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Curses & Fines on Epitaphs

Curses & Fines on Epitaphs



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The concept of a curse laid on a tomb or gravesite is best known from ancient Egypt but the practice was quite common in other civilizations of antiquity. The tomb or grave was the eternal home of the physical remains of the deceased to which his or her soul could return at will, furnished with all of the keepsakes, tools, food and drink, and various objects the dead person would want or need in the next life. Many of these tombs, therefore (especially of the upper class and nobility) were literal treasure troves and attracted the attention of robbers.

Further, people who could not afford to bury their dead loved one – or did not want to spend the money – might secretly inter them in someone else's grave or someone who could not afford a tombstone might just steal one already used, scrape off the previous person's name, and use it for their own purposes. To prevent either of these violations of a grave, curses warning of dire consequences for any who disturbed the tomb – as well as fines to be imposed by authorities – were often included in epitaphs.

Examples of curse-fine epitaphs range from ancient China through Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and Britain and a significant number – outside of Egypt – have been found in Anatolia (modern Turkey). Anatolia – especially the region of Cilicia – was long associated with piracy and so it is likely that the preponderance of curse-fine epitaphs in that region was a reaction to the criminal element and a necessary precaution against tomb robbery. Although studies of these Anatolian epitaphs show that all nationalities used them, as well as different religions (there was a large Jewish community in Anatolia), most of those which have survived are Greek. This is because of the many Greek colonies in the region and their conception of the afterlife.

Greek Afterlife

To desecrate someone's tomb was to defile their memory & if the tomb were vandalized, the soul's welfare in the afterlife could be jeopardized.

The ancient Greeks believed that the soul of the individual survived bodily death and went on to an afterlife. After death, the soul was judged by Aeacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthys, the three judges of the underworld, and sent to the realm it deserved based on the deeds done in life and the mercy of the judges. The souls of the wicked were sent to Tartarus, those of ordinary people – neither particularly good or evil – went to the Asphodel Meadows, those wounded by love went to the Fields of Mourning, and those who excelled in a virtuous life were directed to the Elysian Fields in which there was also the Isles of the Blessed. In whichever of these realms the soul wound up, its continued existence and prosperity depended on the memory of the living. The departed person's friends and relatives needed to remember them in order to keep their soul strong and vibrant.

The tomb or grave was not only the home for the deceased's remains and personal property but a visceral reminder of who they had been in life and, of course, that they had existed and were worthy of remembrance. To desecrate someone's tomb was to defile their memory, and if the tomb were vandalized severely enough or the gravestone actually stolen, the soul's welfare in the afterlife could be jeopardized. Scholar Andreas Vourloumis comments:

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One major concern that has occupied humans regarding death is of course to be remembered after they pass away but also to be buried properly so their soul can rest and continue her course in another place…There is a plethora of funerary imprecations/prohibitions on epitaphs as an effort for the protection of the grave; those are inscribed publicly on gravestones by the owners of the grave in order to warn any potential violators. (2)

The grave needed to remain intact and undisturbed in order for the soul to be at peace in the afterlife and, if it was not, the consequences could be dire not only for that soul but for the relatives of the deceased who still lived. A spirit troubled by the desecration of its grave could return to haunt the living, causing all kinds of grief from impairments in physical and mental health to financial difficulties and even death. In order to keep the spirit happy – both for its own sake and that of the living – curses and fines to warn of desecrators were made explicit in epitaphs.

Greek Curses & Fines

Greek curses were considered a guarantee for justice, in this life or the next, as they invoked the gods for protection of the innocent and just while promising punishment for transgressors. These curses were certainly not limited to gravesites and could be placed anywhere via the construct known as the Curse Tablet as explained by scholar H. S. Versnel:

A curse is a wish that evil may befall a person or persons. Within this broad definition several different types can be distinguished, according to setting, motive, and condition. The most direct curses are maledictions inspired by feelings of hatred and lacking any explicit religious, moral, or legal legitimation. This category is exemplarily represented by the so-called curse tablets (Greek: katadesmos; Latin: defixio), thin lead sheets inscribed with maledictions intended to influence the actions or welfare of persons. (Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, 201)

These curses most often took the form of stipulations such as “If someone should move my gravestone (or boundary stone or whatever) may they be cursed in such-and-such a manner and I call upon the gods (specific gods are mentioned depending on the situation called for) to bear witness and take my side.” As noted, people felt they could depend on such curses as deterrents but, just to be safe, criminal prosecution for transgressions was also made clear as a threat to grave robbers. In ancient Athens, if one were convicted of robbing a tomb, one was fined, and this fine was not cheap. Scholar Danielle S. Allen writes:

The cost of an adult male's food for a year was, on estimate, 36 drachmae, and the daily wage for an unskilled laborer at the end of the fourth century was 1.5 drachma so the power to fine to the tune of 10 and 50 drachmas was consequential…even a relatively minor court case could carry a penalty of up to 1000 drachmae. (4)

The fine was sometimes included in the epitaph by the owner of the grave but, if not, it was decided in court. There was no set fine on the books to which a judge could refer but, rather, the Athenian court would impose whatever punishment they agreed was just depending on the crime and the accused's situation. Even substantial fines or the wrath of the gods, however, could not deter graverobbers - in any ancient civilization - and for the simple reason that the rewards outweighed the risks. There was a fortune to be found in sometimes even a modest grave and, if one could set aside one's belief in the gods and their justice, all one had to do was not get caught.

The Cult of Cybele & Anatolian Graves

Ignoring the gods was no easy feat, however, as they were not only invoked in curses but their images were often set up as statues in and around burial sites. The Greeks who settled in Anatolia brought their beliefs with them but, in time, these combined with the religion of the indigenous people. The ancient Luwians and Hatti who had been living in the region since c. 2500 BCE worshipped a mother goddess who was adopted by the Phrygians (c. 1200-700 BCE) and known simply as Matar (mother) but better known by her epithet Kybeleia (mountain) or Cybele. Her cult center was in Pessinus, Phrygia (central Anatolia) and she was worshipped in the Anatolian kingdom of Lydia, along the coast, and elsewhere in the region.

Cybele was a fertility goddess but was also responsible for people's health and general well-being, protecting them in times of large-scale trouble (such as war or famine) as well as personal difficulties. Her consort was the dying-and-reviving vegetation god Attis and her cult encouraged a belief in eternal life after death and so emphasized the importance of protecting graves and tombs.

Statues of Cybele, sometimes accompanied by a lion or other animals symbolizing strength, were placed in shrines which were used to delineate a certain area or district from another. Cybele's statues were erected between buildings, for example, to make clear that one building's business was distinct from that of the other and between properties for the same purpose. Cybele's image was not just a reminder to respect other people's space but a powerful liminal demarcation which prohibited people from crossing from one area to another without good reason - and that would mean “without meaning to do good” - to the other person. In this same way, Cybele's shrines were set up outside of tombs and graves and, according to scholar Sharon R. Steadman, in doing so “the Phrygians created sacred space to mark the boundary between the living and the dead” (572).

In the same way that Cybele stood guard over people's farmlands, homes, and businesses, she watched over their graves and made sure they remained pristine. If, for some reason, she was distracted or otherwise engaged when a tomb robber showed up, however, there were the same type of curses invoked in epitaphs and the threat of fines as observed in Ancient Greece.

Anatolian Curses & Graves

The Anatolian curses followed the Greek paradigm and almost always fall under the modern-day definition of a “conditional curse” as explained by H. Versnel:

Conditional curses (imprecations) damn the unknown persons who dare to trespass against certain stipulated sacred or secular laws, prescriptions, and treaties. They are prevalent in the public domain and are expressed by the community through its representatives (magistrates, priests). The characteristic combination of curse and prayer [is a feature they share in common with judicial prayer]. The culprit thus found himself in the position of a man guilty of sacrilege and so the legal powers could enforce their rights even in cases where only the gods could help. (Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, 201)

Even these threats by Cybele and court action did not deter grave robbers and a description of the contents of an Anatolian grave in Lydia gives a good idea why. Scholar Elizabeth Baugham writes:

Lydian grave offerings were not specific to certain burial types. The same kinds of goods are found in all types of Lydian graves, and most frequent are items of adornment and implements of banqueting. Often it is clear that the dead were laid to rest wearing jewelry and other finery [as in the case of] the untouched burial of a young “bride” in a sarcophagus within a Necropolis chamber: the find locations indicated that she wore gold fillets in her hair, gold earrings and a beaded necklace, a gold ring decorated with a lion, and a garment sewn with gold appliqué plaques. Although little skeletal evidence from Lydian graves has been analyzed, it is not likely that such jewelry was limited to female burials. Many other Necropolis tombs and looted tumuli have yielded necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, pins, brooches, and clothing ornaments. These items are often made of gold but glass and colored stones like onyx and agate were also used. (6)

To protect these treasures, curses and fines in epitaphs were quite explicit. They had to carry enough of a threat to at least make the potential robber think twice about the risk they were taking in disturbing the grave. The following are some examples provided by the work of Andreas Vourloumis:

Anatolian tombstone, provenance unknown, c. 154 CE: “Whoever shall cut a piece of this monument, may he place his children dead in the same way.” (8)

Anatolian tombstone, date unknown: “In this grave, unless I myself allow while still alive or order by will, if someone else brings in and buries someone, he will pay my beloved city 5000 denari in fine and will be answerable for grave robbing.” (10)

Anatolian tombstone found in Lycia, Roman Imperial Period: “Anna, along with her son Hieron, on account of her son Polemon, built this monument; if somebody transfer of convey these monuments, may he be destroyed along with his offspring.” (6)

Vourloumis notes how curses involving threats to a robber's children were considered particularly effective since one was not only risking one's own life but also theirs. Further, since the sins of the father were visited on their sons – as per Mesopotamian tradition long before the concept appears in the Bible (Exodus 20, Numbers 14, etc) – tomb robbers were risking not only the future health and happiness of their children but of their children's children.

