Most people do not sit down on a Friday night to a glass of tea and their Linguistics Studies book. However, the study of linguistics can actually be a bit more interesting than it seems. Words are constantly melding and adapting to their environment, and we shift and shape the meanings of everyday words all of the time.
How Is It That The Meanings Of Words Change?
Taking a stroll through history shows us that some words tend to lessen in severity over time. The obvious explanation of this is that we tend to become less sensitive to the word as more and more people use it frequently.
For example, the term, “bastard,” was so offensive in Shakespeare’s time period that publishers haven’t even printed it. Instead, they hyphenate the middle letters to leave the word as: “b – d.”
The truth of it all is that these words constantly change and evolve around our usage of them. Unbeknownst to us, there are many words that are in our everyday vocabulary that are simply inappropriate to utter years ago.
Here we have compiled a list of nine words we use every day that have X-rated origins.
Think about how many times you use the word, “hysteria,” or any form of it on a daily basis.
Perhaps something someone did was hysterical, or perhaps you are breaking into a fit of hysteria. Either way, you have to admit that we use this one quite often.
Did you know, though, that this word actually has quite a dirty origin? The word hysteria originates from its Greek roots. The Greek term, “hystera,” refers to a womb or ovary, which is why we refer to the removal of the ovaries as a hysterectomy.
Back in the Victorian era, doctors used the term, “hysteria,” as a diagnosis for women with various nervous conditions. Experts believed that the women’s lady parts caused this nervous condition, and the only way to treat the condition was with water. No, we are not talking about a nice luxurious bath here.
While it was a water massage, the treatment was anything, but relaxing. Water was blasting out of a high-pressure hose directly onto a woman’s lady region. Interestingly enough, if a woman did not prefer to have her crotch blasted with water, then the doctor could also perform the same sensation with his fingers.
For those who have not yet caught on, all that was happening was that these women were being forced to have an orgasm. Now, that’s medical treatment with a twist.
Orchids are a beautiful flower that adorn homes and flower beds quite frequently. Yet, they have a past history that might be dirtier than the dirt they are growing in.
This filthy history begins with the origin of the flower itself, so let’s set up the story for you.
Once upon a time there was a botanist who discovered the most beautiful flower he had ever seen. This botanist could not help but notice that the root of the flowers appeared to look like balls. Yes, we said it, they looked like balls. Naturally this flower had to be called something in regards to the male anatomy.
Let’s now rewind back to the ancient Greeks because they are basically to blame for all of these root words. The Greek term, “Orkhis,” means testicle. Therefore, when this botanist referred to this delicate flower, he was really just making one giant ball joke.
Anyone who has attended college knows that seminars are simply a way of life.
You could attend a seminar on the history of an ancient civilization, or you could attend a mandatory seminar for anyone who has been drinking on campus.
Whenever you are attending these seminars, you should know that the term, “seminar,” is actually pretty X-rated. Finally, we have a term that was not from a Greek root. Instead, we have to look at the Latin term, “Seminis,” to better grasp the foul play of this word. This Latin term translates to semen, and we don’t exactly think we need a definition on that one.
So, how is it that a seminar relates to semen? Apparently someone had their thinking caps on and decided that just as semen swings around freely spawning new life, a seminar is when our ideas can spawn. We know, it’s a far stretch.
Just like attending a seminar, whenever you hear the term, “seminal,” just know that it also refers back to semen. A moment can be seminal, or rather important. Just like ejaculation is rather important.
The Venus Fly Trap is one of the most interesting flowers studied by man. Known for its carnivorous tendencies, the Venus Fly Trap feasts on flies who dare to travel too close to its clamping leaves.
However, we could leave this dirty history to the imagination for a second. What else has two leaves, or lips, and has the ability to clamp things tightly in its grasp? That’s right. A vagina.
The etymology of the flower, the Venus Fly Trap, is all thanks to a botanist who believed the flower looked quite similarly to a vagina. The term, “Venus,” is a direct reference to the Greek goddess of love and sex.
Perhaps these botanists were rather horny, but there actually is quite a comparison here. The Venus Fly Trap has a pink interior, hair-like cilia lining the leaves that open, the plant is oval shaped, and it secretes mucus. On the other hand, maybe this guy had a few woman issues, because after all this is a carnivorous, hairy plant that feasts on insects.
Ah, the avocado. A key ingredient in many delectable recipes, the avocado originates from Central and South America. Therefore, the term, “avocado,” beholds an etymology that can be dated back to the Aztecs.
The language of the Aztecs, Nahuatl, has a term, “ahuacatl,” which directly gives us the term, avocado. What exactly does ahuacatl mean? Testicles.
Interestingly enough, the avocado was introduced to America as the alligator pear. But, the avocado stuck because, well, balls are much more interesting than alligators.
Now, we bet you are wondering how many words in our everyday vocabulary are related to testicles. To answer your interest, there are hundreds. The avocado was given its name because of its shape. This then makes us wonder what the Aztecs had going on down there, because the avocado definitely does not resemble the testicles that we know and love.
Many are in awe of the well-known ancient type of elephant, the Mastodon. This wooly mammoth-like giant is like all other elephant-related animals with one exception, its rather sexy name.
The animal was referred to as the Mastodon originally because of its tusks. Using the Greek, yes we are back to Greek roots, the term, “mastodon,” translates to mean “Nipple Tooth.
” If you look closely at the bone structure of a Mastodon, then you will see the little bulbous type tips at the top of the animal’s tusks.
Similarly to the botanists we were discussing earlier, this guy really had quite the imagination. This anatomical correlation is not as clear as the giant vagina flower, though.
When you think of a sea cow, do you feel sexy? Well how about now if we say manatee. Still a no? Well let’s see if we can change your mind about these sexy sea beasts.
The term, “manatee,” is a combination of two roots. The Spanish term, “manos,” refers to the word, “hands,” which can be explained by the way the manatee flippers look like hands.
But then we have the Caribbean word, “manati,” which means boobs. Why exactly would the Carib people name this beloved sea cow after breasts?
The most realistic explanation we could come up with is that there is a cultural background of mermaids being associated with manatees. However, if it’s a dirtier story you are after, then listen to this one.
Legend has it that many salty sailors in search of a sultry mermaid began to get restless. Instead of a mermaid, they settled for a manatee. Do we really need to paint the rest of the picture?
The fundamentals are essential for anything that must be built. In order to play a sport, you must understand the fundamentals of the game.
If you want to learn to read, then the fundamental skill of learning letters and sounds is important. Clearly, fundamentals are vital and one should not think of them as anything less. Even if the word originates from another word for ass.
Yes, it’s true. That word that we use so often actually has a rather shady past. The Latin term, “fundamentum,” literally means ass. It actually makes sense if you think about it. Our derrières are our body’s foundation, if you think about it.
There’s no butts about it. The fundamentals are dirty, indeed.
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