Pusillanimous Pussy

Near as I can tell, the word pussy is derived from the word pusillanimous. However, I’m no linguist. I’m not even well-educated. But it seems clear that pussy comes from pusillanimous and not the slang term for vagina. For a few reasons.  

I could easily just look it up and find an actual definitive explanation of the origin... but where’s the fun in that? Isn’t it kind of the American way to speculate, predict, and make things up instead of pulling actual verified information from reliable sources? I don’t know. But it’s my way. And I’m an American. That said though, the New Oxford American Dictionary defines pusillanimous as follows: 

“Showing a lack of courage or determination; timid.”  

AKA “you’re a pussy.”  

That knowledge is all you need to realize the origin of the word pussy. So then, how did pussy become a bad word? And how did pussy end up as the go-to slang term for a vagina?  

I would imagine it became a naughty word first. My guess is that from pusillanimous sprang pussy, and from pussy sprang men calling each other pussies, and from men calling each other pussies sprang men shooting, killing, barbarizing each other, and from men shooting, killing, barbarizing each other sprang pussy just kind of becoming a word you didn’t say unless you were looking for trouble. And then came Nancy Reagan or whoever the fuck led the censorship parade. And thus dirty words were born!

How then does pussy end up as the most favored nickname for a woman’s soggy coinpurse? I’ll tell ya. Effeminate men were regarded as pussies. Effeminate men were comparable to women. Women had vaginas. Voila! Words just tend to get bastardized over time - i.e. the word bastard.  

If you want an actual history lesson, you’ve come to the wrong place. I am merely speculating and the only thing I actually looked up was the definition of the word pusillanimous. I don’t care if you think I’m wrong either, because I know I’m right and you can’t convince me otherwise!   

jake chrismanComment