrases that annoy me: "Heard that." You're an asshole, can you hear that? "Lookie' here." Are you looking down at the cynder blocks holding up your trailer? "Check this out." O.k. Pull out that check and I'll be happy to cash it in at my local bank branch.

Stephanie said...

Thomas, I like the post! :)

"you can't see me, but i'm going the ross & monica gesturec[from friends}. that'll show you!"

Sarah, I may be the only one who laughed at the fists bumping together! lmao

"Here's some catch phrases that annoy me: "Heard that." You're an asshole, can you hear that? "Lookie' here."

Lookie here PJ, I need you to listen up and listen good! ;)


Thomas said...

Sarah, I've never watched an episode of "Friends", so had no idea what the fook you were talking about until I read Stephanie's comment.

Coconut, thanks.

Rocket, I was at Great Clips recently and heard a hairdresser say, "Do you want a sucker" to a child. After reading this article, it'll be difficult not to crack up if/when I hear it again.

PJ, quite right. Those phrases are way overplayed. One of the worst in my book: "my bad".

Stephanie, you make me laugh on the outside. :)

Anonymous said...

My mother always considered "sucks" a bad word.


Timothy Smith said...

I love reading where these sayings originate from. "The whole nine yards" I use to think was somehow football related but found out it was from WWII.

The belt fed .50 cal machine guns that bombers used to fend off attacking fighters used belts that were 9 yards in length.

Did you give em hell? "I gave him the whole nine yards".

Brian said...

Now this is some educational stuff that they don't teach in school. Good stuff.

Stephanie, I have never heard that catch phrase. That's a weird one. :)

houstonmacbro said...

That sux.


Well, I'll be damned. Thanks for the explanation and the information. I love learning new things.

Thomas said...

Sil, I can remember watching the Val Kilmer comedy "Top Secret" on TV in the late 80's. They replaced him saying "That sucks" with "That stinks". I lost a bit of my faith in humanity that afternoon.

Tim, thanks for revealing the origin of the phrase "the whole nine yards". I, too, thought it was a football reference (or had something to do with John Madden on Turkey Day).

Brian & Houston, thanks for your support.

Brian said...

I had to give this article a stumble. Figured others would like to read it as well.

Thomas said...

I appreciate that, Brian. It really is a fascinating piece about the usage of language.