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Thread: A Lexicon of English Words From (mostly) Hindi

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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    Default A Lexicon of English Words From (mostly) Hindi

    These are all words that have been imported into the English language due to the British occupation of the South Asian subcontinent and Burma. This list isn't exhaustive; on occasion I'll be surprised to see that another common word is actually derived from Hindi.

    In the order that they occur to me:

    thug

    from Hindi thuggee: also from Hindi thag, meaning thief. A type of highway robbery that was at one time prevalent in India, eradicated in the first half of the 19th century by the British. Erroneously thought to be associated with the fierce Hindu protector goddess Kali, it was in reality practiced by many groups and by Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs alike.

    punch (in the sense of a cold mixed drink)

    from Hindi paantsch, meaning five: The English name for the drink is due to the original punch containing five ingredients (3 of which were alcoholic.)

    pajama

    from Hindi pajyama: A type of loose pants traditionally worn with a loose shirt (a salwar) by both sexes in South and Central Asia. The British adopted them as sleepwear.

    shampoo

    from Hindi shampoo, meaning to press: Originally referred to a type of invigorating massage. I'm guessing that this term somehow got associated with the hair cleanser by means of the massaging technique by which the shampoo is applied to the scalp.

    compound (in the sense of a enclosed group of buildings)

    from Malay kampung, meaning a village or group of buildings.

    juggernaut

    from the Sanskrit Jagganath, meaning "Lord of the Universe": A particular image of Krishna, a popular avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. The main temple devoted to Jagganth is in Puri, where annually a gigantic chariot carrying an image of the god is pulled through the streets. On occasion, the chariot would go out of control, causing some unfortunate accidents; hence, the meaning of the English word.

    Incidentally, Jagganath is one ugly mo-fo...

    Jagganath
    Last edited by sycld; 01-26-2009 at 01:49 PM.


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    I loves sausage festival! djwolford's Avatar
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    Well I feel slightly more educated now. Good post sir.
    Quote Originally Posted by Toki
    Oh, gives to me opposites werewolves that turns to humans whens the moons comes outs!
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    According to this short film by Absolut, Indians invented the mullet, or in Hindi "mulit".


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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    According to this short film by Absolut, Indians invented the mullet, or in Hindi "mulit".
    har har

    also,

    pundit

    from Sanskrit pandita, meaning scholar or learned person: Often was used in reference to Brahmins who were knowledgeable about Hindu religious law and how to conduct ceremonies as well as Brahmins that gave counsel to rulers and kings.


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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Really interesting thread. Hindi's one of those languages I never would think of in connection to the evolution of English.

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    Merry fucking Christmas Atmosfear's Avatar
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    The only word of any value that Hindi has provided us is seersucker.

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    they have a phrase in hindi for men that wear seersucker suits:

    mahder chod


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    they have a phrase in america for people who speak hindi

    welcome to my convenience store

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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    hurhur, good one.

    and i don't speak hindi; i just have a copy of Hobson-Jobson, a bully little dictionary of Anglo-Indian words.


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    Senior Member Killuminati's Avatar
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    Why do indians in general say open and close instead of on and off when they are talking about lights?

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    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
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    And why do they say actually at the beginning of almost every sentence?

    i.e. Good day sir, Actually mi nem is.....Raymond.... end I em calling you frem Optus to enquiry about how much you are wanting to be saving on your telephony bill this month.

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    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
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    Fun fact for today, amongst other things, I am a quarter Indian.

    And not like pow-wow, Geronimo, have-your-land-and-livelyhood-taken-away-by-the-U.S.-government Indian neither.

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    We need a lexicon of English words from Latin.
    I hear the voices inside my head. They counsel me. They understand. They talk to me.

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    You know, when Tidus points out that you have failed at internetting, it's probably time to go ahead and off yourself.
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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrShrike View Post
    Fun fact for today, amongst other things, I am a quarter Indian.
    from one indian mix to another, i'm sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepsi View Post
    We need a lexicon of English words from Latin.
    hur-hur

    also, fun fact for today #2: i am a quarter latin

    that is, a quarter of my family is from what was ancient latium, homeland of the romans


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    Scito Te Ipsum TheOriginalGrumpySpy's Avatar
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    Was that near Canadia?

