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Old 03-23-2015, 05:09 PM   #1
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The Birth Of Slut

Where 'slut' comes from:

"Oh, what a slippery word is slut.

Over the course of six centuries, it has referred to men, women, dogs, and light fixtures. It has meant messy, amoral, and, in one instance at least, cute. It has been a noun, a verb, and an adjective.
<...>
The earliest reference the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) supplies for slut is as an adjective in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, in the Prologue to the “Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale”: “Why is thy lord so sluttish …” In other words, in the 14th century, at least one author was using slut to refer to a man, and if you read the context of that quote, it’s clear that Chaucer, for once, didn’t have sex on his mind. He’s talking about the man’s disreputable appearance, which is at odds with his rank.
"

Discuss.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:21 PM   #2
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It's possibly also related to 'slattern' - a prostitute or a dirty, untidy woman.
Of course many medieval words have roots in Dutch (slodder), German (Slattje) or even Scandinavian (Swedish 'slata' - slut)
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:28 PM   #3
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The common touch-point in all the various usages seems to me that "slut" meant (or referred to things that were in some way) unclean, uncouth, dirty.

Other fun facts in etymology: the 16th-century terms for the common kestrel was "windfucker" (it later shifted to "windhover"), and the 13th-century term for a jailer was "gayholer".
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:32 PM   #4
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There's matter in the OED for thousands of articles about how words have multiple meanings and change their meanings constantly.

There's often a connection between physical uncleanness and moral turpitude. Compare skank and slattern.

For words that shift from gender-neutral to feminine, compare girl, which in the 14th and 15th centuries can refer to a young person of either sex.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:08 PM   #5
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I look forward to hearing the comments on a story which, perhaps off-hand, mentions a pet dog as a 'slut'
There's almost a plot bunny right there.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:54 PM   #6
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Watching the Britcom series "As Time Goes By" there's a scene in one episode where Jean and Lionel are tired one evening and one says to the other something about being sluts and going to bed without cleaning up the dinner dishes.

In that context I assumed that in the UK "slut" meant messy. In my experience in the US it means an easy woman who has sex a lot and doesn't care who it's with. Or at least an unsavory woman who sleeps around.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:21 AM   #7
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Watching the Britcom series "As Time Goes By" there's a scene in one episode where Jean and Lionel are tired one evening and one says to the other something about being sluts and going to bed without cleaning up the dinner dishes.

In that context I assumed that in the UK "slut" meant messy. In my experience in the US it means an easy woman who has sex a lot and doesn't care who it's with. Or at least an unsavoury woman who sleeps around.

In 'normal' UK-speak, to be a slut is one who is untidy, scruffy and generally 'untidy'.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:35 AM   #8
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In 'normal' UK-speak, to be a slut is one who is untidy, scruffy and generally 'untidy'.
No, that isn't right at all.

It was the case perhaps fifty years ago, but its common usage in the UK today is one with purely sexual connotations. It's highly offensive to most people.

One of the country's idiot UKIP MEPs got himself in very hot water a while back as a consequence by using the term with its original meaning, because he thinks it is still 1950: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24222992

'He was heard joking that the "women in politics" conference fringe meeting was "full of sluts" who did not clean behind their fridges.

The joke prompted loud laughter.

Speaking to journalists afterwards, Mr Bloom said he was using the word as it was originally intended - to refer to women who were not tidy.'
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by edwalu2 View Post
No, that isn't right at all.

It was the case perhaps fifty years ago, but its common usage in the UK today is one with purely sexual connotations. It's highly offensive to most people.

One of the country's idiot UKIP MEPs got himself in very hot water a while back as a consequence by using the term with its original meaning, because he thinks it is still 1950: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24222992

'He was heard joking that the "women in politics" conference fringe meeting was "full of sluts" who did not clean behind their fridges.

The joke prompted loud laughter.

Speaking to journalists afterwards, Mr Bloom said he was using the word as it was originally intended - to refer to women who were not tidy.'

Ah;
Mr Blloom is quite right. He also uses "normal" -speak.
It's only the creeping Americanisms and bloody stupid film & book imports that have skewered the term.
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:02 AM   #10
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The OED should give Charlene a contract.

