Janet (j4) wrote,
Janet
j4

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The joy of fecks

Ah, the childish delight of using powerful search functions to scour vast databases of painstakingly keyed and indexed sixteenth-century texts for the words "Fuck", "Fucker", and "Fuck't".

While pursuing this puerile pastime -- why do we call such things "puerile", when puella is just as likely as puer to do 'em? -- I came across this passage in an account of a woman's bizarre dreams during pregnancy:

At the same time (ouer and aboue) shee thought that in stead of a boye, (which she desired) she was deliuerd and brought to bed of one of these kistrell birds, called a wind-fucker.

[From "The life and godly education from his childhood of that thrice famous clarke, and worthie Orator and Poet Gabriell Haruey", in Haue vvith you to Saffron-vvalden. Or, Gabriell Harueys hunt is vp]


Now, I'm sure I remember hoiho mentioning a while back that kites (as in, the things on strings that you trail dispiritedly across fields in a desperate attempt to get them to fly) used to be called "wind-fuckers". So I now wonder if he was thinking of the bird (hoiho thinking of birds? surely not!), or if the term was transferred from bird to bundle-of-sticks-and-canvas, or what.

Is it time to go home yet?
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