History of insults
History of insults

Saying once again a swear word, it will not be superfluous to learn about its original meaning. Where did the words fool, scoundrel, scum, scoundrel, rubbish and others come from? 1. Fool

Perhaps the most common (along with the "female" version - a fool) of domestic swear words. It must be said that "fools" in Russia appeared relatively recently: this word came into wide use in the second half of the 17th century with the light hand of Archpriest Avvakum. The leader of the Old Believers in his hearts called the admirers of "demonic wisdom": rhetoric, philosophy, logic, etc. It is interesting that the defenders of the old faith then began to call the defenders of the correction of liturgical books "fools" during the reform of Patriarch Nikon.

It is interesting that Avvakum spied this word from the buffoonery culture: it was probably the name of one of the gangs of buffoons. Linguists believe that "fool" comes from the Indo-European dur (to bite, sting) and literally translates as "bitten", "stung". Perhaps the "title" of a fool was associated with the ritual of initiation into buffoons - according to one version, a person should have survived the bite of a viper. By the way, proceeding from this hypothesis, the proverb “a fool sees a fool from afar”, most likely, originally had to do with buffoons. Fools, in their current sense, are hardly capable of identifying their own kind.

2. Bastard

The word comes from the verb "drag", "drag". Originally, "bastard" meant "trash bastard somewhere." Then this concept began to be transferred to vagabonds and other "worthless people."

3. Scoundrel

We learned this curse from the Lithuanians, who used the term "vile" in relation to people of artistic origin. Back in the 18th century, the word "vile people" was the official term used in government documents to denote the so-called "irregular" townspeople who were not part of the bourgeoisie. As a rule, these were unskilled workers, guest workers from villages, living in the city in a semi-legal position (like the "limiters" of the Soviet era). And only at the end of the 18th century, the words "scoundrel", "bastard" replenished the dictionary of petty bourgeois intolerance

History of insults
History of insults

4. Scum

This word (albeit in the plural - "scum") existed peacefully in the Russian lexicon for several centuries, meaning only the remains of liquid at the bottom of the vessel. In the 19th century, with someone's light, sophisticated hand, it was transferred to the inhabitants of drinking establishments, who prefer to drink a drop of alcohol from someone else's glasses. Then the expression "scum of society" appeared: this was the name of the asocial elements of the city.

5. Git

The exact meaning of this word today cannot be explained by any scientist. True, almost all linguists agree that the "scoundrel" (aka "scum") is a relative of the "frost". Of course, the "scoundrel" can hardly be deciphered as a "frosty man." Even the "scumbag", as a variant of the translation, also does not fit very well - there is too much expression, contempt, they usually put in when they say "scum". There is a hypothesis that criminals were called criminals executed by drowning under the ice. In the Russian tradition, it was believed that a person who accepted such a death becomes a "pledged deceased", that is, doomed to eternal wanderings on earth as a ghost or even a ghoul.

6. Trash

Probably, it was originally used in the meaning of "something ripped off" - the bark of a tree, the skin of an animal, etc. Then, as linguists came to the conclusion, "rubbish" began to call something of no value. True, there are exotic versions that claim that the word is somehow connected with execution by skin stripping. In other words, "rubbish" was called people "worthy" of such execution.

7. Cattle

Everything is simple here: "cattle" is translated from Polish as cattle. The arrogant gentry preferred to call agricultural workers that way. Then the bad habit was passed on to the Russian nobles, and from them I went for a walk in the bourgeois environment. It is interesting that the Czechs, the neighbors of the Poles, use the word "cattle" in the meaning of "shelter", "dwelling". Therefore, if you become a victim of an insult by this word, try on the Czech version for yourself.

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