Still, as Vourloumis also notes, even this was not enough of a deterrent since one's present need would supersede any other considerations:

Marble, as a raw material, was very expensive in antiquity and the plunder of a funerary stele was a constant phenomenon. The existent inscription of a stolen stele was scraped off thoroughly and a new text inscribed. (2)

This was an especially appalling crime because it erased the person's memory from his or her final resting place. To take someone's tombstone was to remove any trace of who they had been and what they had meant to others while they lived. Vourloumis writes:

The removal of a funerary stele was considered by Greeks and [later] Christians as the most severe insult for the dead and his grave, given that the stele was the most characteristic element of his identity. (2)

If a marble monument was stolen by an individual for private use, this was even more appalling since they clearly understood the importance of the stele as they would use it for the same purpose. Most likely, though, most were removed by thieves who then sold them to merchants who would trade them elsewhere or by pirates. Anatolia was associated with piracy from at least the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (r. 1353-1336 BCE) and probably before. The piratical activity of the Lukka people of Anatolia is dated to Akhenaten's reign because he wrote to another king complaining of it. The Cilician pirates are the best-known of the region whose network ran throughout Anatolia, most likely from the southern coast of Cilicia up through the northern territories once held by the Lukka.

Conclusion

Records of convictions and punishments of tomb robbers in Anatolia is nowhere near as comprehensive as other regions, such as Egypt, owing to its history. Anatolia was repeatedly conquered and divided into separate kingdoms by other nations (the Akkadians, Hittites, Assyrians, Phrygians Persians, Alexander the Great, the Seleucids, Ptolemies, Rome, Armenians, Byzantines, and Muslim Caliphates) and few cared much for the records of the previous inhabitants.

It is likely, however, that efforts to curtail tomb-robbing followed a similar pattern to that of ancient Egypt. When the government and economy was stable, graves were still robbed but nearly as often or as brazenly as when either was in decline or weak. When the New Kingdom (c. 1570 - c. 1069 BCE) was steadily crumbling toward the end, thieves were more concerned about how they were going to feed their families than any curses or what the law might do to them.

Egyptian court records from c. 1110 BCE, in fact, make clear that law enforcement and court scribes could easily be bribed and some of the most shameless tomb robbers, men who had done irreversible damage to the tombs way beyond what was necessary for theft, often went free after a brief confinement (Lewis, 256-257). In Anatolia, the paradigm was probably the same in that people will always try to get away with whatever they can to serve their own self-interests and no number of curses, however dire, or threats of fine, however steep, have ever, or will ever, change that.


The modern history of swearing: Where all the dirtiest words come from

By Melissa Mohr
Published May 11, 2013 12:30PM (EDT)

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The 18th and 19th centuries’ embrace of linguistic delicacy and extreme avoidance of taboo bestowed great power on those words that broached taboo topics directly, freely revealing what middle-class society was trying so desperately to conceal. Under these conditions of repression, obscene words finally came fully into their own. They began to be used in nonliteral ways, and so became not just words that shocked and offended but words with which people could swear.

The definitive expletive of the 18th century was bloody, which is still in frequent use in Britain today, and is so common Down Under that it is known as “the great Australian adjective.” Bloody was not quite an obscenity and not quite an oath, but it was definitely a bad word that shocked and offended the ears of polite society. It is often supposed to be a corruption of the old oaths by our lady or God’s blood (minced form: ’sblood), but this is another urban legend that turns out to be false. Either it derives instead from the adjective bloody as in “covered in blood” or, as the OED proposes, it referred to the habits of aristocratic rabble-rousers at the end of the 17th century, who styled themselves “bloods.” “Bloody drunk,” then, would mean “as drunk as a blood.”

The career of bloody is interesting, because one can clearly see either its perjoration (becoming a worse and worse word) or the rise of civility in action — or perhaps both. In the late 17th century, dramatists had no problem including the word in plays seen by genteel audiences, and printers had no problem spelling it out in their editions of those plays: “She took it bloody ill of him,” is just one example, occurring in the 1693 Maids Last Prayer. Henry Fielding, author of "Tom Jones," uses it in one of his plays in 1743: “This is a bloody positive old fellow.” And Maria Edgeworth has her hero exclaim of another man, “Sir Philip writes a bloody bad hand,” in 1801’s "Belinda." If Miss Edgeworth — who wrote novels about young women finding love and good marriages for a largely female readership, as well as morally improving children’s literature (six volumes of "Moral Tales for Young People") — had her young hero say “bloody,” it can’t have been that bad a word. Miss Edgeworth gets her “bloody” in at almost the last moment it is possible, however. At around this time, the word starts to get more offensive: It begins to be printed as b——y or b—— and falls out of polite use, where it continues through the Victorian era. When George Bernard Shaw wanted to create a scandal, but not too big a scandal, in his 1914 "Pygmalion," he had Eliza Doolittle exclaim in her newly perfect posh accent, “Walk! Not bloody likely! I am going in a taxi.” The first night’s audience greeted the word with “a few seconds of stunned disbelieving silence and then hysterical laughter for at least a minute and a quarter,” and there were some protests from various decency leagues, but on the whole a scandal never materialized. Bloody became “the catchword of the season” and pygmalion became a popular oath itself, as in “not pygmalion likely.” Had he scripted Eliza to say “Not fucking likely!” (which he very well could have in 1914) there in all likelihood would have been a real scandal, akin to that generated by shift in "Playboy of the Western World."

This was bloody at the turn of the century — a bad word, but not so bad that it was not in common use, according to Shaw, “by four-fifths of the British nation.” Perhaps because of this somewhat equivocal status, bloody comes in for more than its fair share of opprobrium from Victorian language mavens. In their definitions for fuck and related terms, for example, Farmer and Henley do not editorialize, merely defining the terms (“to copulate,” etc.) and providing examples of use. But they go off on poor bloody. It is

an epithet difficult to define, and used in a multitude of vague and varying senses. Most frequently, however, as it falls with wearisome reiteration every two or three seconds from the mouths of London roughs of the lowest type, no special meaning, much less a sanguinary one, can be attached to its use. In such a case it forms a convenient intensitive, sufficiently important as regards sound to satisfy those whose lack of language causes them to fall back upon a frequent use of words of this type.

Note the typical association of bad language with low social status and lack of education — the London roughs say “bloody” a lot because their vocabulary isn’t rich enough to furnish them other options. The original OED (1888) takes a similar line — bloody is “now constantly in the mouths of the lowest classes, but by respectable people considered ‘a horrid word,’ on a par with obscene or profane language, and usually printed in the newspapers (in police reports, etc.) as ‘b——y.’” Perhaps the OED would have had similar things to say about fuck, but the Victorian editors decided not to include it, along with cunt. And Julian Sharman, whose 1884 "Cursory History of Swearing" does not include any obscene words, attacks bloody for several pages. A sampling:

We cannot disguise to ourselves that there is much in its unfortunate associations to render its occurrence still exceedingly painful. Originating in a senseless freak of language, it has by dint of circumstances become so noisome and offensive . Dirty drunkards hiccup it as they wallow on ale-house floors. Morose porters bandy it about on quays and landing-stages. From the low-lying quarters of the towns the word buzzes in your ear with the confusion of a Babel. In the cramped narrow streets you are deafened by its whirr and din, as it rises from the throats of the chaffering multitude, from besotted men defiant and vain-glorious in their drink, from shrewish women hissing out rancour and menace in their harsh querulous talk.

(To chaffer is “to bargain, haggle, bandy words.”) Again, bloody is portrayed as a word beloved by the ignorant, morally degenerate lower classes. Bloody, unlike a word such as fuck, was perfectly placed to attract the anger from society’s growing intolerance of obscenity — it was “a swear-word,” as the Pygmalion press described it, yet it was not quite profane and not quite obscene. This made it offensive, but not so bad that one couldn’t with any decency draw attention to it.

