After having several inquiries about the word cunt from my student I asked David Peachey to talk about this strong curse word which is an absolute no no in Canada, and maybe marginally more acceptable in a few other English speaking countries.
So today on Uncensored English um, I wanted to do a podcast on a curse word which a few of my students have asked me about. And I quite honestly didn't feel very comfortable doing it because where I live it's a very very big no no and I don't really use it regularly. So uh we're lucky to have David Peachey back on the podcast, how's it going David?
D: Hey Keiran, it's good to be back again, I guess I've been called in as some kind of expert.
K: Yeah haha, yeah you're the expert on the word, on the word cunt right. But I mean, it's a little, I know it's thrown around a lot more in Australia then it is in North America.
D: Um hmm, yeah we're a bit more free with it, but umm again it is still a fairly strong curse word.
K: right. But before we started the podcast you were telling me your name. You discovered something interesting about your name, your actual name that's kinda related to the word.
D: Yes, I usually go by the name Peachey, cause David is a very very common name.
D: And um, yeah it turns out that in Slovak, in the Slovak language it sounds very close to peacha, which means cunt in Slovak. If you want to say um, use some strong language like um... say fuck it, you'd say do peachey
K: Oh really,
D: Which means to the cunt. If you wanted to tell someone to fuck off you'd say (hort?) do peachey, which means go to the cunt. That's really strong, wow!
K: Ahahahah ok so maybe don't use that
K: Unless you know what you're doing.
D: Yeah and I discovered this when I umm.. I think on my second or third visit to Bratislava and I was having a lot of beers as you do. with other Slovaks and a couple of other travellers in a pub in Bratislava. And one of the guys got up to leave and said ok guys see you later. And I said it's great to talk to you let's keep in touch you can find me online, oh but don't look for David, too many Davids. And at this point I was getting really proud of my name,
D: and I said this is how you find me, Peachey. And then everyone stopped talking. And this guy just kinda looked at me as if to say what did you say?
D: And and I thought he didn't hear me properly so I said it a little louder. Peachey. And now he's looking at me like he doesn't believe what he's hearing.
D: So I said really loudly and slowly, my name is Peachey. And everyone burst into laughter.
D: and I think alright, guys you got to explain this one to me.
D: What's going on?
D: Then they explained that Peachey sounds a lot like yeah
D: Do Peachey
K: My name is cunt
D: Yeah and then I moved to Slovakia and lived there for three years.
K: Wow that's hilarious man, that's so funny.
K: That's so funny.
D: I was very careful, I was very conscious and careful of my surname when I was there.
K: I think the funny thing about cunt though, I mean I personally like the word although I never use the word.
D: Um hmmm.
K: I know a lot of women here have a problem with it because , their their big problem is that they say there's no male equivalent of cunt.
D: Yeah, nothing nothing strong enough I'd say.This is pretty strong so yah
K: Right and I mean in my mind the male equivalent of cunt has to be either prick or dick, but Dick is often a name for a man so it's obviously not that bad.
D: Maybe cock is a closer one,
K: Yeah maybe, right. But then again it's also the name of an animal so there not as, there not as bad as cunt I guess.
D: Exactly, the alternate meaning of dick and cock it kind of softens it a bit.
K: Right. So we don't use it here very much, if we use it here people tend to get very very very upset.
D: Oh and how
K: So how is it used in Australia in a somewhat acceptable way, like how could we get away with using it if we want to if we were in Australia.
D: Wow, that's a good question, of course it's not a free pass in Australia as well, you could probably start a fight, or you could be told to watch your language or wash you mouth out with soap and water as you do.
D: Um but we um, sometimes we call our friends cunt, and you have to be really really really good friends if you do this.
D: As if your friends not going to punch you if you do this.
D: I'd say there has to be a lot of friendliness and probably a lot of beer involved. All together, you can't just have beer and cunt cause that starts fights. But beer friendliness and cunt, I think it's maybe acceptable.
K: Ok and is there any, so I can just straight out use that word with my very close friends and they won't get upset, or is there anything I have to do before or?
D: Uh well I usually suggest to my students if they want to use a slang or colloquial language the best thing to do is to listen to it first. Don't assume you can just walk up to any Australian and say hey cunt!
K: *Laughing* Ohhhh
D: Doesn't work I can speak from experience. And of course if they other person says hi, you're an alright cunt. Then you think ok maybe I can call him an alright cunt as well.
K: ok. I have a friend, and I run a comedy show every Wednesday in Montreal and there's an Australian guy and you know we have to put up these promos on facebook and everything to try to draw people to the show. And on his, he shared the event he said I'm on this lovely comedy show with these lovely cunts next week.
K: He said lovely funny cunts next week. And for some reason, I don't know why it seemed less offensive when he put it, when you put those words in front of it. Does that make any logical sense from an Australian standpoint?
D: It makes perfect sense, if you want to make the word cunt more appealing you can put a nice positive adjective in front of it like your examples lovely cunt, funny cunt, um clever cunt. Um like I said alright cunt. Of course you could make it sound worse by saying ugly cunt, horrible cunt. For example
K: Ok so that's probably what we don't want to do unless we're in a fight with someone I guess.
D: Exactly yeah, uh we done the same thing with the word bastard in Australian English. Funny bastard, lovely bastard, so these are positive terms. Yeah so ugly bastard, horrible bastard, yeah so sometimes it really depends on the adjective.
K: Right. If you put, to me it sounds like if you're putting that adjective in front, if I say oh John's a lovely cunt, it sounds almost like I'm teasing him.
D: It is, it sounds like a nice gentle affectionate tease.
K: And I'm curious David, do women, do women do this too? Like in Australia if I'm doing this with a group of my guy friends that's going to be ok, but if there's women around will this offend the women if I say this or?
D: Uh good question, it depends on the women you're talking too. So I'm pretty sure if you're getting around Australia long enough you will find a few women who are fine with saying cunt cunt cunt.
K: But cunt is definitely not a free word you can just throw in wherever you want because you're in Australia.
D: Exactly, you still use a bit of caution, but maybe the adjective will save you.
K: ok, I think, I think cunt is probably the strongest word you can't use in North America, it's probably the number one. I mean other than some racial slurs, it's an absolute no no.
D: Yeah i'd say it's still pretty much the same. Even though we do have a little way of softening it. Yeah in general it's probably one of the strongest words you can use down here.
K:Alright, Ok, alright let's kinda summarize this. You said, if I'm correct,
D: Um hmm
K: that really you should be using this word with people who are your very your very close friends?
D: People who will not punch you for calling them a cunt, yes.
K: Or people if they punch you it's a joking punch right? Or osmething like that.
D: Yeah who will punch you in the same affectionate way you that call them a cunt. Yes.
K: Yeah *laughing* Ok and then a way you can soften the word maybe with those close friends is you could put a nice adjective in front like lovely or funny or silly, like he's a silly cunt or something.
D: Um Hmm. Silly cunt, clever cunt, adorable cunt. Yeah.
K: And making it worse would be putting a negative adjective in front of it.
D: Yup, horrible, ugly that can even make the word cunt sound all more aggressive.
K: Alright, ok, alright well thanks David for coming on here and helping us out.
D: You're very welcome. Um hmm, my pleasure.
K: And again if you want to get in touch with David you can catch him at italki.com/peachey-teacher
D: Peachey, p-e-a-c-h-e-y -teacher.
K: Alright great
K: And that's it guys, we'll catch you next time on the next podcast of Unnnnnncensored English!