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Horn-Horny
Posted: 12 April 2014 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]
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OED:

Horn

c. An erect penis; an erection. Also in phr. to have (get) the horn , to be sexually excited. (Not in polite use.)

1785 F. Grose Classical Dict. Vulgar Tongue, Horn Cholick, a temporary priapism.
1879–80 Pearl (1970) 257 A man with light trousers, of decency shorn, Stop and talk to young ladies while having the horn.
1889 A. Barrère & C. G. Leland Dict. Slang I. 475/2 ‘To have the horn’, to be in a state of sexual desire.
1922 J. Joyce Ulysses ii. xi. [Sirens] 256 Got the horn or what? he said.

b. to make horns at [ < French faire les cornes à, Italian far le corna a] : to hold the fist with two fingers extended like a pair of horns, as an insulting gesture.

When I grew up in Italy, this was considered extremely offensive to the person who was the recipient of the gesture. It was exclusively directed to a man; it signified that his wife, or girlfriend, was cheating on him. I don’t know whether this is as offensive as it once was.  I don’t recall the middle finger gesture ever being used, but if it ever was it had much less significance.

Horny:

b. Sexually excited; lecherous. (Chiefly used of a man.) slang. Cf. horn n. 5c.

1889 A. Barrère & C. G. Leland Dict. Slang I. 476/1 Horny, lecherous, in a state of sexual desire, in rut.
1918 Dial. Notes 5 25 Horny, amative.
1949 H. Miller Sexus (1969) v. 104 Her thick, gurgling voice saying..: ‘Get it in all the way…please, please do… I’m horny.’

I think in Britain randy is the more common terminology when referring to sexual excitement?

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Posted: 13 April 2014 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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FWIW, meaning “b” isn’t related to meaning “c.”

For sense b: we have this:

In Western traditions, cuckolds have sometimes been described as “wearing the horns of a cuckold” or just “wearing the horns.” This is an allusion to the mating habits of stags, who forfeit their mates when they are defeated by another male.[7] In Italy (especially in Southern Italy, where it is a major personal offence), the insult is often accompanied by the sign of the horns.

Wikipedia

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Posted: 13 April 2014 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Interesting couple of words related to cuckold.

Wittol “A man who is aware of and complaisant about the infidelity of his wife; a contented cuckold (from Late Middle English wetewold, apparently formed after cokewold, cuckold n.1, with substitution of wete , wit v.1 for the first part of the word”

Cuckquean “A female cuckold”

All information, as always, from OED.

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Posted: 13 April 2014 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Regarding horny being “chiefly used of a man” according to the OED, that’s not really true anymore, is it?  I don’t recall it being that unusual for the Vietnamese hooker in Full Metal Jacket to say “me so horny”; and the M&M’s anthropomorphic Green One was the first color depicted as female, and a seductive one at that ("green ones make you horny” according to urban legend).  Is the OED entry just old?

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Posted: 13 April 2014 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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jtab4994 - 13 April 2014 07:14 PM

Regarding horny being “chiefly used of a man” according to the OED, that’s not really true anymore, is it?  I don’t recall it being that unusual for the Vietnamese hooker in Full Metal Jacket to say “me so horny”; and the M&M’s anthropomorphic Green One was the first color depicted as female, and a seductive one at that ("green ones make you horny” according to urban legend).  Is the OED entry just old?

I disagree, for horny derives from horn; horn representing a phallic symbol. I agree, however, that women can certainly be horny, but the connotation seems more associated with lecherous men. And let’s be honest horniness seems more prevalent with men, for isn’t this how it was designed by nature.

Testosterone which powers a man’s sex drive is 7 to 8 times as great as a women’s and the daily production is approximately 20 times greater. Ergo, a bigger sex drive for men, resulting in hornier men.

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Posted: 14 April 2014 03:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Regarding “Chiefly used of a man,” the final citation in the OED entry is:

1971 Black World Oct. 65/1 Ain’t that the horny bitch that was grindin with the blind dude.

Also, while I agree that popular perception, as reflected in the use of the word, has it that men have a greater sex drive, it does not necessarily follow that this is actually the case biologically. The combination of risk of pregnancy and patriarchal double standard of the “fallen woman/slut” has meant that women have great incentive to suppress their sex drive or at least channel it into less visible mating practices. I’m very skeptical of pop psychology/biology explanations for the differences between the sexes. They often fail to disentangle the social from the biological and often rely on unfounded assumptions about what it was like in the “state of nature.” (And we see a great example of women being more sexually driven in the cuckold motif.)