Bugger was the other early obscenity used nonliterally, with the true flexibility of a fully developed swearword. It was, in the past as now, a blunt, direct word for anal intercourse (or for the person who does the penetrating during said anal intercourse, the pedicator, if you will remember your Latin). Randall Cotgrave used it this way when defining levretée, the girl “buggered” by a greyhound. Even more frequently, however, the use of bugger was divorced from its literal meaning, in examples such as these: “God damn him, blood and wounds, he would bugger his Soul to Hell, and these words he used frequently to Man, Woman, and Child, bugger, bugger, bugger” (1647, reported) “Go, get thee gone . thou frantic ass, to the devil, and be buggered” (1693) “B——st [blast] and b-gg-r your eyes, I have got none of your money” (1794) “Damn ’em bugger you an’ your ballast” (1854) “Take the bugger off, he is knifing me” (1860) “Previous to this the soil had, in the expressive phrase of the country, been ‘buggered over’ with the old cast-iron plows” (1868). One final example shows that the biblical epidemic of crotch grabbing had not entirely died out in the Victorian era. A witness for an 1840 divorce petition described how Susan Shumard “came out and met him [Francis Shields, her brother], and as she came up to him, she grabbed him by his private parts there was considerable of a scuffle she held tight, and he hollowed to her, you bugger you, let go.” (This was evidence that Susan had slept with her brother her husband wanted a divorce because she had supposedly married him without informing him that she was four months pregnant with her brother’s child. The General Assembly of Ohio refused to grant the divorce — they felt that the testimony on both sides was so fantastical and unreliable that they could make no determination about the truth of the matter.) It is interesting that in the 19th century, bugger was apparently a term that could be applied equally to men and women, while today it is used almost exclusively toward men. Along with Francis Shields and the gentleman who called “bugger bugger bugger” to “Man Woman and Child,” we have evidence from the masterpiece of Victorian pornography, "My Secret Life" (1888), in which the protagonist reports that a low-class prostitute with whom he is consorting calls her landlady “bugger.”

This movement contradicts two trends in swearword evolution. With the development of feminism, many swearwords have become more equal-opportunity, not less. Bitch can now be applied to men and women, as can cunt. In the 19th century shit as a noun was reserved exclusively for men — the "West Somerset Word-Book" defines it as “a term of contempt, applied to men only,” as in “He’s a regular shit.” Now, women too can work, vote, own their own property, and be called a shit.

When swearwords don’t become more equal-opportunity, they often begin to be used solely for women — Geoffrey Hughes calls this the “feminization of ambisexual terms.” Words such as scold, shrew, termagent, witch, harlot, bawd, and tramp were all at one point in their histories terms for men furthermore, the terms were usually neutral and sometimes even adulatory. Scold, for example, comes from the Old Norse word for “poet.” When these terms were feminized, they perjorated, going from neutral or positive to insulting. Bugger bucks this trend, too, going from a word used of men and women equally to an insulting term reserved almost exclusively for men.

In these examples, bugger shows great grammatical flexibility. Geoffrey Hughes categorizes swearing into eight classes, while Tony McEnery finds 16 either way, the above buggers can occupy many of the slots. The word can be personal: “you bugger you!” personal by reference: “take the bugger off” a curse: “bugger you!” destinational: “bugger his Soul to Hell” and a figurative extension of literal meaning: “the soil was ‘buggered over.’” Hughes notes that “as terms become more highly charged, so they acquire greater grammatical flexibility.” As words become charged — obscene — they are able to be used in more and more ways. Once the worst word in the language, fuck can be used in all eight of Hughes’s categories and in fourteen of McEnery’s sixteen.

As we can see with bugger, most categories of swearing require the word not to be used in its literal sense. When Francis yells “you bugger you” at his sister, he is not suggesting that she goes around having anal intercourse — he means “I have a strong negative emotion toward you, let go of my balls!” When soil is described as “buggered over,” no one is suggesting that teams of sodomites traversed the field, doing their thing — it means, figuratively, “really messed up.” Along with grammatical flexibility, this figurativeness is the hallmark of a fully obscene word, a word used not as a literal descriptor but to shock, offend, or otherwise carry emotion — a swearword.

Bloody and bugger were the two most prevalent swearwords in the 18th and 19th centuries. There is ample evidence of their use, from multiple sources, because they were employed frequently (remember Shaw’s contention that bloody is “in common use as an expletive by four-fifths of the British nation”) and because they were considered less offensive than many other obscene words. It was possible to print the two, even if they had to be disguised as b——y and b-gg-r, where f——k would have been impermissible. But there is tantalizing, if sparse, evidence that our other modern swearwords were making the same transition at the same time, becoming not just obscene words but swearwords, used where one once would have used an oath. By the 1860s, swearing probably sounded much as it does today, with obscene words doing much of the work of swearing, and with religious words — damn it, Jesus, oh God — employed frequently but to less effect.

The evidence for the most part comes from records of court proceedings, where people’s spoken language was recorded verbatim from pornographic books, where obscene language went hand in hand with obscene doings or from dictionaries whose editors were brave enough to include bad words. Let’s take fuck, for example. Around 1790, a Virginia judge named George Tucker wrote a poem in which a father argues with his son the scholar, “‘G—d— your books!’ the testy father said, / ‘I’d not give ——— for all you’ve read.’” According to Jesse Sheidlower and Geoffrey Hughes, the third ——— is replacing “a fuck,” producing the first recorded example of the modern teenage mantra, “I don’t give a fuck.” This poem didn’t see the light of day until a scholarly edition of Tucker’s work in 1977. Tucker’s great-granddaughter published some of his poems in 1895, but she somehow didn’t see her way to including this one. By 1879, the evidence is less equivocal. A character in the mock Christmas pantomime "Harlequin Prince Cherrytop and the Good Fairy Fairfuck" (1879) declares, “For all your threats I don’t care a fuck. / I’ll never leave my princely darling duck.” (The panto relates the story of Prince Cherrytop, who has become enslaved by the Demon of Masturbation. The Good Fairy Fairfuck helps him conquer his addiction to self-abuse, so he can embrace the joys of holy matrimony with his betrothed, the Princess Shovituppa. It was written by an eminent journalist for the Daily Telegraph, whose work had also been published by Dickens and Thackeray.)

In 1866, a man swore in an affidavit that one Mr. Baker had told him he “would be fucked out of his money by Mr. Brown.” The notary who recorded the testimony editorializes, “Before putting down the word as used by the witness, I requested him to reflect upon the language he attributed to Mr. Baker, and not to impute to him an outrage upon all that was decent.” Luckily for us, the witness insisted he copy it down, outrage or no, and so we have the first recorded use of fuck meaning “cheat, victimize, betray.” In 1836 Mary Hamilton was charged with using “obscene language” in the street — she followed a group of other women, called them “bloody whores,” and “[told] them to go and f . k themselves.” An 1857 abolitionist work relates the story of a slaveholding doctor who whipped one of his slaves on Sunday. The woman “writhed under each stroke, and cried, ‘O Lord O Lord!’” The doctor “gazed on the Woman with astonishment” and said “Hush you ******* b h, will you take the name of the Lord in vain on the Sabbath day?” (“******* b h” = “fucking bitch”). Again we have circumstance to thank for the preservation of this insult. The authors of the antislavery tract were invested in making slaveholders appear as foul and morally bankrupt as they could, and one easy way to signal that was with obscene language. And though they provide no examples in their slang dictionary, Farmer and Henley describe both the adjective and adverb forms of fucking as “common.” The adjective, they note, is “a qualification of extreme contumely” (“fucking bitch” is a pretty good example of that), while the adverb (“I am fucking furious!”) is “intensitive and expletive a more violent form of bloody.” If fucking was “common” in 1893, when the volume containing F was published, it was probably in pretty wide use for some years before that, as the 1857 example implies.

So by the mid- to late 19th century, we have many forms of fuck being used just as they are today — “he fucked me over,” “go fuck yourself,” “you fucking bitch,” “I don’t give a fuck,” et cetera. What about our other swearwords? Shit was apparently used in modern ways back then too. In an investigation of voting fraud from 1882, one man was recorded as telling another, “Shit, that’t nothen [that ain’t nothing] get your father to swear that you are twenty-one.” This is shit as an interjection, just as we use it today: “Shit, I got a parking ticket.” And we’ve already seen the "West Somerset Word-Book of 1886" record shit as a “term of contempt,” which, it notes, is “very com. [common].”

The same dictionary includes a definition for nackle-ass, an adjective meaning “poor, mean, inferior, paltry: applied as a term of contempt to both persons and things indifferently,” as in “Why do you not buy yourself a knife worth something (and) not keep about such a [nackle-ass] thing as that?” or “A plat-vooted [flat-footed], nackle-ass old son of a bitch!” While nackle-ass in particular doesn’t seem to have made much of an impression beyond West Somerset, it is strikingly reminiscent of our own modern and widespread -ass constructions — big-ass, bad-ass, dumb-ass, and so on. It is different, too, from the Renaissance construction burnt-arsed, as in “burnt-arsed whore.” This was a literal use — it meant “infected with venereal disease.”

