Sunday, May 29, 2016

polecat time

As the permutations of the word "fuck" wash up on the beaches of plot-thin television dramas, so too do wonderful words diminish and disappear. I guess "wonderful words" just means words I like. One of them is "polecat."

When I was growing up, "polecat" was a pejorative description, at least for slang purposes.
Older American Slang: a scoundrel, usually male; an unlikable or contemptible fellow
"If that polecat comes on my farm to steal my cow I will have my trusty gun and loyal dog a-waitin' fer him"
There were more serious definitions, as the Urban Dictionary points out, but I miss the quietly insulting words like "skunk" or "rat" or "polecat." No need to go overboard with fucking-this and fucking-that as if we were all six years old again. Skunks, rats and polecats were down to earth. They were identifiable. They could, on more than one occasion, deserve a good "thrashing." And further, "polecat" was just a fun word.

Mind you, I like cussing as well, if not better than, the next fellow, but the overuse of any word is a little like the invitation to say "banana" one hundred times fast ... it just runs out of steam and is needlessly demeaned. "Fuck" is a good word ... and yes, I can hear the connections being made between "fuck" and "banana."

But what ever happened to the quiet stamp of disapproval that once surrounded the succulent "polecat?"

1 comment:

  1. I imagine that per capita engagement with skunks have shrunk. But these days most folks know what it is to be fucked by someone or something.