What term or terms do you think Tolkien would have used in describing cocks? Do you think, were he to ever write smut, he would have Elessar or Thorin say the word “cock,” or perhaps something different, more flowery, more imaginative? And no I’m not talking “rose crowned wiggler” or anything like that, but something less…oh I dont know, modern. How old is the term cock anyway? :|
‘Cock’ is actually a pretty damn old euphemism. It appears in some middle English poetry as ‘cok’, if that tells you anything. Officially it doesn’t enter widespread use until as late as the seventeenth century, but that doesn’t stop poets and monks as far back as the eleventh century from alluding to the way a fighting-cock’s wattles turn red and stiff during a battle.
Depending upon the character, I imagine Tolkien could have got a lot of variety in his dingdong discussions. Archaic terms for ‘penis’ are not only richly varied but highly regional— see the ‘langer’ in Ireland, or the ridiculous-sounding ‘todger’ in the UK/Australia. And I do believe Tolkien came up with not one, but several Elvish words for penis: gwî for poetic use (elves writin’ porn yeeeah) and gwib for daily use, plus puntl in case you need to contrast two elves’ differing backgrounds. (I don’t believe we have a Noldor ‘penis’, but having variety in slang is always good for characterization.) [Source]
As for the dwarves, I have shamelessly used Khuzdul-sounding English terms like pud and lome (fifteenth-century slang referring to a ‘loom’). I can also see the dwarves using terms like ‘tool’ and ‘shaft’ much more readily than most other races, since they are workin’ dudes.
Humans can go with damn near anything. I prefer to give them more modernized, recognizable terms for ‘penis’, since we’re supposed to share genetic material anyway and we might as well communicate with each other. (And by ‘modernized’ I mean ‘sixteenth century or later’.) ‘Cock’, ‘prick’, ‘tool’, and perhaps ‘dick’ all work here. (If you’re not writing erotica, ‘pizzle’ and ‘piece’ are common terms. We’re also now treading on Shakespearean grounds, where spontaneous euphemism has become much more widely bandied and recognizable.)
Hobbits are a little tricky. On the one hand, the roly-poly provincial way Tolkien portrays his hobbits makes me shrug and think, okay, ‘todger’ it is. On the other hand, I don’t particularly want to write all my hobbits as shy violets who use polite euphemisms for everything. So lately I’ve been trying out some of the simpler archaics: ‘pin’ (or ‘pyne’), ‘yard’ (as a stick, a unit of measure), ‘stud’, and (of course) ‘cock’. (Most of these are farming terms, too, which fits with the style of the hobbits.)
I just like cock, okay? *shrug*
A few more archaic curiosities: ‘erection’ often becomes ‘pride’, ‘stand’ (as in ‘cockstand’), or even ‘tend’ (from the Latin for ‘stretch’); ‘cod’ is often used in preference for the scrotum rather than the entire external male genitalia, thus ‘codsack’; and the further back you go, ‘balls’ becomes ‘bollocks’ becomes ‘ballocks’, and also ‘baubles’, ‘knappes’, ‘cullions’ from ‘sceallan’ (shells), and ‘herthan’ (with the ‘herthan-belig’ or testicle-purse). Feel free to Tolkienize the most archaic terms— the -an ending denotes a plural, so change it as you see fit.
One of the best sources I can give you is this excellent book, the sample of which should keep you writing archaic smut for ages before you even consider buying it (which I suggest, if you like these things). I have used it gratuitously here as a source.
Thanks for the interesting question, by the way— and, uh, sorry for sprawling it out into an essay. You might say my answer became… engorged.
Shy Anon revealed.
DUDE YOU ARE AWESOME.
Love this, thank you! Culture is definitely something that should be taken into account. I totally think Dwarven sexual slang would be full of mining and forging and crafting imagery, while the hobbity version would be more agricultural and taken from the natural world. (They absolutely would use “cock” - they have chickens, don’t they?) I think both are rather earthy races who probably have a colorful and varied vocabulary.
Would Tolkien have ever used slang if he ever wrote a sex scene (which he didn’t)? Probably not - but that doesn’t mean his characters wouldn’t! By his own conceit, he was a historian and a translator, and one who didn’t see fit to record such matters. I think, as subcreators, fanfic writers are free to write their own “histories” and “translations” in a different style if they choose, and shine light into the bedchambers, where people generally don’t talk the same way they might at the Council of Elrond.
Why can’t I favourite this more than once.
i didn’t want or need to know any of this information but i’m SO GLAD I READ IT ANYWAY. thank you!!!
EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL AND I FUCKING LOVE THIS WEBSITE.
do silkworms look at really beautiful silk dresses and stuff and puff out their little worm chests all proudly and think “i made that with my butt”
probably not since they’re DEAD
murder fabric! muahaha w/e
Not necessarily! Although probably. The silk you see most often in commercially produced garments is going to be cultivated Bombyx silk, which is created by boiling the cocoons of silkmoth (Bombyx mori), who have been fed exclusively on a diet of mulberry leaves, with the worms (or more accurately caterpillars) still in them. This of course kills the worms. They do this because it allows them to then reel off the thread of silk from the cocoon entirely intact, like spinning it in reverse, so that they end up with the longest possible fibers for processing.
BUT ALL IS NOT LOST! There is a growing movement and appreciation for a kind of silk called tussah silk. This silk is harvested either from wild silkmoth cocoons or from the cocoons of caterpillars who have been allowed to emerge. This silk is naturally broken up already, because of the hole created when the worm melts through the cocoon to emerge. Yarn or thread created from this kind of silk won’t have the same tensile strength or shine as a yarn created from the endless bombyx silk strands, but what you lose in fineness you gain in an almost breathtaking softness of hand to the surface of the garment; the silk fibers have many more ends now which act sort of like the finest cashmere you could possibly imagine, poking up from the yarn or thread and making the surface of the garment feel like a kitten sent from god.
Both kinds of silk created from domesticated silkmoth worms, I should point out, end up with dead moths: the domesticated silkmoth has been genetically modified to the point where it can neither fly nor feed, though a human caretaker can keep a few moths alive for long enough that they lay eggs and start the cycle over again. This is the result of FIVE THOUSAND YEARS of genetic manipulation to create a product which facilitates the production of commercial silk. Also, people often time eat the boiled pupae; they’re sold by street vendors in China.
(I prefer tussah silk personally both to wear and to spin. IT IS SO SOFT YO. And way waaaay easier to spin than bombyx silk.)
All this is to say that there may be wild silkmoths out there for whom the graphic might be true.
That’s the thing about pretty faces. We’d much prefer to watch them wilt. We don’t expect them to belong to the fighters— the junkies and monks and cockroaches who’ll survive every atomic bomb and suicide attempt and outlive us all. And we definitely don’t expect them to make songs as gnarled and candid as the ones on Faithfull’s finest record, Broken English, but there you go: the best records are all, in some way or another, the ones that blow a mouthful of smoke in the face of expectation. Lindsay Zoladz on Marianne Faithfull and Broken English (via contrarybritt)
‘Brave’ director Brenda Chapman breaks silence: Getting taken off film ‘heartbreaking… devastating… distressing’
by Adam B. Vary
When Pixar’s Brave arrived in theaters in June, two directors shared full credit for the film: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman. The project had originated with Chapman — who’d previously directed DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt — but at the beginning of 2011, the studio took the reins from her completely and handed them to Andrews, who’d worked on The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
It was a surprising development to say the least, given that Chapman had been Pixar’s first female director of a feature length film, not to mention that Brave featured the studio’s first female protagonist, a fiery Scottish archer-princess named Merida (Kelly Macdonald). But other than a brief comment to the Los Angeles Times in 2011 that the split was due to “creative differences,” Chapman has remained silent on the matter. Until now.
In an essay for a larger New York Times feature about women’s perpetual underrepresentation in all corners of Hollywood, Chapman wrote that the past year and a half had been “a heartbreakingly hard road” for her. “When Pixar took me off of Brave — a story that came from my heart, inspired by my relationship with my daughter — it was devastating,” she writes.
While she still does not go into any specifics about why she was removed from the film, Chapman makes quite clear she did not agree with the decision. “Animation directors are not protected like live-action directors, who have the Directors Guild to go to battle for them,” she writes. “We are replaced on a regular basis — and that was a real issue for me. This was a story that I created, which came from a very personal place, as a woman and a mother. To have it taken away and given to someone else, and a man at that, was truly distressing on so many levels.”
Chapman does point out that ultimately her “vision” remained in the film, and that she remains “very proud of the movie.” But her last word on the matter (for now) would seem to suggest that after reportedly leaving Pixar to consult on an animation project for Lucasfilm, she’s not eager to return. “Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced,” she writes. “Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen.”
When reached by EW, Pixar declined to comment.