One final example will have to suffice: in 1894, a New York man murdered an acquaintance partly because the acquaintance wouldn’t stop calling him “cock-sucker.” It’s not clear who started the bad blood originally, but the deceased escalated things by ordering drinks for a group of men but excluding his murderer with the words “Treat them five and leave that cock-sucker out.” He then smacked the defendant on the nose and called him “cock-sucker” several more times. When at one point the defendant didn’t have enough money to pay for another drink, the deceased also butted in with “Let him stick it up his ass.” Eventually the defendant left the bar, came back with the gun, and shot the man who had repeatedly called him “cock-sucker.”

These examples sound practically contemporary. The words in question, fuck, shit, ass, and cocksucker, were chosen for their emotive charge, not to denote as directly as possible some part of the body or action. They were employed to shock and offend, or to express the speaker’s emotional state. Most of these are also figurative uses, not literal — nackle-ass has nothing to do with the buttocks, to be “fucked out of your money” has nothing to do with sex. It is possible that cocksucker was meant literally the defendant repeatedly asserted that he was not a cocksucker. It was still an extremely offensive word, however, with a shock value out of proportion to its literal meaning — it led, after all, to murder. Examples of words like these are much scarcer than ones involving bloody and bugger. They are considered to be worse today, and were probably more offensive in the past as well (“an outrage upon all that was decent,” as the notary put it in 1866). Whether or not they were used less frequently in life — and they probably were not, given that fucking and shit were both described as “common” by their dictionary editors — they made it into print far less often. An essayist for the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1891 echoes the lexicographers’ insistence that these words were common, opining that “the ‘bad language’ of the present day must be characterized as obscene rather than profane.” The flexibility of bugger reveals that the contemporary grammar of obscenity existed in the early 19th century the ubiquity of bloody shows that 19th century people used bad words with abandon. Coupled with the tantalizing but few Victorian examples of obscenities that have come down to us, it seems safe to say that by the 1860s, and perhaps even earlier, people in America and Britain were swearing much as they do today.

Another, related question is when obscene words started to be identified as “swearing,” along with oaths. Many works of the period that address swearing refer to “profane swearing and obscene language,” as if these are still considered to be separate but related kinds of speech. The entry on swearing in "Chambers’s Encyclopedia" of 1892, however, notes that “by oaths are loosely understood many terms and phrases of a gross and obscene character, as well as those words the use of which implies profanity proper.” And the Boston magazine Liberty identified both obscenity and profanity as types of swearing in 1887: “We say that it is no worse to swear by the realities of nature as exemplified in the human body than to swear by a holy ghost. One is obscenity the other profanity.” Certainly by the early 20th century, we achieve our confused state in which “profanity” — originally a religious concept indicating the opposite of sacred — refers almost exclusively to obscene words, and “swearing” includes both oaths and obscenities.

Gamahuche, Godemiche and the Huffle

Though Victorian people were swearing in much the same way that we do today, not all the bad words of the time are as familiar as fucking bitch. Many of these words rich and strange are not swearwords per se but terms for topics so esoterically taboo that they would never have come up in polite conversation. In his 1785 "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," Francis Grose includes to huffle, which is “a piece of bestiality too filthy for explanation.” (The 1788 and 1823 editions decide that discretion is the better part of valor and fail to mention the bestial practice at all.) Grose also lists “to bagpipe, a lascivious practice too indecent for explanation.” Even Farmer and Henley, brave champions of obscenity who boldly explained fucking, refuse to define to bagpipe in their dictionary — they simply repeat Grose’s definition manqué. One hopes for something really spectacular from these words, but they are simply the Victorian version of blow job, slang for fellatio, a practice evidently much more shocking one or two centuries ago. Another popular Victorian word for this lascivity was gamahuche. It derives from French, so it probably was a euphemism used in order to lift the tone of huffle and bagpipe out of the gutter. It more properly means “mouth on genitals,” as it can be used for both fellatio and cunnilingus.

Larking is another “lascivious practice that will not bear explanation,” according to Grose in 1785. (It also disappears from later editions of his dictionary.) It is a bit harder to figure out to what larking refers. Farmer and Henley go with fellatio again, but Gordon Williams argues persuasively that larking is having sex with the man’s penis between the woman’s breasts. In an 1800 engraving called “The Larking Cull,” the man is shown in just this position.

A practice considered less horrifying, in that it gets a real definition, is to tip the velvet. In the 18th century, this apparently meant “French-kiss” — Grose describes it as “tongueing a woman,” or “to put one’s tongue into a woman’s mouth.” A hundred years later, Farmer and Henley are defining it as cunnilingus. It is possible that the meaning changed in the intervening years, or that it was already ambiguous in the 18th century — “tongueing a woman” could refer equally to either action. Such kissing does seem to have been considered deviant "Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies," a guide to London prostitutes published annually between 1757 and 1795, mentions how “a velvet salute of this kind” from Miss H— lsb—ry “had nearly disgusted Lord L——.” For two guineas they worked it out, however: “he found that her tongue was attuned to more airs than one.” (Covent Garden was a well-known center of prostitution. According to Grose, covent garden ague was venereal disease, a covent garden abbess was a bawd, and a covent garden nun was a prostitute.)

Other wonderful words that may be unfamiliar to you include godemiche, another French import, meaning “dildo.” A dildo, Grose helpfully explains, is “an implement resembling the virile member, for which it is said to be substituted, by nuns, boarding school misses, and others obliged to celibacy, or fearful of pregnancy. Dildoes are made of wax, horn, leather, and diverse other substances, and if fame does not lie more than usually, are to be had at many of our great toy shops and nick nackatories.” Grose is wonderfully able to describe what a dildo is while denying any firsthand knowledge of them. Lobcock is “a large relaxed penis, also a dull inanimate fellow.” A rantallion is “one whose scrotum is so relaxed as to be longer than his penis, i.e. whose shot pouch is longer than the barrel of his piece.” Fartleberries are “excrement hanging to the hairs about the anus, &c, of a man or woman.” (Here &c, “et cetera,” is back to being slang for the private parts.) And then there is burning shame, “a lighted candle stuck into the parts of a woman, certainly not intended by nature for a candlestick.” Why this lascivious practice bears mention when larking and huffling don’t is not completely clear. Grose defines cunt as “a nasty name for a nasty thing” perhaps he was simply unable to deny himself the pleasure of the pun: burning shame is “terrible shame/shame (cunt) on fire.”

There were many vulgar slang words for the penis and the vagina themselves as well. Pego was popular, as were words that depicted the penis as splitting the woman’s anatomy or plugging a hole: arse-opener, arse-wedge, beard-splitter, chinkstopper, plugtail. It was also Thomas or man Thomas, machine, and tool, which are still in use today. The vagina was the monosyllable (Grose’s default word), quim, or pussy, a woman’s commodity — what a woman has to offer in the free market — or her madge (Madonna’s nickname is more appropriate than we thought). Slang for sexual intercourse included roger (also 18th and 19th century slang for the penis popular in Britain today), screw, and have your greens, the last putting a different spin on a phrase I have shouted at my children for years.

Breasts and bubbies were the standard terms for breasts in the 18th and 19th centuries. Bubbies was pronounced “bubbies,” as in Jewish grandmothers, not “boobies,” as in our own juvenile word for breasts. Harris’s List finds many occasions to describe bubbies and breasts — Mrs. Books, who lodges next to the pawnbroker on Newman Street, for example, “is tolerable well made, with well formed projecting bubbies, that defy the result of any manual pressure, panting and glowing with unfeigned desire, and soon inviting the gratification of the senses.” Betsy Miles, at a cabinetmaker’s in Old Street, Clerkenwell, is “known in this quarter for her immense sized breasts, which she alternately makes use of with the rest of her parts, to indulge those who are particularly fond of a certain amusement” — larking, it sounds like. (She does it all, actually, “backwards and forwards.” “Entrance at the front door” is “tolerably reasonable,” but she gets “nothing less than two pound for the back way.”) Diddeys was another word for the breasts themselves, while bushelbubby was slang for a woman like Betsy Miles, who had large breasts. When the List describes the “two young beautiful tits” of Mrs. Mactney, Great Titchfield Street, however, it is referring to her teenage protégées, not her breasts. Tit came into its modern meaning only in the early twentieth century from the 17th to 19th centuries, it indicated a young girl. (Tit as a variant of teat was used in the early Middle Ages — a 10th century vocabulary defines mamilla [breast] as “tit” and papilla [nipple] as “titt-strycel.”)

Excerpted from "Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing" by Melissa Mohr. Published by Oxford University Press. Note that Oxford University Press USA reserves all rights in the Work and the Excerpt except as explicitly provided herein.


2. Shakespeare married an older woman who was three months pregnant at the time.

In November 1582, 18-year-old William wed Anne Hathaway, a farmer’s daughter eight years his senior. Instead of the customary three times, the couple’s intention to marry was only announced at church once𠅎vidence that the union was hastily arranged because of Anne’s eyebrow-raising condition. Six months after the wedding, the Shakespeares welcomed a daughter, Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith followed in February 1585. Little is known about the relationship between William and Anne, besides that they often lived apart and he only bequeathed her his “second-best bed” in his will.


