I thought of the word “suck” in this regard. In my youth (the 50s and 60s) it had only one meaning. Now a young and entirely innocent person can utter the word without knowing the word’s original meaning. It just means that something’s bad.
That’s not the original meaning. The original meaning was something akin to suck wind. The sexual connotations were read into it by others who didn’t see the metaphor. (I need to put this one on the Big List. Someone remind me after the holidays.)
As for schlong, Ben Zimmer has a nice write up on Politico. The verb seems to be limited in use and rather regional, found primarily in the New York City environs. Here the imagery is of being slapped in the face by someone’s penis. Urbandictionary, which has two cites of the past participle, also notes it can simply mean to be hit, to take a blow.
Is it posible that the “he who shall be unnamed” person who uttered this phrase “she was schlonged” is totally without guile in sayiing that the noun “schlong” which he has converted into a verb and placed it in the past tense is not vulgar, but simply means “defeated.”
I would say yes, especially given who we’re talking about. He often doesn’t engage his brain before putting his mouth in gear. (Although we don’t know. He could have used the word precisely because he knew it would be controversial and would keep him in the news.) But unlike suck, it’s not a word that can be used without sexual connotation.
There’s no question that, “she was schlonged”, is a vulgar expression, for that was the intention of the utterer. Words aren’t inherently vulgar, but when the sense is used for that effect it becomes vulgar.
We don’t know what his intention was. I think it’s perfectly possible that he didn’t intend the sexual meaning, especially being a New Yorker prone to profanity. And it’s not just the intent of the utterer that determines whether or not a word is offensive. The context and how it is received (e.g., suck) also matters. While it might be unoffensive when uttered in a New York bar in reference to a football game, when spoken by a national politician about a female presidential contender the word is offensive no matter what the intention.