And regarding the cuckold’s horns, Wikipedia’s reference to the metaphor coming from stags is cited from a nineteenth century edition of Brewer’s. (My 15th edition from 1995 has the same info, though.) I doubt this reflects current scholarship. The explanation also has it backwards, as it is the cuckold who wears the horns, but the horned stag is the one that wins the female. Brewer’s also connects cuckolds with the myth of Actaeon, which makes no sense at all. The OED has this note on the cuckold’s horns:

The origin of this, which appears in so many European languages, and, seemingly, even in late Greek in phrase κέρατα ποιεῖν τινί (Artemidorus, Oneirocritica II. 12) is referred by Dunger ( Germania XXIX. 59) to the practice formerly prevalent of planting or engrafting the spurs of a castrated cock on the root of the excised comb, where they grew and became horns, sometimes of several inches long. He shows that German hahnreh or hahnrei ‘cuckold’, originally meant ‘capon’.

In other words, the cheating wife has emasculated him and figuratively given him a horn, like a capon.

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Posted: 14 April 2014 04:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I disagree, for horny derives from horn; horn representing a phallic symbol.

Etymology is irrelevant to current use, and therefore to current meaning.

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Posted: 14 April 2014 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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BTW in Chinese culture wearing a green hat is the same as wearing the horns of the cuckold in the West.  A few years ago my Taiwanese officemate saw the hunter green cap I wore while coaching my son’s baseball team and remarked, “Oh, you gotta maybe get different color” and he explained what it meant in China.  I was like, good thing we’re not in China!  I suppose every culture must have such a symbol.

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Posted: 14 April 2014 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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languagehat - 14 April 2014 04:15 AM

I disagree, for horny derives from horn; horn representing a phallic symbol.

Etymology is irrelevant to current use, and therefore to current meaning.[/quote

That’s true and I agree, but doesn’t the current usage of “horn” continue to represent--historically-- a phallic symbol?

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Posted: 14 April 2014 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Also, while I agree that popular perception, as reflected in the use of the word, has it that men have a greater sex drive, it does not necessarily follow that this is actually the case biologically. The combination of risk of pregnancy and patriarchal double standard of the “fallen woman/slut” has meant that women have great incentive to suppress their sex drive or at least channel it into less visible mating practices. I’m very skeptical of pop psychology/biology explanations for the differences between the sexes. They often fail to disentangle the social from the biological and often rely on unfounded assumptions about what it was like in the “state of nature.”

I don’t think there is anything skeptical about testosterone being at a much higher level with men. It is one of the reasons they have a higher sex drive.

Studies indicate that men’s sex drives are not only stronger than women’s, but much more straightforward. The sources of women’s libidos, in contrast, are much harder to pin down.

(And we see a great example of women being more sexually driven in the cuckold motif

.

I don’t think I understand this statement. Are you saying that married women are more promiscuous; therefore, more unfaithful? If so, I refute the claim, for men are far more disloyal to their partners.  Furthermore, women who cheat on their husbands or partners are usually seduced by men and some of those men are married.

In conclusion I would think OED is quite accurate; horny is associated more with men.

b. Sexually excited; lecherous. (Chiefly used of a man.) slang. Cf. horn n. 5c.

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Posted: 14 April 2014 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Logophile - 14 April 2014 03:27 PM




(And we see a great example of women being more sexually driven in the cuckold motif

.

I don’t think I understand this statement. Are you saying that married women are more promiscuous; therefore, more unfaithful? If so, I refute the claim, for men are far more disloyal to their partners.  Furthermore, women who cheat on their husbands or partners are usually seduced by men and some of those men are married.

I can’t speak for Dave but I take his statement as saying in traditional tales of cuckoldry, which of course are legion in literature, it is the lust and concupiscence of the wife which is the motif.

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Posted: 15 April 2014 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I don’t think there is anything skeptical about testosterone being at a much higher level with men. It is one of the reasons they have a higher sex drive.

I’m no endocrinologist and my knowledge in the field is pretty minimal, but I’m pretty sure it’s not as simple as “more testosterone = higher sex drive.” Estrogen and other hormones play a role as well. And I’m willing to bet that there are individual differences in the number and effectiveness of the hormone receptors that also contribute. This is what I mean by “pop biology.”

I don’t think I understand this statement. Are you saying that married women are more promiscuous; therefore, more unfaithful? If so, I refute the claim, for men are far more disloyal to their partners.  Furthermore, women who cheat on their husbands or partners are usually seduced by men and some of those men are married.

