By William Dwight Whitney
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Extra resources for A Sanskrit Grammar: Including Both the Classical Language, and the Older Dialects, of Veda and Brahmana
A number of Geoffrey Chaucer’s contemporaries used the alliterative scheme, notably William Langland in his huge spiritual poem Piers Plowman, creating many powerful satirical 6 ANATHEMA effects: thus in the section on the Seven Deadly Sins, Gluttony “pissed in a potel [a large bottle] a pater noster while” (Passus B V l. 348). In a memorable condemnation of the corrupt clergy of his time, Chaucer refers to “a shitten shepherd” (General Prologue l. 504). ” In the Chester Play (ca. 1500) a character is denounced as “a shitten-arsed shrew” (l.
For “bloody fool,” from about 1925. ” 3 ABBREVIATIONS Laurence Sterne contrived a wonderfully absurd situation exploiting evasions of taboo language via abbreviation in his highly eccentric (and popular) novel Tristram Shandy (1760– 1767). In Book VII, chapters 20–25, the carriage of two French nuns is mired in a bog, and it is only by uttering two unmentionable words that they can encourage their mules to pull them out. ” There follow embarrassed whisperings between the nuns (which the reader cannot overhear), and it transpires that the two taboo terms are bouger (bugger) and fouter (fucker).
Developments in later decades show that Aborigine and Aboriginal are being reclaimed by the population. Aborigines are of special interest to this study since they have in their own verbal culture a convention of compulsory insult. Donald F. Thompson showed, in his researches among the Australian Aborigines in northern Queensland, that an elaborate etiquette of swearing existed among the tribes of the area, based more on social position than content. Thompson found that except in the presence of certain relatives, “there is no restriction upon reference to the genitalia or the physical functions of reproduction, defecation, and micturition” (1935, 465).