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Hello my dear students..for some reason I keep getting requests for a certain word show all the requests -- and that word is M*sturbation..
You know... A big date with Rosy Palms, Auditioning the finger puppets, Coming to grips with yourself or Having sex with someone you love?
Yeah, that M*sturbation. It's a funny sounding word, which sounds like there is a Master in the word, hence the reason why it is misspelled so often.
But where did the word M*sturbation come from?
Is it truly a SIN to m*sturbate as Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for the US Senate in Delaware, states?
HotForWords investigates M*sturbation!
Reading Book.. looks up shocked. M*sturbation and stupidity are linked etymologically? I know that M*sturbation makes you blind, but it also makes you stupid?
Must investigate further!
OK.. I'm back and I learned some interesting facts. First being the definition.
M*sturbation, as we know, is the stimulation, usually by hand, of one's genitals for sexual pleasure. But, believe it or not, it also means stimulating someone else's genitals! I did not know that!
The word M*sturbation comes to English from the French M*sturbation which in turn came from the Latin masturbatus which originally came from manstuprare from manus meaning hand where manual comes from and stuprare meaning "defile" related to stupere where stupid comes from!
OK.. so that's the connection to stupidity.. from the defiling part.
So, to sum it up, M*sturbation was the defiling or dishonoring of oneself with the hand, that made its way to English in 1766, from Latin by way of the French. But what was it called before 1766 and why is M*sturbation dishonoring oneself?
To answer both questions, let's look back further in history.
Ancient Egyptians had no problem with M*sturbation in fact they celebrated it. M*sturbation was the process by which the sun god, Atum, created their first Adam and Eve equivalents, Shu and Tefnut and the Egyptions didn't mind showing the process in pictures.
It wasn't until fertility worship occurred and people realized that we needed to procreate as much as possible as the bigger the tribe, the safer the tribe. So sex without procreation was looked down on as being wrong for the betterment of the tribe!
This carried forth into religion where under Jewish law a brother was required to procreate with his brother's widow. In the book of Genesis, one brother Onan of Judah refused and he spilled his seed on the ground. That's how we got the word Onanism, which was what M*sturbation was called... But that usage was actually a mistake, because Onan wasn't m*sturbating.. he was simply practicing a form of birth control that is not the most fool-proof way to avoid getting someone pregnant! Or he might have been suffering from a bout of coitus interruptus!
So.. M*sturbation was originally called Onanism due to a misinterpretation of a story in the book of Genesis.. and the evilness of m*sturbating came about from the fact that it was a lot safer to procreate as much as possible in the old days so that your tribe could be bigger and more powerful and wouldn't get wiped out by other larger tribes! That's where O'Donnell seems to be getting her idea from that M*sturbation is bad.
But, these days the tribe has gotten too big! So big in fact... that I think it's time we revisit the idea that M*sturbation is bad. I say we all say it's good, so that we can get some of this overpopulation under control.
What do you think?
For your homework what are some funny phrases for describing M*sturbation, please write them in the comments below. Oh, and for extra credit, write your congressman or congresswoman and tell them to create a national holiday called M*sturbation Day and let's all celebrate M*sturbation to get the world's population growth under control!