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VULGAR

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VULGAR

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:05 pm

• vulgar •


Pronunciation: vêl-gêr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Of the unwashed masses, plebian, related to common people, the riff-raff, the hoi-polloi. 2. Common, base, ordinary. 3. Bawdy, foul, immodest, immoral, impure, indecent, indelicate, lascivious, lecherous, lewd, licentious, lubricous, lurid, obscene, offensive, profane, profligate, prurient, ribald, salacious, shameful, shameless, vile, wanton.

Notes: All the words we have for the third sense of today's Good Word makes us wonder why we had to corrupt a perfectly good word to create another. But so it goes. Over the centuries this word's good meaning has slowly tumbled one to a pejorative one. The noun for this word is vulgarity and a vulgar word is a vulgarism.

In Play: I hear today's bad Good Word used most often as a synonym of profane: "I was shocked to hear Ben de Hellenbaque use vulgar language around such proper ladies." However, the sense of commonplace remains: "Maud Lynn Dresser is a woman of vulgar tastes, especially in clothes."

Word History: Today's word comes from Latin vulgaris "related to common people", from vulgus "people, the masses, a crowd". Latin inherited it from the Proto-Indo-European root *welg- "to crowd, throng". which turned up in Sanskrit as vargah "division, group". It kept its original meaning in the Germanic languages: German Volk "people", as in Volkswagen "car of the people", and English folk. (Today's rather tawdry Good Word was suggested by Ella Minnow Pea of Smoketown, Pennsylvania.)
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:38 am

We studied the root in high school Latin, where it referred to the common people. Perhaps its declension through vileness came from a caste system where the lords look down on the peons. Simon Peter tells the Lord he has never eaten anything common or unclean, as though they are synonyms. Vulgar now has implications of language unbefitting even the peasantry.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:55 pm

Wasn't Latin wonderful? I learned the same.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:21 pm

Ubi est puella pulcra?
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Re: VULGAR

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:47 pm

Ubi, ubi sunt sub ubi?
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:48 pm

Luke: I didn't understand your sentence but I got some of the words.

Perry: Are you sure your question wouldn't get you a slap in the face from some fair maiden you might be addressing?

In my role as an expatiator, I am reminded of something that is not quite germane to the topic (which I don’t understand), but does have to do with understanding. Caxton wrote that a guest at an inn “axed for mete and specyally he axyd after eggys” Someone translated for the guest and said he wanted “eyren”. These were both good regional English words for eggs at the time. I am also reminded that Cockney means cocks egg, and was first intended as an insult. A friend from Australia asked me about the origin of the word Cockney and I told him. He relayed the information to his neighbour, who had been born within the sound Bow Bells. The neighbour vowed if I ever came to Australia he would tear out my guts and strangle me with them. Don’t rile a Cockney.

I know only some English, a little Tex-Mex and a lot of Red-neck, so please help me interpret the Latin phrases you so glibly strew like rose petals along our pathway.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:32 pm

Philip, my question translates, "Where is the pretty girl?" the Latin textbook has asked about the little girl, which as a teen I considered irrelevant, so I changed the example to one more relevant to us guys. I would never have addressed that to a female lest I get slapped or worse. As to Luke's ubiquitous verbage, I'll let him speak for himself.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby bamaboy56 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:49 am

I'd always heard the phrase " semper ubi sub ubi" (translation: "always wear underwear") Good advice! And, of course, who can forget the Marine Corps motto Semper Fi? Being reared by a Marine Corps First Sergeant, I heard this all my life.
Be who you are and say what you feel in your heart. Because those that matter, don't mind. And those that mind, don't matter.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:18 am

Help! I am drowning in Latin. Does "Semper ubi sub ubi" really mean "always wear underwear"? A literal translation seems to be "Always where under where." Perhaps someone is making a Latin pun.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:42 pm

I forgot the "my" (meum?)
Where, or where is my under-where {wear}.
Sorry, Latin was a long time ago. But very
down to earth - vulgar, of the common folks.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:01 pm

Has anyone mentioned St, Jerome's magnificant translation of the Bible into ordinary Latin? It is called the versio vulgata, or Vulgate in English.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:09 pm

Translated centuries ago into English
as the "Douay-Challoner",version.
Douay is a town in France where this was done.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:15 pm

So everyone is punning in Latin, much to the consternation of us non-Latin scholars. I never took Latin in school since German and Spanish were required courses. Through the years, I have learned a lot of Latin words. But Latin grammar? Nil, nada, nichts. Well, machts nichts.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:19 pm

So sorry for bringing it up.
We had to take Latin: state law at the time.
I took French as well.
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Re: VULGAR

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:27 pm

Right, Luke. Then the Douay-Challoner version was modernized into the Douay-Rheims version which I believe was the standard English Catholic Bible for much of my life. I don't have a newer English Catholic version. Does anyone know the English Bible used in Catholic Churches today? Protestants seem to be trying to "improve" the Bible instead of translating it. "Non-sexist" language is all the rage. I got my NIV before they ruined it.
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