What Aldi said. I did not mean that women were more promiscuous than men across the board, but that we can find plenty of examples, tales of cuckoldry being the one of the more obvious, where it is lustful women who get the action rolling. Medieval romances are another area of literature where women are frequently the sexual pursuers. And what about modern, pulp-fiction romances? Fifty Shades of Grey?

From all that I have read and experienced, women and men—as groups, individuals vary considerably—are pretty much equal in sexual drive, but that drive tends to be expressed differently. And those differences are just as likely, if not more likely, to be socially constructed as they are physiologically.

(I just heard Dan Savage say on his podcast this morning that among younger adults, rates of promiscuity and adultery were about evenly split between men and women. It is only among the older set that men tend to be more promiscuous, lending credence that the behavior is a social construction and the times they are a-changing. I don’t know where he got his figures, though, or how reliable they are.)

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Posted: 15 April 2014 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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That’s true and I agree, but doesn’t the current usage of “horn” continue to represent--historically-- a phallic symbol?

I don’t understand what you mean.  “Historically” = “etymologically,” so yes, but again, that is irrelevant to current usage.  You originally wrote “I disagree [that horny is no longer used primarily of men], for horny derives from horn”; in other words, you were talking about current usage, for which etymology is irrelevant.

Studies indicate that men’s sex drives are not only stronger than women’s, but much more straightforward.

What studies?  “Citation needed,” as they say at Wikipedia.  Men’s greater need for sex is one of those things that “everybody knows” (actually, mainly men) that just ain’t so.

[ Edited: 15 April 2014 05:50 AM by languagehat ]
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Posted: 15 April 2014 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I don’t think there is anything skeptical about testosterone being at a much higher level with men. It is one of the reasons they have a higher sex drive.

Well of course men have more testosterone than women, but women have more estrogen than men. When it comes to hormones and sex drive, both genders have plenty of hormones to stoke the fires.

women who cheat on their husbands or partners are usually seduced by men

Women are seduced by men… of course, because those poor, addled, silly women can’t control themselves once a man goes to work on them. This is just paternalistic bullshit.

When it comes to the women in my life, I have them just where they want me.

[ Edited: 15 April 2014 06:18 AM by happydog ]
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Posted: 15 April 2014 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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A cuckolded man, in Italian, is cornuto --- in French, cornu. The most interesting part of this thread is the discussion of the etymology of the term.

The immense importance attached by men of many cultures to a wife’s fidelity, arises in part from a man’s need to be assured that his children are, in fact, his own, and not the next door neighbour’s, or the postman’s. Until recently, there wasn’t any other way to be sure. DNA testing, of course, has changed all that, and I expect we shall see the effect of this on society eventually.

Regarding the (rather silly) argument about the relative strength of sexual urges in men and women, I would put it this way: men are, on the whole, more brutish, more violent, more self-centered, and (like other male mammals --- dogs, rats, baboons, etc.) more keen to drop everything, and fuck just about anything that moves, at a moment’s notice. In short—men are less tempting sex objects for women, than women are for men. it’s not that the ladies are less keen—it’s just that we offer them fewer incentives to sex, than they offer us.  Most societies are organized so that women are kept at an economic disadvantage, which (inter alia) makes marriage (and the captive sex that goes with it) more palatable to them than it would otherwise be.

[ Edited: 15 April 2014 07:14 AM by lionello ]
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Posted: 15 April 2014 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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languagehat - 15 April 2014 05:46 AM
That’s true and I agree, but doesn’t the current usage of “horn” continue to represent--historically-- a phallic symbol?

I don’t understand what you mean.  “Historically” = “etymologically,” so yes, but again, that is irrelevant to current usage.  You originally wrote “I disagree [that horny is no longer used primarily of men], for horny derives from horn”; in other words, you were talking about current usage, for which etymology is irrelevant.

What I meant with “historically” and “etymologically” was that horny’s and horn’s usage today seems to maintain OED’s history of the word.

What studies?  “Citation needed,” as they say at Wikipedia.  Men’s greater need for sex is one of those things that “everybody knows” (actually, mainly men) that just ain’t so.

I’d rather not enter a debate unrelated to wordorigins. I do, however, appreciate your questions, for statements and claims should be followed with citations.

In my original posting I was curious about the word randy, which I think is the equivalent to USA’s usage of horny. Does anyone know if this continues to be a common usage today in Rightpondia. 

Etymology Online.

randy (adj.)
1690s, Scottish, “aggressive, boisterous,” probably from rand “to rave,” an obsolete variant of rant (v.). In the original sense especially of beggars, “and probably implying vagrant habits as well as rude behavior” [OED]. Sense of “lewd, lustful” first recorded 1847. Related: Randiness.

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