Dates from about 1400. Refers to a lowly kitchen maid. And became 'a dirty, slovenly, woman' later a man according to Chaucer.

From dialectical German, Schlutt - 'slovenly woman' or Swedish ,'Slata' - for a man
Slodder.

also, a kitchen maid or drudge.

Sense of 'woman who enjoys sex in a shameful degree,' can, only be traced back to 1966y
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:19 AM   #11
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Ah;
Mr Blloom is quite right. He also uses "normal" -speak.
It's only the creeping Americanisms and bloody stupid film & book imports that have skewered the term.
No, Mr Bloom (one 'l' only!) is using the outmoded meaning of the term. Much like your average reactionary Ukipper, he mistakenly believes he is living in 1950, rather than 2015. Or 2013, as it was when he put his foot in it, yet again.

Language changes - and it's contemporary common usage that always trumps. Unless you imagine that you also live in a different time period from the one you actually inhabit, or are aiming to be deliberately misunderstood.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:26 PM   #12
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The Online Etymology Dictionary provides an overview which also discusses some related Germanic words:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Online Etymology Dictionary
Specific modern sense of "woman who enjoys sex in a degree considered shamefully excessive" is by 1966. Meaning "woman of loose character, bold hussy" is attested from mid-15c., but the primary association through 18c. was untidiness. Johnson has it (second definition) as "A word of slight contempt to a woman" but sexual activity does not seem to figure into his examples. Playful use of the word, without implication of messiness or loose morals, is attested by 1660s [ . . . ] Compare playful use of scamp, etc., for boys . . .

There is a group of North Sea Germanic words in sl- that mean "sloppy," and also "slovenly woman" and, less often, "slovenly man," and that tend to evolve toward "woman of loose morals." Compare slattern, also English dialectal slummock "a dirty, untidy, or slovenly person" (1861), variant of slammacks "slatternly woman," said to be from slam "ill-shaped, shambling fellow." Also slammakin (from 1756 as a type of loose gown; 1785 as "slovenly female," 1727 as a character name in Gay's "Beggar's Opera"), with variants slamkin, slammerkin. Also possibly related are Middle Dutch slore "a sluttish woman," Dutch slomp, German schlampe "a slattern."
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:56 PM   #13
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No, Mr Bloom (one 'l' only!) is using the outmoded meaning of the term. Much like your average reactionary Ukipper, he mistakenly believes he is living in 1950, rather than 2015. Or 2013, as it was when he put his foot in it, yet again.

Language changes - and it's contemporary common usage that always trumps. Unless you imagine that you also live in a different time period from the one you actually inhabit, or are aiming to be deliberately misunderstood.
Yes, language changes for one reason or another; and occasionally at a rapid rate.
However, it does not require the rest of us to slavishly follow the latest "trending" vocabulary, does it?
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:09 PM   #14
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Yes, language changes for one reason or another; and occasionally at a rapid rate.
However, it does not require the rest of us to slavishly follow the latest "trending" vocabulary, does it?
When a "trend" in usage has been dominant for over half a century, I'd say resisting it is pretty much futile. Not that usage can't be shifted with organized, explicit effort and social pressure given a compelling cause to do so, but I don't think "slut meant something different back in the Fifties" really qualifies as a compelling cause.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:01 PM   #15
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In 'normal' UK-speak, to be a slut is one who is untidy, scruffy and generally 'untidy'.
So in the UK, does "Slag" correspond to the US Slut (in the population that hasn't been contaminated by the US definition of slut?)

In another only partly related subject has the same thing happened to panties? Is Panty replacing Knicker in the UK? Seems as if I've read stories by UK authors who use the word Panty/panties.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:05 PM   #16
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So in the UK, does "Slag" correspond to the US Slut (in the population that hasn't been contaminated by the US definition of slut?)

In another only partly related subject has the same thing happened to panties? Is Panty replacing Knicker in the UK? Seems as if I've read stories by UK authors who use the word Panty/panties.
If the US 'slut' means promiscuity in a dissolute female, Yes, I fear 'Slag' is a somewhat easy who'll do a turn for nowt (well, maybe a few glasses of something).