Tamerlane in WW2. Tamerlane's curse. Mystic coincidences.

Tamerlane was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until 1857.

He triumphed over Golden Horde and Ottoman Empire. He destroyed Baghdad and Delhi. He besieged Moscow but then, for some unknown reason, took it off. The Russian Orthodox Church ascribes this miracle to the icon of Our Lady of Kazan, which, by the way, also came up in WW2.
An estimated 17 million people may have died from Timur's conquests.

The Tomb of Tamerlane

Tamerlane and his descendants were buried in the mausoleum Guri-Amir in Samarkand, the capital of the Timur Empire. The epitaph on the Timur's gravestone warns against disturbing the spirit of the great conqueror. It prophesies that " the greatest war will happen if the grave of Timur is open ".

In 16th century the Shaybanids took power and moved the capital to Bukhara and Samarkand went into decline. After an assault by Persians, the city was abandoned in the 18th century. And the tomb of Timur was forgotten.

Guri-Amir in the beginning of XX century

Guri-Amir was reconstructed in the Soviet era (photo from my camera made in 2008 )

Probably due to Tamerlane's decision to leave Moscow in peace, he was praised by Stalin as a leader of the Resistance to the yoke of Mongols and the conqueror of the Golden Horde.

Gerasimov (2 September 1907 &#8211 21 July 1970) was an anthropologist who developed the first technique of forensic sculpture based on findings of anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, and forensic science. He studied the skulls and meticulously reconstructed the faces of more than 200 people, including Yaroslav the Wise, Ivan the Terrible, Friedrich Schiller, Rudaki and, most famously, Timur (Tamerlane).

Timur's face reconstructed by Gerasimov

In June 1941 Stalin sent Gerasimov to Uzbekistan with a team of archaeologists to find and open the tombs of Tamerlane and other members of the Timurid Dynasty. The opening of the family tomb should be documented by a film crew.
There were discussions on the location of the tomb. Some scientists thought that it was in Shahrisabz, home city of Timur. The others believed that it was in Samarkand (Guri-Emir).
The team started its work in Samarkand and found some tombs in the basement of the Guri-Emir.
First they opened the grave that supposedly held the remains of Ulugbek (the grandson of Timur and famous astronomer). The cleaved jugular vertebrae proved that the skeleton belonged to Ulugbek, who was beheaded by the order of his son.
The stone on the Timur's grave was broken. This fact corresponded with one legend. Persian King Nader Shah, who idolized Timur, took his gravestone as a trophy after the capture of Samarkand. After that, misfortunes one by one started haunting Nader Shah, and he was advised to bring the gravestone back. However, during the trip it was broken.
Thus, Gerasimov's team proved that they found the family tomb of Timurids.

1. The opening of the Timur's tomb was carried out early morning in June 22, 1941. It coincided with Hitler's attack against the Soviet Union. In results of the war the USSR lost 26.6 million men and women in total, more than any other country in human history.

2. Timur's remain was returned to the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum under full Islamic burial procedure in November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus successfully in Stalingrad, which was the turning point on the Eastern Front.


The testimonies of Malik Kayumov

Malik Kayumov (1911-2010) was a cameraman in the Gerasimov's team.

1. Due to numerous and unexplainable problems the film group failed to shoot the process.

2. Malik Kayumov and the other member of the team Ayni met three old men that warned them against opening the tomb and showed them the book that prophesied the catastrophe. Ayni insulted the old men and drove them away.

3. Malik Kayumov served in the Red Army as a military cameraman and many times he tried to meet high-ranking officials to tell this story. He managed to meet Zhukov in 1942 and asked to inform Stalin. Soon Timur's remains were reburied in Samarkand.

The rumors
The aircraft transporting the Timur's remains from Moscow back to Samarkand made a big detour and flew over Stalingrad.

There are similar rumors stating that in 1941, when Wehrmacht approached to Moscow, Stalin ordered one pilot to take the icon of "Our Lady of Kazan" (that very icon that protected Moscow from Tamerlane) and fly around Moscow.


The Mysterious Curse On Shakespeare’s Grave That Scientists Carefully Avoid

It was not only the pharaohs who used to “seal” their graves with curses. This practice was also used in the West up until the 18th century and one notable example is the tomb of the most famous bard William Shakespeare.

Located in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon, Warks, the place where he was baptised in 1564 and buried 52 years later, the grave of William Shakespeare is one of the most visited grave sites in the world.

Those visiting the tomb, will notice a sign on the grave that’s believed to be penned by Shakespeare himself. The inscription is in fact, a curse that reads: (the article continues after the ad)

Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.

So many people wonder, why did Shakespeare placed a curse on his grave?

In his book “Archaeologies of English Renaissance Literature” (Get it from Amazon ) author Dr Philip Schwyzer explains that Shakespeare had an unusual obsession with burial and a fear of exhumation. Because during those times it wasn’t unusual for burial sites to exhume bodies in order to make room, Shakespeare, to avoid that happening to his own body, added this statement on his epitaph.

Whatever the case, it seems that the inscription works. Even when the grave was revamped in 2008, architects and workers paid special attention not to move the bones and they actually conserved the gravestone.

The vicar of the Church, Rev Martin Gorick, said to BBC: “We are actually conserving the gravestone, so it should be a blessing rather than a curse.”

The grave was never opened and as it seems, it will remain untouched for years to come.


Strange Stones – Witch Graves, Curses and Hell Hands

Well, that pretty much sums up myself and thousands of other “wonderfully odd” people out there.

Photo ©Amberrose Hammond – A cemetery in Cape Cod

For as long as I have been on this planet, I have been in love with cemeteries. I have a major case of taphophilia. What attracts me to them? The history. All of those people from centuries past with their life stories and secrets buried with them in the ground and the potential to dig them back up — the stories that is, not the bodies. That would be gross.

Looking at old tombstones instills an incredible sense of human history. As a little kid, I would roam cemeteries always looking for the oldest stone. I’d find a good one and think, “Hey! This guy died in 1875! Wow!” That was so old to me. When you live in west Michigan, the 1800’s are about as old as it gets. When I went to New England as a teenager for the first time, the tombstones were actually old with 17th/18th century dates chiseled onto the stones. A few years later, I visited England and Scotland and well, that blew everything out of the water in terms of age.

But it wasn’t just looking for old stones that was fun, it was the stones themselves that held my attention as a kid and still does. Modern funerary monuments are drab, soulless chunks of granite that don’t reflect the same sentimentality old stones have. There’s romance in the old mausoleums, carved angels and mysterious symbols. It’s a forgotten art that will never be revived.

Strange Cemetery Symbols and Stones

Doves, weeping willows, open books, lambs and angels are just a handful of some of the common old symbols found on tombstones. Most of the meanings are pretty obvious but every once in a while a strange one appears such as this one.

The Downward Pointing Hand – “Bad Chauncey, bad!”

Heartland Village Cemetery, Livingston, MI. ©Amberrose Hammond

Chauncey L. Crouse and his brother were instrumental in establishing the town of Hartland, Michigan and there was nothing bad about the guy. The downward pointing hand can actually refer to an unexpected or sudden death but usually represents the “hand of God” coming down from Heaven to bring someone home.

The Witch’s Grave

It was around 1995 when some of my friends mentioned the “witch’s grave” that had a Satanic star carved on it. I wanted to see this so-called “monument of evil” and had someone show me where it was. We walked into our large, local cemetery (Lake Forest in Grand Haven, Michigan) and headed towards the older burials in the back. My friend pointed out a headstone that sure enough, had an upside down pentagram carved on it.
“Well I’ll be damned,” I thought. There really was an upside down pentagram on it.
Creepy.
Now being in 9th grade and unaware of many things, I thought I was looking at the spookiest stone in the cemetery. Why did this person have a Satanic symbol on their tombstone? This was the early 90’s and it wasn’t as simple as just going to the Internet and looking this question up like many would today.
So the “witch’s grave” it stayed.
A year later the mystery was solved. I was taking an anthropology class in high school and one day we all piled into a bus and went to the local cemetery for a tour. Our art teacher was a fellow “taphopile” and described in detail what many of the symbols and statuary meant. He also pointed out the infamous “witch’s grave,” aware about the rumors that had been flying around and told us, “This symbol represents the Order of the Eastern Star.”
Huh? Say that again? Wait…no Satan? No authentic “witch’s grave?”
Bummer.
It was the symbol for the woman’s auxiliary unit of the Freemason’s.
We, l I’ll be damned again.

Order of the Eastern Star symbol

And after all those stories and all that drama surrounding one little tombstone visited by hundreds of ignorant kids. God only knows what kind of strange stuff went on over the years by this poor woman’s grave because of the misinformed masses.

The Ultimate Cursed Tombstone
Yarmouth Ancient Cemetery – Yarmouth, Massachusetts

When Mary C. Dolencie died, she was pretty pissed off. So much so that before her death, she made sure the back of her tombstone read the following:


One prayer to break all curses, cast out demons and protect yourself

You can add to this prayer as inspired by the Holy Spirit and through scripture. Pray it as one prayer or use each section as and when required.

