Also not Vulgar


Today’s topic is “Words you thought were vulgar.”

For some time, I’ve been telling my sons that there are very few bad words but there are many ways to misuse them. I’ve found a few recently that have better possibilities than I thought.

1. Ass: Most of us are aware — and I have shared in the past — that this word means donkey but over time the r was dropped from “arse” etc. Well, as I said, I’ve been looking for a way to use the word and not only mean it as but have it understood as “donkey.” I have found the way. If one says “braying ass,” it cannot but be understood as “braying donkey.” So there you have it.

2. Rag: I don’t know if others fall into this camp, but for some reason, I thought that “ragging” someone was a classless reference to a feminine product — probably because of the vulgar idiom “on the rag.” In any case, it seems this is not true. In fact, “ragging” has been informal for “berating” or “teasing” for 200 years. An especially interesting and possibly earlier form of this word is “bullyrag.” I shall try to use it faithfully.

3. Sucks: When someone says “that sucks,” many of us think at least that the phrase comes from the vulgar slang definition of the word. After a little research however, it is this man’s opinion that “that sucks” is merely a contraction of “that sucks eggs” and/or “that sucks the hind teat” (also not vulgar). These are interesting phrases that I shall endevour to use faithfully and in their context, to more precisely make my point, to tastefully make my point.