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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    if by canada you mean "rome, the eternal city and center of the universe," then yes.


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    also the center of the universe is filled with gypsies that steal from tourists and graffiti on the walls of the train station advertising for "homosex"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Think View Post
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    Senior Member Killuminati's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killuminati View Post
    Why do indians in general say open and close instead of on and off when they are talking about lights?
    This was not a joke, Indians always do that. Does it translate weirdly or something?

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    i have never met an indian that says "open the lights" or "close the lights"

    i have been very much meeting indians that are using too many gerunds. english is being using the present continuous tense where other languages would use the present simple tense, and indians are overcompensating by using it too much in the manner i am illustrating here.


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    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    from one indian mix to another, i'm sorry
    No need to be sorry, nothing wrong with a little bit of curry in the mix.

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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    when in rome do as the romans do aka steal shit and homosex it up

    rome aka sodom

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    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    when in rome do as the romans do aka steal shit and homosex it up

    rome aka sodom
    you know

    i bet that over the last 2100 and some odd years things haven't changed that much in rome, though the ethnicities of the thieves and the "homosex"-itutes may have.


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    Strangle Hazard thank mr skeltal's Avatar
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    What is this, Hindi education month or something?

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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    no.

    it's "bring a little culture and knowledge to CD so the ignorant-ass white boiz like Rick Scarf will learn a thing or two about something that doesn't involve computers or small arms."

    month.


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    Tell us about fags. Since we're ignorant white men, we know nothing about them.
    I hear the voices inside my head. They counsel me. They understand. They talk to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by djwolford View Post
    You know, when Tidus points out that you have failed at internetting, it's probably time to go ahead and off yourself.
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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    tidus you already know too much about faggotry

    also learning about hindi is pretty interesting, since english's ties to the common language that hindi also sprang from (Indo-european? I can't remember the name) predate the invasions of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes aka the first real radical changes to the language

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    Faggotry and fags are two different things.
    I hear the voices inside my head. They counsel me. They understand. They talk to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by djwolford View Post
    You know, when Tidus points out that you have failed at internetting, it's probably time to go ahead and off yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    pepsi reserves the right to tell cryptic to get out at any time

    it's in the CD charter

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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    Christianity and christians are two different things

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepsi View Post
    Tell us about fags. Since we're ignorant white men, we know nothing about them.
    i doubt that, since there are plenty of fags that are white men, and plenty of fags that are ignorant, so it stands to reason that there are at least some fags that are ignorant white men.


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    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    also learning about hindi is pretty interesting, since english's ties to the common language that hindi also sprang from (Indo-european? I can't remember the name) predate the invasions of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes aka the first real radical changes to the language
    The Anglo-Saxon invasion of the British Isles didn't bring any radical changes to (what would become) the English language. It expanded the region in which Germanic languages were spoken to include the British Isles, where a combination of Germanic languages would eventually develop into English, but it didn't bring about any radical change.

    At any rate, I'm not sure what you mean when you say that the Anglo-Saxon invasions were the first radical changes to "the language"; if by "the language" you mean some sort of original Indo-European father tongue, then no, Hindi and the Germanic languages are separated by multiple branchings (i.e., radical changes, the appearance of new languages by divergence from a linguistic ancestor) on the Indo-European language tree. Hindi developed from Sanskrit, which is on the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European tree. Germanic languages make up their own, entirely separate, primary branch. In other words, Hindi and the Germanic languages are about as far from each other as two languages can be while still being Indo-European languages.
    Last edited by Syme; 01-28-2009 at 06:54 PM.

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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    Syme it is very apparent that you know more about this than I do.

    Ok, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the general changes then come about much later

    I had assumed that there was a root linking those languages together, but this is apparently quite wrong

    also, by 'the language' I meant whatever the name is of the tongue(s) that the locals on the british isles spoke that was influenced by the germanic invaders, which is, I presume, the forefather of what eventually turned into "English"

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    windmills of your mind Think's Avatar
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    Hello Exodite Prime!

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    Merry fucking Christmas Atmosfear's Avatar
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    Well Syme hasn't mentioned any communist dictators yet so at least we know he isn't MrDie.