Before, you use this prayer, please read Matthew 12:43-45. After expelling the spirits from yourself, you will have to stop sinning, cut out the things of the world and serve God to prevent them from coming back in.

It’s recommended to pray the protection prayer in step 4 or pray the One Warfare Prayer everyday.

Step 1: Confess sins then renounce pride, rebellion and self-centeredness

Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus, I believe that Jesus died on the cross to take my sins and rose again from the dead. I confess all my sins and repent. Vengeance belongs to you God, not me. I forgive everyone who has hurt me and pray for their souls because they don’t know what they have done to me. In Jesus’ name, I transfer all pain, betrayal, rejection, abuse, trauma, shame, guilt and abandonment to the cross of Jesus Christ. I let go of all anger, resentment, hatred, thoughts of revenge and every malicious thought. Father, as I forgive them, please forgive me. (How to forgive everyone). I know that pride is an abomination to you. I renounce pride, rebellion, disobedience, stubbornness and self-centredness. I humble myself and come to You as a little child and ask for forgiveness and deliverance, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Step 2: Breaking all the curses

In the name of Jesus Christ, I break and loose myself and my family from all curses caused by habits, charms, hexes, spells, jinxes, psychic powers, sorcery, witchcraft, love potions, psychic prayers, violence, trauma, physical bondages, mental bondages, incest, illegitimacy, abandonment, rejection and divination, in the family on the mother and father’s side going all the way back to Adam and Eve.

I break and loose myself and my family from any vows I made from any person or any occult or psychic sources, and any demons coming through the bloodlines. I cancel all invitations made to unclean spirits.

Father, I break and renounce all evil soul ties that I have ever had with (lodges, fraternities, sexual partners, close friends, relatives, engagements, cults, occult objects, dolls, figurines, junk food, cigarettes, drugs, movies, anime, TV shows, computer games, gambling, porn, masturbation, fornication and secular music). I renounce all these ties and declare them destroyed in the name of Jesus.

I renounce, break and loose myself and family from all other religions, especially Roman Catholicism /Hinduism /Islam /Buddhism /Mormonism /Jehovah’s Witness /New Age /Atheism and other religions. I also renounce unbelief, doubt, lies, fear, hatred and anger. I bind and cast out all related spirits.

I renounce, break and loose myself from all demonic subjection to my parents or any human being, living or dead, who has dominated me in any way against the will of God. Thank you for setting me free.

I command satan, to loose all natural resources, land, animals, money, the finances of people who owe us money, and all the things you have stolen from my family that are ours through the blessings of Jesus. Father, please send Your angels to bring these things back to us. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Step 3: Bind the demons and cast out the demons

Through the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil and all my sins are forgiven. The blood of Jesus Christ, cleanses me from all sins. I am justified and made righteous, just as if I had never sinned. I am set apart for God. My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, redeemed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. I belong to Jesus now, body, soul and spirit. His blood protects me against all evil. Satan has no more power over me, no more place inside of me. I renounce all evil spirits completely and declare them to be my enemies. Jesus said: “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils: ….” (Mark 16:17). I am a believer, and in the name of Jesus Christ, I exercise my authority and expel all evil spirits. I command them to leave, according to the Word of God and in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Find a strong believer to pray the next section. If you can’t find one, try praying it yourself (or contact me):

Father in heaven, please send your Holy Spirit to fill us up in the name of Jesus.

I ask for legions upon legions of angels from heaven in the name of Jesus to station around us. Angels of the Lord, at Jesus’ command, attack every unclean spirit in Jesus’ name.

I bind the principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness and all the strong demons in the name of Jesus. I command all demons not to transfer, go exactly where Jesus wants you to go and do not come back. I cancel all demonic assignments on this person.

[Now, speak the following commands below – if they’re not starting to come out within 10 minutes, they probably have legal right]

  • In the name of Jesus, I remit the sins of this person.
  • In the name of Jesus, I separate every foul spirit from this person’s soul in accordance with the word of God in Hebrews 4:12.
  • I cut every foul spirit from this person with the sword of the spirit.
  • Unclean spirits I command you to manifest and come out in the name of Jesus.
  • Demons, I command you to come out of the mouth now and never come back in Jesus name. Go to the pit! (Repeat) Up and out! (Repeat)
  • I send Holy Spirit fire to burn you 1,000 times hotter than hell in the name of Jesus. Fire from head to toe! (Repeat) Hotter! (Repeat)
  • I send Holy Spirit fire all over your body in the mighty name of Jesus. Fire from head to toe! (Repeat) Hotter! (Repeat)
  • I send Holy Spirit fire all over the room, the floor and the ceiling. Fire from head to toe! (Repeat) Hotter! (Repeat)
  • Every evil spirit that hears my voice, I command you to tell the truth in the name of Jesus. Tell us your name in the name of Jesus. How long have you been in there? What have you been doing inside? How many are inside? And do you have a legal right to be there?
  • Every evil spirit that hears my voice, I command you to attack the strongman. Do not stop in the name of Jesus. I order civil war in the name of Jesus. Evil spirits attack each other in the name of Jesus. Destroy your own kingdom.
  • I loose burning judgement and destruction upon you in the name of Jesus.
  • I command you to look at Jesus and do what he tells you to do. Look at Jesus! (Repeat) Do what he tells you to do! (Repeat)
  • I cut all evil spiritual connections to this body and burn it away in the name of Jesus. Burn off now! (Repeat)
  • I torment you demons and give you no rest in the name of Jesus.
  • Father in heaven, send power from the third heaven to destroy these demons in the name of Jesus.
  • I trample on you demons and shatter your being, in the name of Jesus.
  • I come against every unclean spirit by the blood of the lamb. This is a child of God. Their body has been sanctified by the blood of Jesus.
  • I rebuke and cast out every unclean spirit to the pit and command them never to return in the name of Jesus.
  • Warrior angels, hook into the demons and rip them apart. Send the demons to the pit in Jesus name.
  • Warrior angels, flog the demons and choke them out. Send the demons to the pit in Jesus name.

Repeat each command as directed by the Holy Spirit. End the deliverance by giving thanks to God and praising him in the name of Jesus.

Examples of this prayer working: Deliverance Videos (If the prayer doesn’t work for you, there is probably something in your life that gives legal right for the spirits to remain or you haven’t fully surrendered to Jesus).

Step 4: Protection prayers for you who are the body of Christ

Dear Father, please make me a humble servant of people like Jesus Christ. I will push myself down, so that you God can lift me up. Remove my human understanding and wisdom and fill me with your wisdom and understanding. I’m a worm before you, Lord. In accordance with your word, my righteousness is as filthy rags. I can’t do good without you. Please have mercy upon me and help me change day by day to become more like Jesus Christ.

I ask that you please send your ministering spirits to protect your people and all people and animals that would be sacrificed or cursed by occult practices.

In the name of Jesus, I loose legions upon legions of angels to warfare, restore souls, protect believers, stop us from believing and agreeing with lies and release breakthrough upon myself, my family, friends and the world in the name of Jesus.

I loose the Holy Spirit who is the spirit of understanding and wisdom, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of God, and the spirit of adoption upon myself, family and the world. I invite your Holy Spirit who is the spirit of power, of love, and of sound mind against the spirit of fear.

Father, please pour out your Holy Spirit to convict the world of sins and to soften hearts to see truth. Above all, I pray for your will, Father, to be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Now GET WATER BAPTISED BY FULL IMMERSION (if you have a bathtub I’ll baptise you). If you need help with scripture or if you can’t get the demons out yourself, connect with me.

Trust in God

Keep doing self-deliverance by praying everyday and submitting your will to God. This may take weeks or even months. Keep going. Deliverance comes when you are desperate and have faith. If you don’t have faith, read the word of God (see Romans 10:17) and watch deliverance videos.

After deliverance, the spirits will hit you with LIES and then FEAR. Example of lies: “You blasphemed God/Holy Spirit/Jesus” or “You just had an evil/lustful thought.” Then they follow it up with fear: “You’re going to hell.” or “God will never forgive you.”

In Jesus name, I rebuke you lying, hypocritical spirits. That thought didn’t come from me. It came from you. Depart from me in Jesus name.

In Jesus name, fear is not from God. I rebuke you fear and come against you with the spirit of love, and of power and of sound mind in the mighty name of Jesus.

To overcome lies and fear, you will need to learn how to stand on the word of God . You will need to keep your mind on God and trust in the word of God to protect you. If you let doubt enter, your peace will be destroyed. Perfect peace comes from thinking about God all the time, trusting him, remembering what Jesus did for you, understanding that you are forgiven when you confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and thanking God for his mercy and grace.

Isaiah 26:3 King James Version (KJV)

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Think of all the good things only:

Philippians 4:8 King James Version (KJV)

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Keep the demons out

Read the bible and do the word of God properly. Start from Matthew and read to Revelation first. Then read the old testament. Why? Because we are commanded to and satan is a biblical scholar and expert legal prosecutor. Watch the video below:

Matthew 4:4 King James Version (KJV)

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God .

