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2003-10-23 - 10:21 p.m.

Hey - I'm adding this for the ghost story seekers who may have followed a ghost story banner to get here... Look on the past few days' entries for the scary stuff. I'll post more ghostie stuff later today. ~Teets


Here are some of the high points of it:

The foul language and public name-calling hurled around on the streets of Elizabethan England from 1500 to 1700 was far worse than anything we hear today.

According to new research from a University of Warwick historian, the language used then was brimming with offensive sexual insults that were considerably more lewd than anything heard on today's broadcast media. In fact, the exchanges were so entertaining and bawdy, they were dubbed "street theater."

Women were the worst offenders. Why? It gave them power.

Gossipmongering and heated public exchanges were weapons used by women to wield power and influence in a male-dominated society where they were often excluded, according to University of Warwick history professor Bernard Capp who has traced the history of Elizabethan street theater in a book called "When Gossips Meet." He says that public name-calling by women was used to demoralize an adversary, trigger damaging gossip throughout the neighborhood, and turn public opinion against the alleged offender.

The No. 1 insult: Calling a woman a whore. Such a charge of prostitution undermined a woman's social and moral standing. Says Capp, "Massive overuse inevitably weakened the impact of 'whore' as a term of abuse, but speakers were able to draw on a rich lexicon of synonyms, such as jade, quean, baggage, harlot, drab, filth, flirt, gill, trull, dirtyheels, draggletail, flap, naughty-pack, slut, squirt, and strumpet, generally heightened by adjectives such as arrant, base, brazenfaced, or scurvy."

Another favorite taunt was to imply that the other woman was afflicted with a venereal disease, especially syphilis or "the pox" as it was called. This quote was found in church court papers from the 17th century: "At Bury St Edmunds Faith Wilson told her neighbour in 1619 to 'PULL UP YOUR MUFFLER HIGHER AND HIDE YOUR POCKY FACE, AND GO HOME AND SCRAPE YOUR MANGY ARSE.'"


Now that's funny. I am SO using that line in the near future. At least the "Go home and scrape your mangy arse" part.

Gossip is still being used in the same way now as it was back then, I might add.

Ya know, people are damn catty at work. I'm thinking of a specific few people who may or may not enjoy hearing about the mange of their hiners at work tomorrow.

One of the cattyest bitchest in the place told me she was fed up with working at our place of business because of all the "ya-ya-ya" that goes on. She is THE CHIEF YA-YA-er. I nearly choked.

People, I need a vacation.

spring - fall

8 This comments thingy doesn't work now because I let my paid membership lapse.

Words to Live By - 2015-03-04

Sunshiney - 2015-02-10

New and Improved - 2015-01-30

The Deep - 2014-12-30

In Love - 2014-12-29

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