Greg, I’m reblogging this for you.
the next generation legitimately worries me because sony and microsoft are literally creating a console that is so utterly against the gamer culture that has created itself since the dawning of the console era
one of the things that has been, at its core, an integral part of gaming is sharing…
The one thing that people seem to forget/ignore, is the proliferation of reselling games. In the past, developers could count on about 36 months for return on investment. Example, Kojima could realistically expect Metal Gear to sell consistently for years, now if Metal Gear Rising doesn’t turn a profit in the first 6 weeks, it’ll be a failure as sales plummet. So, I can understand Sony’s position to account lock the first sale, then offer a game unlock for pre-owned.
38 Studios was a great example of how the lack of sales in the first 6 weeks can kill not just a game, but a studio. Kingdoms of Amalur was a western RPG that had potential, yet it didn’t get those sales in the first month and a half. Now that 38 Studio’s gone under, people lament that there’s not going to be anymore Amalur, but it’s the fans’ fault for not buying it in that initial period.
Remember that your favorite developer/publisher gets exactly $0 when a copy of their game is bought pre-owned from Gamestop/Amazon/Craigslist/etc. The industry is struggling, we’ve lost THQ, Sony Liverpool, Zipper Interactive, Rockstar Vancouver, Big Huge Games, 38 Studios, Ubisoft Vancouver, and about a dozen others.
Console makers sell hardware for a loss, and nearly 50% of all games never make back their budget, because we’re too busy going “I’m not paying $60 for that!”. So yeah, shit sucks, and the future plans are extremely shitty, but we honestly only have ourselves to blame.
to an extent, yes
bear in mind, 38Games was a more complicated issue because the developer essentially took out a loan from the state too large to support a flop — they developed with a budget they literally couldn’t afford, so it’s not exactly fair to say “38 failed because they didn’t profit enough”
however, your general point makes sense, there’s very little long tail in regards to publishing, so that return investment is incredibly integral to the survival of literally any developer out there
i would, however, argue that pre-owned games are less of a problem than it is a service issue — this is the first generation where prices for games have not gone down at all, and is, in fact, the only one where they’ve gone UP at any point and remained at such a number, and the industry did this because they legitimately could get away with it, and it worked well at first
but now the industry has created an issue where, in the midst of a difficult economy, mixed with the mentality of anything less than $60 is clearly an inferior product, they are not able to sell unless they have enough money to advertise so hard that it can’t possibly fail (unless it does)
the concept of leaving one side or the other as solely to blame is incredibly difficult to chew, especially considering publishers have been all too willing to exploit the first sign of give, the first sign of a potential new profit margin to be exploited
if you absolutely had to point out a culprit with the most red on their hands, it’s publishers helping to establish the current marketing culture by drawing the line in the sand of what is acceptable to purchase, and making it so that budget titles are no longer an option, and that, even when the industry is faltering with new studios disappearing every month by the masses, there is less of a change to save these studios and more of a change to find ways of limiting ways potential buyers can access the product they purchase
it is a horrifically complex issue since many of the problems date back essentially to the rise of online gaming and DLC coming in, because publishers are assuming less of what is ethical or acceptable and more of what they can snag through digital markets to sidestep retailers and used games — which is why online passes started becoming so much of a thing that they are now in almost every single game with a multiplayer component
My issue with the footage of Chris Brown not standing for Frank Ocean, though he was still clapping which…congrats Chris for not being all the way pressed, is how it’s being blown up into something more than it is. Chris Brown is an asshole. Water is also wet. Duh. He also is an asshole who has personal beef with Frank Ocean. Instead of reading his actions (or inaction) as a bigger sociocultural problem (and homophobia IS a big ass sociocultural problem….let’s not), I read it in the context of the relationship between those two people, fucked up as it may be. Beef is never pretty. Always problematic. Also, notice how everyone else is supporting Frank, standing and applauding, crazy supportive of his win? Therein lies the difference.
Idris Elba’s Golden Globe win for “Luther” was not a supported one, if you were to go by the footage of the audience during his speech. No one is clapping or looking particularly proud of him. He is literally a lone wolf in this Hollywood game. And that’s fucked up. That’s racism, folks. He is up against the Juggernaut of Hollywood (which kinda explains why no one really knows who he is despite the fact that he is uber-talented). I’m more concerned for his artistic well-being than I am Frank’s tbh.
So, with that said. If you want to use Chris’s refusal to stand up for Frank Ocean as proof that he continues to be an asshole, go ahead. But he’s not the absolute worst. He doesn’t have enough power for that to be remotely true. And no I’m not defending that mothafucka Chris, so don’t even bring that shit here. I will hurt your feelings.
Okay, I’m done.