After John Kelly published his comprehensive post on merkin in 2015, I assumed there could be little left to say about those pubic hairpieces with the quaint name. (You should read the whole post, but here’s the etymological gist: from Matilda to the diminutive Maud to the secondary diminutive Mal to the third-degree diminutive Malkin to the variant merkin.) Yet recent developments suggest that we are far from finished with merkin, or it with us.
Strong Language contributor Jonathon Green (@misterslang), the author of Green’s Dictionary of Slang, has a new project of special interest to SL readers: Slang Family Trees. “The aim,” writes Jonathon, “is to look at some of slang’s primary themes and show the way the lexis assesses given topics on a semantic basis.” The trees are constructed with mind-mapping software and appear as .pdf files. To get started, see vagina, penis, and drunk.
Is April really the cruelest month? Not when you can divert yourself with sweary news, tweets, and music.
No discussion of swears and branding would be complete without a nod to Sofa King, which is at once a real brand, a parody brand, a tribute brand, a song title, the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit, and the punchline to a joke. For you scholarly types in the audience, it’s also a convenient introduction to prosody.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.