Friday, December 26, 2014

An ad about a piss pot in the New Yorker? WTF!

After I reach home with the latest copy of the New Yorker in my hand, I first flip through the pages for the cartoons hoping there will be some good laughs.  And then I settle into reading the essays.  Even when reading, I scan the margins for ads--over the years, I have bought two gift items from the Museum of Contemporary Art thanks to those ads, and a book.

I chuckled quite a bit when I saw an ad for a piss-pot.  Yep, a pisspot.  Of course, it is not a piece that you would buy and pee into.  It is a collector's item--a chamber pot from decades/centuries ago.  Imagine that!  One not be bothered to step out and take a leak, and instead peed right into a pot that the chambermaid carried out.

After a few chuckles, I forgot all about that.  Until today.

It is not that I have become lazy to walk to the restroom and I want to make use of a pisspot.  Life in the old country is not all that bad ;)  It is just that a blog in my feed has a post about this very ad:

I like that blog because of its intellectual approach to expletives.  The title of the blog makes that clear: Strong Language.  Though I am not a fan of expletives, I occasionally use shit and fuck when no other word would convey that meaning.  But, Strong Language is not merely about throwing expletives into sentences.  No sir.  It is way more than that.

The "piss" in the ad is what the intellectual analysis is about:
Piss is a pretty old word in English: late 13th century, from similar words in French and Latin, according to the OED
Would you have guessed that the word is that old?  Doesn't it make you wonder how old shit and fuck are?  For now we have to stay with piss:
Some piss- compounds are almost as old as the original word. Pisspot goes back to the mid-15th century; piss-burnt (discolored by urine, which was often used in tanning and dyeing) dates to the mid-16th century; piss-prophet (one who diagnosed diseases through examination of urine) and piss-house (a privy) appeared in the 17th century; piss-proud (having or designating an erection due to a full bladder) is from the late 18th century.
We men are familiar with the full-bladder salute; but, I wonder how many of us knew about piss-proud prior to this blog-post! ;)

You are probably thinking, "I don't give a shit!"  Tell you what; in that case, you need to read this post ;)

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