<img src = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/fuckTOP-800×533.jpg" alt = "" Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberry! " Monty Python & # 39; and the Holy Grail& # 39; s family-friendly approach, easy swearing, avoids the F-word. "/>
Enlarge /. "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elder!" Monty Pythons & # 39; and the Holy Grail's family-friendly approach of swearing easily avoids the F-word.
Scotland has a lot to recommend: impressive architecture, beautiful highlands and a long, respected intellectual tradition that has spawned some of the greatest thinkers in the western world for centuries. It is also apparently home to a medieval manuscript that contains the earliest known use of the swear word "F # $%".
Obscenity appears in a poem that was recorded by a bored student in Edinburgh when the plague devastated Europe – something we can all relate to today. The poem receives new attention thanks to its inclusion in an upcoming BBC Scotland documentary that examines the country's long, proud tradition, Scotland – Contains a strong language.
The Bannatyne manuscript takes its name from a young 16th-century Edinburgh merchant named George Bannatyne who put together the roughly 400 poems when he got stuck at home in late 1568 when the plague devastated his city. It is an anthology of Scottish literature, particularly the poetry texts of some of the country's greatest bards (known as Makars) in the 15th and 16th centuries. According to a spokeswoman for the National Library of Scotland (where the manuscript is located), "it has long been known that the manuscript contains some strong swear words that are common in everyday language today, although they were used very often at the time, good-natured joke. "
The five sections of the compilation are devoted to religious topics, moral or philosophical topics, love ballads, fables and allegories as well as comedy, especially satire. The last section is most likely to meet the oaths, especially in the poems by William Dunbar and Walter Kennedy. Both poets appear in the poem in which the infamous F-word appears: "The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie".
Flying is a poetic genre in Scotland – essentially a poetry slam or rap fight, in which participants exchange creative insults with as much verbal pyrotechnics (doubling and tripling rhymes, lots of alliteration) as they can muster. (It's a sure bet that Shakespeare excelled in this art form.)
Dunbar and Kennedy allegedly stood in front of James IV's court around 1500 before a flight from Scotland, and their exchange was set out in Bannatynes manuscript for posterity. In the poem, for example, Dunbar makes fun of Kennedy's Highland dialect and his personal appearance, and suggests that his opponent likes to have sexual intercourse with horses. Kennedy reciprocates by attacking Dunbar's tiny stature and lacking bowel control, suggesting that his rival is inspired by drinking "frog spawn" from the water of a rural pond. You have the idea.
And then comes the historical moment: an insult with the phrase "wan fukkit funling", which marks the earliest known surviving record of the F-word.
As the BBC Scotland documentary notes, the first "F #% $" is of course nothing compared to James Kelman's 1994 novel "What Time Was It How Late". The work is not only remarkable because it won the Booker Prize and is written in a simple Scottish dialect, but also because it uses the F-word over 4,000 times. Bannatyne would be proud of the legacy left by his first "F $ #%".
Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones tries to negotiate with the insulting Frenchman from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in this mashup from Funny or Die.