Watch these too:

Deliverance video

Also, play the below deliverance video whenever you can to torment and drive out the demons inside you:

Fellowship with real believers:

If this prayer has set you free from spiritual oppression

Find me on Skype by clicking this link (install Skype first) or contact me on Facebook to share your testimony with me about how Jesus rescued you, so you can give glory to Jesus for what he has done for you.

Matthew 10:32-33 King James Version (KJV)

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Cursed objects and sources of occult power

Sex: fornication (sex outside of marriage), pornography, lustful thoughts, masturbation, molestation, incest.

Strong emotions: hate, anger, greed, rebelliousness, fear, envy, stubbornness, insecurity.

Martial Arts of all kinds: karate, tae kwon do, kung fu, boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts – studying it, doing it or watching it.

“Luck” or “wish”: Using these words, or good luck charms, horseshoes, wishing on a star, four leaf clover, rabbit’s foot, blowing out birthday candles and making a wish, breaking a “wishbone,” (the word luck comes from the word Lucifer — Satan) and gambling.

Physical health related: Biorhythm and feedback, reiki, acupuncture, acupressure and yoga.

Witchcraft: dreamcatchers, tattoos, animal sacrifice, crystal ball, phrenology (fortune-telling by bumps on the head), irisology (fortune-telling by iris of eyes), foot reflexology, palm reading, incense burning, horoscope, book of Hafez, signs of the Zodiac, birthstones, astrology, voodoo, all kinds of magic, astral projection, ventriloquism, levitation, table tipping and water witching (dowsing or divining, also used to find other things), psychometry (divination by objects), Eckankar, out-of-body travel, séances, spirit guides or counselors, Edgar Cayce, Jean Dixon, Derren Brown, mind control, Transcendental Meditation and tea leaf reading. Please get rid of all crystals, incense, altars, rosaries and related items.

Games: Ouija board, Charlie Charlie Pencil Game, Dungeons & Dragons (used for advance training of witches), Tarot cards, Yugioh cards, Magic the Gathering cards, Extra Sensory Perception, hypnosis, metaphysics and automatic handwriting analysis, role playing computer games.

Religion: reincarnation, false religions, spiritualism, spiritism, ancestral worship, false cults, freemasonry, fraternities, Kabala, Eastern religion, hinduism, taoism, confucianism, krishna, zen, jehovah’s witness, Rosicrucian, bahai, scientology, Christian Science, islam, black muslim, mooneys. Please get rid of all related related paraphernalia especially pictures and statutes of Jesus, Mary, saints, angels, demons, skulls and idols.

Drugs: illegal drugs, mind altering drugs, psychoactive drugs, smoking, and excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption.

Entertainment: heavy metal music, hip-hop music, TV, MTV and movies, especially horror movies, Harry Potter, violent shows. Please get rid of CDs, DVDs and videos of these.

Other Essential information

Information that will help you avoid many pitfalls that we experienced after deliverances.

Notes on spiritual warfare

The above prayer works due to this universal law:

Philippians 2:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth

God is already fighting the battle: When you pray, God is already sending angels and spiritual power to rescue you. Do not hope that God will send angels and spiritual power – know that God is already doing it in accordance with this verse:

1 Corinthians 15:57 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

57 and to God — thanks, to Him who is giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ

Spiritual warfare is a process: Healing and deliverance can be immediate but often you won’t immediately see the results of your prayer. Why? Because it takes time for God’s angels and the Holy Spirit to cleanse our bodies from corruption. In the case of Paul rebuking the evil spirit from the possessed woman in Acts 16:16, it took one hour for the spirit to depart. When Jesus healed the ten lepers, the leprosy departed as the lepers went to the Priest.

Demons have the power to resist but they cannot resist God’s angels and power indefinitely. In the case of Daniel, a demon was able to resist God’s angel for 21 days before the archangel Michael intervened to assist:

Daniel 10:13 King James Version (KJV)

13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Faith is not hope: After praying, give thanks to God for already fighting for us. Don’t hope that God will fight for us. This is the difference between faith and hope.

Mark 11:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

This means believe that we have received or will receive what we have prayed for no matter how long it takes. If your prayers haven’t been answered, keep praying.

How long should we keep asking God? Daniel prayed for 21 days. Abraham was 100 years old when he had Isaac. Elizabeth was well advanced in years when she was pregnant with John the Baptist. So, keep praying. Generally, deliverances from evil spirits take a few days or months. Healing may be instant or take a year or more to occur. Other things like asking God for children could be immediate or take years.

Do not ask God for wealth, fame and power. God will never give us things to satisfy the desires of our flesh. Especially, do not ask for a luxury car or a carpark spot unless it is absolutely needed for God’s work, which is to save souls. God is not our genie. If we asked for these things and received them, it wasn’t from God for God would not desire for us to be in the flesh and die:

James 4:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

When you are in Christ, all your prayers will be answered: If we are walking after the Spirit of God, ask whatever we want and it shall be done for us. But remember this, the Spirit of God has but one purpose: to save souls.

John 15:7 King James Version (KJV)

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Fasting greatly increases spiritual power:

Matthew 17:19-21 King James Version (KJV)

19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place and it shall remove and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Note, this implies that Jesus was constantly praying and fasting. It is highly recommended to fast one or two days a week (drink water only). If an old woman of 84 can constantly fast and pray, we can constantly fast and pray:

Luke 2:36-37 King James Version (KJV)

36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity

37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

The importance of prayer: Prayer is super powerful and important.

Ephesians 6:12 King James Version (KJV)

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Create a list of people to pray for and then ask God to do the following daily:


Curses & Fines on Epitaphs - History

ind yourself tempted to say that effin word too often? Modern english is unimaginative when it comes to expletives, contenting itself with a paucity of four-letter equivalents for the range of human distress. This is due in part to television, which favors the quick over the skillful, and likewise to the accelerated requirements of modern life a passing car permits no more than a few syllables and a gesture.

Some television humor runs counter-current thanks to the to-the-letter FCC restriction on certain dirty words. South Park, Drawn Together, (even Beavis & Butthead -- but with a limited vocabulary) create a shocking verbal effect by creating dirty concepts without the use of the dirty words. Still the pace of the delivery dictates a low complexity. Many shows now employ the dirty words and merely bleep out a fragment.

Five hundred years ago, little in life moved more quickly than a trotting horse. With no media to fill the day, there was nothing but space for song and speech. Elizabethans took a delight with language, weaving together terms to form stinging phrases of wit. Shakespeare himself is thought to have invented (or first published) nearly 1,700 words. This was a period prior to the first English Dictionary (published 1604) where you might stitch together "ale" and "louse" to accuse your neighbor of being an "ale-louse" and no one could gainsay your usage.

For the faire worker, this freedom allows you to be not only period-correct, but to avoid the angry eye of parents with children.

The common equivalent of disgust is fie (f-eye). This is not the eff-word you're thinking of, but more akin to "ugh" or "bleh". Fie upon your artless speech! Fie, away sir! The modern eff-word was in usage by 1500, but the learned Elizabethan would employ the common verb swive. Humorous modern effects result from the use of terms such as pig farker (middle low german "ferken"), which means pig farmer and is rather different from a pig swiver. Careful with this unless you're looking for a fight.

aths are an affirmation of truth made upon some object of untarnished purity. Oaths are not taken lightly, to do so forms the basis of swearing -- because one swears an oath (for example, on the Bible in court). The strongest oaths involve swearing by God, for example God's teeth or wounds (Z'wounds). A similar contraction is thought to have turned "By-your-Lady" into the British oath bloody (but in the late 1600s). "By My Trowth" employs the old-english for truth to swear by one's (presumed) honesty (similar to "by my word").

As a faire worker, you can use gentle oaths to spice up your language. Make use of the object most pure to your character for proper effect. As a smith you might swear by your hammer or tongs, a farmer by his plow, a soldier by his sword, a drunkard by his cup. For a humorous effect, employ a double-entendre by swearing against something of dubious virtue: by my gammer's withered leg! Good Elizabethans would not swear by Odin's beard or similar pagan heresy, but that is the right idea.

urses are an expression of desired harm. A pox upon thee! basically wishes death upon the recipient (either via small pox or syphilis (french pox)). As with oaths, a curse is most effective upon an item of pre-eminent worth. "May thy hammer be brittle!" "May thy plow seize!" "May thy cup be as unto a sieve!" "May thy pigs be set upon by ravens and torne asunder leaving only bespecked bone and curdled fat for which the rats upon to feast!" Particularly serious are those things involving livelihood or reproduction. "May thou suffer fallow fields! May thy mares be barren, and thy tongue be leaden!"

Because you are actively wishing someone harm, curses are best used with other actors and not against the public unless the context is so humorous or the curse so unwieldy and ridiculous that no offense could be taken. Be careful. If in doubt, target an object and not a person: "a pox unto those words" rather than "a pox unto thee".

