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From Portland to St. Louis, the Occupy protests have been gaining momentum and continue to be front-page news. The protests sent us to the dictionary (where else?) to look up the etymology of the word “occupy.” We found an unexpected obsolete definition. The term occupy formerly meant something very different than its current common meaning. From the early 1500s to the 1800s, occupy was used to refer to sexual relations, as in “to occupy a woman” as defined in the Lexicon Balatronicum in 1811.

When occupy was used in that sense, it was a euphemism, also called a dysphemism. Learn more about the origins of euphemisms here.

In fact, many words in common parlance have shed their sexual implications over time. Sex is simultaneously very taboo and very common, so it’s no wonder that countless words have been used to stand in for carnal knowledge. The most commonly used sexual euphemisms today are sleep with, make loveand the simple do. You’ve probably heard one of the oldest ones, too: to know. Today, the word is often is used in the phrase “to know in a biblical sense.” It comes from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 4 when “the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived…” Throughout the Old Testament the word know is used synonymously with copulate. That’s a pretty dramatic implication for a small and common word.

Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton all used play to imply sex. Shakespeare was a master of unexpected turns of phrase to describe copulation. In Hamlet, Ophelia upbraids Hamlet by telling him “Before you tumbled me, you promis’d me to wed.” The Bard uses numerous word plays to describe sexual relations and bawdy topics. Here are only a few of his saucy synonyms: business, feat, grinding, juggling, possessing and praying. Thomas Wolfe used jazz as a euphemism for sex in his 1929 book Look Homeward, Angel. The stiff political word ratify was used to refer to consummation as early as 1561 and as recently as 1974.

Learn about other tricky words that conceal their true meaning here.

Phrases also have developed to covertly refer to illicit relations, as in to shack up. Though it sounds modern and colloquial, the phrase to knock referring to pregnancy dates back to the early 1600s. John Steinbeck used a variation of the phrase in In Dubious Battle, saying, “Sooner or later some girl’d get knocked higher than a kite.”

We encounter these euphemisms on a daily basis. Rather than make us blush, they should remind us of how supple and versatile our language is.

Parrish goes west, inks one-year deal with San Diego ; Set five Bills punt-return marks

The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY) April 4, 2012 | STAFF; WIRE REPORTS Roscoe Parrish is going all the way to San Diego.

The oft-injured receiver/return specialist who holds five Buffalo Bills for punt returns agreed to a one-year deal with the Chargers on Tuesday.

Parrish, 5-foot-9, 175-pounds, has had trouble staying healthy the last two seasons but is still one of the more feared punt returners in the league.

Parrish’s 12.1 yard average per punt return ranks sixth in NFL history. Among active punt returners, only the Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester (12.9) averages more yards per return. Of his 11 career TDs, Parrish has recorded three of them on punts.

But he’s had issues staying healthy. Last year, he was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury after just two games. During his breakout season in 2010 when he showed he could be a reliable slot receiver, a broken wrist ended his season after just eight games in which he had 33 catches for a career-best 400 yards and two TDs. go to site new nfl uniforms

He is the third receiver and second return specialist signed during the offseason by San Diego — joining Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal.

—– Appeals Thursday NEW YORK — Saints head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt are set to have their NFL appeals heard Thursday regarding the punishment they’ve received for their roles in New Orleans’ bounty system.

Aiello also said former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has since taken a job as defensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams, did not appeal his indefinite suspension.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Payton for all of next season. Loomis was suspended for eight games, Vitt for six, and the Saints were fined $500,000 and docked two second-round draft picks.

The unusually tough penalties stemmed from an NFL probe which concluded that from 2009-11 the Saints offered improper cash bonuses for big hits that either knocked opponents out of games or left them needing help off of the field.

Payton’s suspension — due to start last Sunday — has been on hold pending his appeal, allowing him to get in a few extra days of work as he rushes to create a plan that’s as detailed as possible for the Saints’ 2012 season.

Beyond the punishment for Saints coaches and executives, the NFL still has to determine whether players who were involved in the bounty program will also be disciplined. web site new nfl uniforms

Speaking at a press event Tuesday for new NFL uniforms created by Nike, Goodell said the NFL met with the players’ association representatives on Monday to discuss the league’s investigation of the Saints.

Goodell added that he expected to speak with NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith again as soon as today.