    Other than that, good post.

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    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    Syme it is very apparent that you know more about this than I do.

    Ok, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the general changes then come about much later

    I had assumed that there was a root linking those languages together, but this is apparently quite wrong

    also, by 'the language' I meant whatever the name is of the tongue(s) that the locals on the british isles spoke that was influenced by the germanic invaders, which is, I presume, the forefather of what eventually turned into "English"
    Well, you're not wrong about the common root; there is definitely a root linking Hindi and the Germanic languages (English included), since they're all Indo-European languages, but you have to go back much farther than the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain to find that root. It would be found somewhere around six thousand years ago when the original Indo-Europeans started spreading out from somewhere in western Asia (Anatolia, or maybe the Caspian steppes; there are conflicting theories) and expanding west into Europe as well as further east into Asia. The ones who went east into Asia would eventually give rise to the Indo-Iranian branch, of which Hindi is a member, while the ones who headed west into Europe would eventually give rise to the Germanic branch (which English belongs to) and several other branches.

    As for the pre-Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of the British Isles, they were Celts, so their native languages (the Brythonic languages) belonged to the Celtic group, which is another branch of the Indo-European family. But these Celtic languages are not the forefather of what eventually became English; English actually developed from the Germanic languages that the Anglo-Saxons brought with when they invaded, rather than from the Celtic languages that were spoken in the British Isles before they arrived. The words "England" and "English" derive from the name of the Angles, who were of course part of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. So the English language is an invention of Germanic invaders, not the "native"* peoples who lived there before; the pre-Anglo-Saxon languages of the British Isles have nothing to do with English.

    *I say "native" because the British Celts themselves were not truly native to the British Isles either, but had come over from the continent much earlier, invading/breeding with the pre-Celtic peoples living there. Even those pre-Celtic peoples had migrated across at some point in the past... You see how it goes on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Think View Post
    Hello Exodite Prime!
    Howdy-do.
    Last edited by Syme; 01-28-2009 at 07:47 PM.

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    Merry fucking Christmas Atmosfear's Avatar
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    I just breathed a heavy sigh of relief

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    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    The Anglo-Saxon invasion of the British Isles didn't bring any radical changes to (what would become) the English language. It expanded the region in which Germanic languages were spoken to include the British Isles, where a combination of Germanic languages would eventually develop into English, but it didn't bring about any radical change.
    Well "radical change" is of course a relative term.

    The pre-existing group of British languages (i.e. the Celtic branch of IndoEuropean) that were spoken in Britain prior to the influx of Germanic peoples in the first millenia AD were quite different from the newly imported Germanic dialects brought by the invaders - certainly the average Briton would have extreme difficulty comprehending what young Beowulf was trying to communicate to you, other than that his aggressive demeanour and bloody sword probably meant bad news for you and your kin.

    As you point out this change was not really radical within the wider context of the IndoEuropean languages, wherein the Celtic languages and Germanic languages are relatively closely related, but it's fair to say that the influx of Germanic languages did result in a radical change (for the inhabitants, certainly) of the locally used languages, with the end result largely Germanic, but incorporating a number of features from the pre-existing British dialects of Celtic (and a goodly smattering of the Romance languages by this stage).

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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    Well, you're not wrong about the common root; there is definitely a root linking Hindi and the Germanic languages (English included), since they're all Indo-European languages, but you have to go back much farther than the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain to find that root. It would be found somewhere around six thousand years ago when the original Indo-Europeans started spreading out from somewhere in western Asia (Anatolia, or maybe the Caspian steppes; there are conflicting theories) and expanding west into Europe as well as further east into Asia. The ones who went east into Asia would eventually give rise to the Indo-Iranian branch, of which Hindi is a member, while the ones who headed west into Europe would eventually give rise to the Germanic branch (which English belongs to) and several other branches.
    Yes, what I was trying to say was that the link between English in Hindi would have gone well before English was even really called English, although it looks more like there was never really anything linking the two except a common ancestral tongue, which is a claim you can make for almost any two languages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    As for the pre-Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of the British Isles, they were Celts, so their native languages (the Brythonic languages) belonged to the Celtic group, which is another branch of the Indo-European family. But these Celtic languages are not the forefather of what eventually became English; English actually developed from the Germanic languages that the Anglo-Saxons brought with when they invaded, rather than from the Celtic languages that were spoken in the British Isles before they arrived. The words "England" and "English" derive from the name of the Angles, who were of course part of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. So the English language is an invention of Germanic invaders, not the "native"* peoples who lived there before; the pre-Anglo-Saxon languages of the British Isles have nothing to do with English.
    Oh, well that changes my initial impression where the language root was Celtic (or the Brythonic languages I guess) which was influenced by the Anglo-overlords, although in retrospect that seems a little too convenient, considering I didn't decide to make the next logical step back and say who came before them. I didn't know the Celts~ were invaders either, I had assumed they were the descendants of the first people to immigrate to the island before it was populated, but then I can't say I've ever truly studied the situation in depth.