In modern times, curses have mostly fallen from usage with the exception of damn you and the more direct go to hell. Neither of these is appropriate for the observant Elizabethan.

nsults demean the target in some way by calling into question their abilities, worth, or social position. The notion of demeaning changes over time: calling someone a "farmer" in Elizabethan times generally wouldn't be an insult because nearly everyone was a farmer. But an ale-soused apple john (drunken withered old apple) is unambiguously an insult.

To create florid Elizabethan-like insults, use the lists above to stitch together several terms that reflect poorly upon attributes of your victim. As with modern insults, these are most effective if they have a basis in truth or draw an unflattering comparison. Unlike modern insults, brevity is not of foremost concern.


Never-ending curse of Guinness dynasty

T HOSE who witnessed the crash talk of last-minute desperation, of frantic efforts to rein in a bolting horse. In an instant, something had turned the docile animal harnessed to Rose Nugent's Romany caravan into a panicked runaway.

``She was pulling on the reins,'' a driver remembers. ``Her arms were fully extended, trying to control the horse. But I knew the horse would not make the bend.''

Sheelin Rose Nugent, the 31-year-old niece of Guinness heir the Earl of Iveagh, died in a freak accident last autumn when the horse-drawn gypsy caravan she was driving overturned and crushed her. Last week, a British inquest failed to throw significant light on to what remains a baffling episode. At the close of the hearing, a verdict of accidental death had to serve as epitaph for the inexplicable. What had spooked Rose's trusted horse? What went so badly wrong, that an experienced horsewoman could be crushed to death under a caravan so heavy it took seven men to pull it clear of her body?

The death of Rose Nugent, on the afternoon of her mother's birthday, was the latest tragedy in a run of uncommon misfortune. The Guinness dynasty, founded on a £100 inheritance two centuries ago, is worth millions, yet the family's recent history contains as much curse as blessing.

In 1978, Natalya Citowitz, a great-granddaughter of the then Earl of Iveagh's brother, was killed after she fell into a bath while taking heroin. Eight years later, Olivia Channon, great-granddaughter to the earl and the daughter of a Conservative minister, was killed by a drug overdose. There have been other deaths. Four-year-old Peter Guinness died in a car crash. Denys Guinness was killed by drugs. A severely depressed Lady Henrietta Guinness, Rose's aunt, died in 1978 after jumping from an Italian bridge.

It was against this background that news of Rose's death sparked familiar commentary last November. ``A family beset by tragedy,'' suggested one newspaper. It was inevitable reflection on an accident that appeared to be shrouded in mystery.

At 3.40pm on Friday, October 30 last year, Rose, an artist, was driving her Romany caravan on a small country road near her mother's house in Wiltshire. There appears to have been nothing out of the ordinary. She had earlier phoned her mother, Lady Eliza Mays-Smith, to make arrangements for attending the birthday celebrations, and to suggest she might take six young relatives for a ride in the caravan.

Local farmer Roger Denton was driving behind Rose and remembered overtaking her.

``The lady who was driving smiled at me for passing slowly,'' he told the inquest. He described a peaceful rural scene smoke rising from the caravan's chimney, and a dog sitting beside Rose.

Then, something happened that scared the horse, named Big John. The animal picked up speed. The caravan was dangerously close to a corner.

``I realised that if it didn't slow down it would not be able to make the bend it was approaching,'' he said, adding that he believed Rose's frantic efforts to rein in the horse were doomed. ``It would have been almost impossible,'' he said, ``as the caravan would have been trying to outrun the horse as they went down the hill.''

A telephone engineer who witnessed the crash watched the caravan being pulled ``up against a hedgerow and flipped straight over . I saw someone thrown out of the caravan,'' he said.

The coroner's court heard that a post-mortem said Ms Nugent had been crushed to death beneath the wagon. ``The horse slowed down but dragged the caravan along its side for a distance,'' said coroner David Masters. ``There were no other vehicles in the vicinity, no bright lights or loud noises. For whatever reason there was a loss of control which caused the caravan to overturn.''

After the inquest, Lady Mays-Smith and her second husband announced they were going to have the caravan burned.

``Rose was a very experienced rider,'' said her mother. ``It was her hobby and she had ridden all her life. But with the camber of the road and the speed she was travelling she must have just hit the bank and been thrown over.''


Alone

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The surprising origins of your f*cking favorite swear words

Swear words have a strange power over us. It starts when we are young, when they are deliciously taboo. Then, as we age, our dependence on swear words increases to the point where as an adult, we find that the magnitude of our emotions can only be captured by cursing.

Yes, many of us have grown attached to swear words, but only a fraction of us actually know where they came from. What old dead languages do we have to thank for some of the best words of all time?

We looked into this vital question and are here to report back to you what we have found. We leaned heavily on the Online Etymology Dictionary (OED) for information, in addition to various online dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com and the free online Oxford Dictionary. (The internet can teach you things, everyone.)

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE

We have Old English to thank for one of the most commonly used swear words in the United States. Old English words such as scite (dung), scitte (diarrhea) and scitan (to defecate), all rooted in the Proto-Germanic skit-, evolved into Middle English schitte (excrement) and shiten (to defecate). It then evolved some more to the word we know and love today.

According to OED, "shit" has been used to mean an "obnoxious person" since 1508. The dictionary also has a list of common phrases involving "shit" and the approximate year they were first used. Here is some of what they found in their research:

1989: "same shit different day"

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE

To trace the history of this word, you have to break it down into its component parts first. We know where "shit" comes from, so it's time to explore when "bull" first started to take on more meaning beyond the name for male cattle.

Using "bull" to mean a lie or falsehood can be traced back to the Old French word bole, which means "deception, trick, scheming, intrigue" according to the OED. Bole developed into the Middle English "bull," meaning "false talk, fraud," and was used in the 14th century.

America is credited for making "bullshit" into slang, but the word did exist before it became widely used. Most notably, it was part of the title of an unpublished T.S. Eliot poem called "The Triumph of Bullshit."

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE

The origin of "fuck" is one of the hardest to trace, as it was banned from early written work and dictionaries.

Etymologies from various sources all tend to agree that the word probably developed from various Germanic languages. The verb form of the word in German is ficken. In Dutch, fokken means "to breed or beget." Norwegians have the word fukka, which means "to copulate." Swedish also has focka (to strike, to copulate) and fock (penis).

According to OED, "fuck" did not appear in any English language dictionary from 1795 to 1965. The Penguin Dictionary finally made a bold move to include it in 1966 and from there it was added into other dictionaries.

As with "shit," here are some commonly used "fuck" phrases and the approximate date when it began:

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE

According to Slate, the Oxford English Dictionary cites the first known instance of "motherfucker" being used in a 1889 Texas trial where a witness stated that the defendant in the case was called "that God damned mother-f—king, bastardly son-of-a-bitch."

World War II was responsible for bringing the word into popular usage, perhaps most famously captured by Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, which features a character who basically uses it as every other word in conversation.

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE

"Damn" has gone through a long line of evolutions, starting from the Latin words damnum meaning "damage, hurt, harm loss, injury a fine, penalty" and the verb damnare meaning "to adjudge guilty to doom to condemn, blame, reject" (OED).

Old French picked it up as damner, a word with a very similar meaning. It then made its way to Middle English as dampen.

In other "damn" related information, "god-damn" was used in the late 14th century, according to OED. It came from the Old French word godon, which was apparently "a term of reproach applied to the English by the French." Salty.

Additionally, the euphemism "dang" was first used around 1780. It's somehow satisfying to know that "damn" came first in our language.

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE

Is "crap" still considered a swear word in today's day and age? We get the sense that we've been desensitized to it, that doesn't have the same bite as some of the others on this list. But no matter. Swear word or not, let's take a look at where it comes from.

"Crap" has a basis in farming terminology, of all things. It is thought to have roots in Old Dutch (krappen meaning "to cut off, pluck off") and Medieval Latin (crappa meaning "chaff"). "Chaff" is defined as "the husks of corn or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing."

Old French took the Latin word and turned it into crappe. Middle French saw it as crape, a word meaning "siftings" which does have a tangential relation to chaff in that it indicates a separation process. This made its way to Middle English as crappe, which referred to "grain that was trodden underfoot in a barn, chaff."

As a farming term, "crap" tended to point towards the stuff that was unwanted or discarded. It's no surprise that the word has continued to have that definition as time progressed. In the early 15th century, it was used to reference "weeds growing among corn." In the late 15th century, it was "residue from renderings." Using it to mean "rubbish, nonsense" was first recorded in 1898.

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE

"Asshole" is unfortunately not creation Americans can take credit for.

The word is a derivation of "arsehole," which developed from the Middle English arce-hoole. This in turn was evolved from the Old English earsðerl, which is the Latin anus combined with pyrel ("hole"). According to OED, "asshole" came to mean "contemptible person" in the mid-1930s.

Since we're on the topic, "ass" (when it means backside, not the animal) is also a derivation of "arse," and it was first used as nautical slang in 1860.


Watch the video: Εύγε παπά μου, κλάψαμε μαζί σου Ντροπή σας Αρχιερείς και άρχοντες του λαού (September 2022).

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