“I hope to be able to make some decisions soon,” Goodell said.

According to the league, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any New Orleans player who sidelined Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during the 2010 NFC championship game. No other players involved have been publicly identified by the NFL.

Saints running back Pierre Thomas, who was modeling his team’s new uniform at the NFL’s fashion show, called possible player suspensions by the league “ridiculous.” —– Fairley arrested MOBILE, Ala. — Authorities say Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley has been arrested in Mobile, Ala. on a charge of possessing marijuana.

Mobile police spokeswoman Ashley Rains says Fairley was arrested Tuesday after citizens called to complain that his Cadillac Escalade was speeding through a lower-middle class neighborhood.

Rains says officers smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and found a small amount in an ashtray. Fairley and a passenger were booked into Mobile’s metro jail facility and released a short time later on $1,000 bail.

Fairley was a standout at Auburn University and the Lions’ first-round draft pick.

The Lions said in a statement they are aware of Fairley’s arrest. The statement says the charges are not consistent with the team’s standards for player behavior and that the team is disappointed.

—– Surgery for Harvin EDINA, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin will have minor shoulder surgery soon to address a nagging injury he played with last season.

Harvin revealed the news via Twitter on Monday night, and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier confirmed it on Tuesday while attending a speaking event for his close friend, former NFL coach Tony Dungy. Frazier declined to specify which shoulder was hurt, but he said Harvin sprained the AC joint during the season.

Harvin felt some pain in recent weeks while weightlifting.

STAFF; WIRE REPORTS

195 Comments

  1. sweet dictionelle -  January 31, 2012 - 1:22 pm

    this makes me think about a song by gotyte-hearts a mess where he says “let me occupy your mind”- maybe this comment is irrevlevant but i love that line

    Reply
  2. On Swearing | Quantum Matrix Scribe -  January 22, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    [...] But, as a parent of a swearing child, what would you do? Even if the parent does not swear in front of the child, there are many other opportunities – around older siblings, or even aunts and uncles, and out in public – for children to learn foul language. On Modern Family, the toddler’s dad cannot stop laughing at the situation. In real life, it is hard to explain to a child what “bad” words are. The child will inevitably ask, Why? And that’s a really hard question. Why are some words “bad” and other words “good”? In some cases we have euphemisms to code otherwise illicit topics. (Learn more about euphemisms here.) [...]

    Reply
  3. Tyree -  December 9, 2011 - 8:49 am

    oh my gosh,
    i did it again so imma let the beat rock!

    Reply
  4. up -  December 5, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    haha tell the protesters!

    Reply
  5. Your_Mom -  November 29, 2011 - 3:38 pm

    Oh now I get it.

    In Hetalia: Axis Powers, France, Spain, and Prussia “occupy vital regions” as a pastime. The funny thing is: The anime teaches world history (with adult humor, I may add) and it goes back to B.C. times. One of the quote from the show is:

    “Prussia has occupied my vital regions,” said by Austria.

    I just now realized that has multiple meanings. lol cool :D

    Reply
  6. Archon -  November 22, 2011 - 9:31 am

    @ dnomyaR

    The source of Mark Twain’s name seems to be a mystery to you if you write it as (mark, second). Check D.com’s meaning for twain, and you’ll find that it means two, not second. When he worked as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, they had a man who checked the depth of the water by throwing a cord with a lead weight off the front of the boat and reading how deep the water was by knots or marks. When the water was only twelve feet, or two fathoms, deep, he would yell up to Clemens, the pilot, that it was, “By the mark, twain.” Two fathoms, not, the second fathom. To be cleaved in twain means cut into two pieces.

    Reply
  7. Archon -  November 22, 2011 - 12:13 am

    @ Archon

    Please proofread. Cain built the city, not Adam!

    Reply
  8. Archon -  November 22, 2011 - 12:08 am

    @ 123456

    Genesis 4 v.15, 16 & 17

    So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.
    Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden
    Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.

    Other people around, available to kill Cain, another country where he could go, to seek political asylum, and Adam built an entire city, for who, if there were only three people in the world? And when Cain returned, he brought with him a wife. Yeah! I think there were other guys around to impregnate Eve. We don’t need to look for the Devil, or a snake.