'Knickers' was never an "official" description, more a drunken lads expression.
'Panties' is the term used by the makers, though.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:32 AM   #17
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So in the UK, does "Slag" correspond to the US Slut (in the population that hasn't been contaminated by the US definition of slut?)

In another only partly related subject has the same thing happened to panties? Is Panty replacing Knicker in the UK? Seems as if I've read stories by UK authors who use the word Panty/panties.
The thing with slag is that it has more of a usage amongst school children or teenagers in that sense, even though the word means essentially the same thing.

An adult using the word slag would be using it more as an insult without any implied meaning - it's just a handy throw out if you are of that sort of mind. If someone used the term slut in anger it would be with the connotations expressed, but slag is more likely to mean someone who is being 'bitchy', if it had any meaning at all beyond being insulting.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:11 AM   #18
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The thing with slag is that it has more of a usage amongst school children or teenagers in that sense, even though the word means essentially the same thing.

An adult using the word slag would be using it more as an insult without any implied meaning - it's just a handy throw out if you are of that sort of mind. If someone used the term slut in anger it would be with the connotations expressed, but slag is more likely to mean someone who is being 'bitchy', if it had any meaning at all beyond being insulting.
Agreed. Slag is really the cinders from burning coal.

For me, slag is just an insult, "He was slagging her off".

Surely, 'slag' meaning sexually promiscuous is still only Urban Dictionary level and not mainstream like 'slut'
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:49 AM   #19
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Of course, it always used to be police and criminal slang for crooks too, but no idea if that's still a thing.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:50 AM   #20
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If the US 'slut' means promiscuity in a dissolute female, Yes, I fear 'Slag' is a somewhat easy who'll do a turn for nowt (well, maybe a few glasses of something).

'Knickers' was never an "official" description, more a drunken lads expression.
'Panties' is the term used by the makers, though.
No. You are wrong.British men wore knickerbockers, with panties as an undergarment.
,
Whilst American men wore panties as an undergarment, derived from the Italian comic 'pantaloon' comic theatre.

With UK men wearing the panties, UK women started wearing the knickers.

And brassiere has no French connotation.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:14 PM   #21
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If the US 'slut' means promiscuity in a dissolute female, Yes, I fear 'Slag' is a somewhat easy who'll do a turn for nowt (well, maybe a few glasses of something).

'Knickers' was never an "official" description, more a drunken lads expression.
'Panties' is the term used by the makers, though.
No. You are wrong.British men wore knickerbockers, with panties as an undergarment.
,
Whilst American men wore panties as an undergarment, derived from the Italian comic 'pantaloon' comic theatre.

With UK men wearing the panties, UK women started wearing the knickers.

And brassiere has no French connotation.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:33 PM   #22
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I would not encourage telling American men they wore "panties" at any time. Except for those who are into it strictly as a comfort thing, of course.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:43 PM   #23
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The bottom line, I think, is that the function of a word is to convey meaning. For an American audience, at least, there's going to be one meaning of "slut" that hits their brain (just like now there will be one meaning of "gay" that hits their brain). Any author using that word on Literotica is just going to have to live with the meaning it has conveyed to at least an American reader. No grousing about it is going to change that. The responsibility of conveying intended meaning is the author's to bear.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #24
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No. You are wrong.British men wore knickerbockers, with panties as an undergarment.
,
Whilst American men wore panties as an undergarment, derived from the Italian comic 'pantaloon' comic theatre.

With UK men wearing the panties, UK women started wearing the knickers.

And brassiere has no French connotation.
I think in the states, in the late 19th early 20th century Knickerbockers were worn by young boys. It's just trousers that end just below the knee where they are fastened. There's even a Basketball team called the "knickerbockers" usually referred to as the "Knicks".

Wiki has some interesting articles about garments and undergarments.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:29 PM   #25
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*snip* somewhat easy who'll do a turn for nowt (well, maybe a few glasses of something).
That is the loveliest phrase depicting casual sex I have ever seen.
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