Cunt in the Macquarie Dictionary

This is the full entry for the word cunt in the Macquarie Dictionary, Australia’s national dictionary.

My apologies in advance for this being terribly non-accessible, but as I created this page on a Saturday to accompany my forthcoming post “On using the c-word in print” I was just too fuzzy-headed to work out how to do it all.

That post will describe the limitations of using a dictionary entry to understand how a word is actually used in practice and identifies what I think is a gap in the entry — a missing usage.

// (say kunt) ‡ ‡ Colloquial
–noun 1. the vagina and external female genitalia.
2. a contemptible person.
3. something which causes difficulty or aggravation.
4. women viewed collectively as sexual objects: there was a lot of cunt at the party last night.
5. sexual intercourse with a woman.
–adjective 6. despicable or reprehensible: a cunt thing to do.
–phrase 7. a bit of cunt, a woman viewed as a sexual object.
8. a cunt of a …, an extremely difficult, unpleasant, disagreeable, etc. …: a cunt of a job. [Middle English cunt(e), kunt, queinte, of Germanic origin; compare Old Norse kunta]

The Macquarie also provides this delightful audio pronunciation guide. On their website this appears immediate before the pronunciation guide in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

The symbol ‡ ‡ is a restrictive label indicating that the word is taboo and may give offence.

The use of two symbols (‡‡), applied to a small group of words, indicates an extreme degree of this restriction. A single symbol (‡) is also used if there is a particularly crass and offensive meaning given to a usually neutral word. Taboo words are to be differentiated from words which are intended to offend, in particular racist terms, which are labelled derogatory.

[Source: The Macquarie Dictionary Online © Macquarie Dictionary Publishers Pty Ltd. Retrieved 17 March 2012.]