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    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    Yes, what I was trying to say was that the link between English in Hindi would have gone well before English was even really called English, although it looks more like there was never really anything linking the two except a common ancestral tongue, which is a claim you can make for almost any two languages.
    Well there is a certain amount of commonality in the sounds, particularly for actions, things and ideas that existed before modern civilisation (e.g. words for geography, for basic tools and family relationships (mother and father spring to to mind, although that particularly commonality also extends well beyond IndoEuropean).

    But in fact I think a lot of the words that Sycld mentions up further are actually quite recent additions to the English language, mostly dating from the time of the British Empire.

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    Senior Member mkdisciple's Avatar
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    I say open and close the lights. I'm Indian...

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    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    I didn't know the Celts~ were invaders either, I had assumed they were the descendants of the first people to immigrate to the island before it was populated, but then I can't say I've ever truly studied the situation in depth.
    It's an interesting area. There isn't really an established name for the peoples who lived in the British Isles before the Celts came over, since we don't have any histories or records that discuss them, and they definitely didn't keep histories of their own. The first recorded information about the people living in the British Isles is from after the Celts had already settled there. So everything we know about the pre-Celtic Britons is based on archaeological evidence. These people migrated via the land bridge that connected the British Isles to mainland Europe during the glacial periods of the current Ice Age (as recently as about 8000 years ago), when sea levels were much lower. In fact there is evidence that for as long as this land bridge existed, people migrated in and out of the British Isles multiple times, depending on what the climate was like (i.e., when it got too cold, the people living there would cross back into mainland Europe and head south, then when it got warmer, the limits of human habitability would move north, and people would come back into the British Isles). These people were neolithic hunter-gatherers, obviously, with a pre-metallic level of technology. Anyhow, when the most recent glacial period ended and the sea levels rose, separating the British Isles from the rest of Europe, the people living there were stuck there, and lived there until ~500 BC or so until the Celts finally came over from Europe. Then came the Romans, then the Angles and Saxons and other Germanic peoples, including Scandinavians (who are Germanic), then the Normans.

    If you really wanted to pick a period of "radical change" in the English language, it would probably be the several hundred years following the Norman conquest. During that period, English was transformed from essentially an all-Germanic language into the predecessor to the language we know today, which has a huge amount of French-derived (and therefore Latin-derived) vocab grafted onto it. It was the Norman conquest that caused English to diverge sharply from the other Germanic languages.

    You can see the results in the way we talk today. French was originally the language of the aristocracy in post-Norman-conquest England, whereas English (meaning Old English, before it picked up all those French influences) was the language of the recently-conquered peasantry, who were naturally viewed in a distasteful light by their new French-speaking overlords. So certain French-derived words for certain things are considered acceptable--like "excrement". That's a word that the nobility might have used. But the English word for the same thing, "shit", is considered vulgar and profane, because it comes from an Anglo-Saxon root and therefore was what the dirty, low-born English-speaking peasants would say. The same is true of "fuck", which also comes from Anglo-Saxon roots, whereas "copulate", for instance, comes from French roots (because it was originally Latin) and therefore is considered less offensive even today. "Cunt" is also from Germanic and therefore Anglo-Saxon roots, while Latin-derived words for the same piece of anatomy are seen as much less offensive.

    /language ramble
    Last edited by Syme; 01-28-2009 at 09:43 PM.

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