    Reply
  9. Carlitos -  November 21, 2011 - 9:58 am

    @Clement:

    Thank goodness then, that nothing really has anything to do with this God individual you speak of. Thank goodness that we can now understand where we really came from and don’t have to pretend and fabricate explanations. Thank goodness that we can now choose to treat eachother respectfully because it’s the moral and evolved thing to do as opposed to fearing the wrath of this fictitious puppeteer. Thank goodness that we can see marriage for what it is- an institution that perpetuates the orderly multiplication of our species. Thank goodness, also, that we can have sex with eachother and still treat eachother kindly and respectfully even if we’re not married. Dolphins, cats, dogs, whales and many other species of animals enjoy sex as a pleasurable activity and not just as a means of reproduction. Sex is fun and can be for fun, when it’s done in a healthy and natural way.

    Thank GOD that we were delivered through the dark ages of directionless ignorance into this age of science and reason, so that we can continue our journey in this magnificent universe, with forward vision and compassionate embrace – even without god.

    Reply
  10. Clement -  November 20, 2011 - 11:40 am

    One of the first things God said to Adam and Eve was to be “fruitful and multiply…” (Genesis 1:28). This came in the form of a blessing from God and was before the “fall of man”. Sin by definition is to act contrary to the will of God. If sex were inherently evil God would not have willed for them to “be fruitful and multiply…” Marital sex (sex within marriage that is in accord with the true meaning of marriage) a holy act, and one of the fullest expressions of love. This is the main reason why marriages are accompanied by ceremony and celebration. Non-marital sex (sex outside of marriage or within marriage but not in accord with the true meaning of marriage) is damaging to our nature, causes men and woman to objectify one another, and has always been condemned as a sin. Original sin was some form of actual disobedience on the part of Adam where he sought to exceed the limits of his human freedom and put himself in the place of God. In the book of Genesis the act is depicted as the eating of fruit of a tree from which God expressly forbade him to eat. It has nothing whatever to do with Adam having sex with his wife Eve. Anyone genuinely interested in human sexuality and the meaning of our bodies can study “The Theology of the Body” by Pope John Paul II.

    Reply
  11. Carlitos -  November 20, 2011 - 8:45 am

    Outstanding discussion on an interesting topic. I’m now certain of two things, either because of the matter of subject or because of the posts:

    1>OWS (Occupy Wall Street) is the local movement in NYC, focusing on accountability in and corruption of the American political system as a direct result of the influence of political money and insufficiently regulated capitalism. Elsewhere, it is just the “Occupy Movement”, and commonly focuses on corruption in government be it local, state or federal. In any case, it should be supported as it is a true “grassroots” democratic movement, i.e. not backed or started by organizations with ulterior motives (think Tea Party). It was started simply by people who see things for what they are and have been.

    2>How do literal believers of the bible reconcile the fact that we’re all terribly, terribly inbred?

    Reply
  12. Not troop 1104 -  November 19, 2011 - 7:03 pm

    I agree with the comment about troop 1104 and troop 1111 won the corn wars

    Reply
  13. Average Non-Gutter Guy -  November 19, 2011 - 9:50 am

    Yes, I am back. And full of words for certain commentators.

    @’awesome’: Troop 1104 sucks dick. If you really are from them. Real scouts aren’t Gigantic Assholes.

    @5474: So true. You are a great person.

    @Chris: Read what 5474 has to say. AND STOP MAKING DUMB BIBLICAL ARGUMENTS!!!

    @Smart Cookie: Truth, Truth, and more Truth.

    @

    Reply
  14. ansha -  November 19, 2011 - 3:28 am

    Haters don’t be so LAME.
    Its quite funny to me :P

    Reply
  15. A-18-K -  November 18, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    @ john: It does not come from the Mormons; just because the Mormons have a certain belief doesn’t mean that belief started there. Hey, why does Jesus tell the Pharisees “Ye are of your father, the devil.”? And then the Pharisees say, “We be not born of fornication.” (The serpent coming to Adam’s wife). Hello?

    Reply
  16. eduardo -  November 18, 2011 - 5:07 am

    what an use of euphemisn for no talking about Occuy protests

    Reply
  17. skrt -  November 18, 2011 - 1:57 am

    these blogs amaze me! now, amaze here actually means amaze, nothing else.

    Reply
  18. john -  November 18, 2011 - 12:51 am

    The whole Cain was not Adam’s and possibly Satan’s comes from our lovely neighborhood cultists The Mormoms.

    Reply
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