New Translation of Ancient Greek Puts Cock Sucking Back Where It Belongs: In the Dictionary

Illustration for article titled New Translation of Ancient Greek Puts Cock Sucking Back Where It Belongs: In the Dictionary
Image: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

A new ancient Greek-to-English dictionary 23 years in the making, the first written since 1889, has done away with Victorian niceties and just said the damn thing.

Advertisement

In 1997, scholar John Chadwick decided to update the Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, composed a century earlier by HG Liddell and Robert Scott, most commonly used in academic settings. However, he and his colleague, Cambridge professor James Diggle, realized the whole thing needed a giant do-over because Victorians just couldn’t admit that humans shit, fuck, and suck cock and have since they un-globbed themselves from the primordial ooze and developed intestines and sex organs. Per the Guardian:

“The new dictionary’s editors “spare no blushes”, Diggle said, when it comes to the words that “brought a blush to Victorian cheeks”. The verb χέζω (chezo), translated by Liddell and Scott as “ease oneself, do one’s need”, is defined in the new dictionary as “to defecate” and translated as “to shit”; βίνέω (bineo) is no longer “inire, coire, of illicit intercourse”, but “fuck”; λαικάζω (laikazo), in the 19th-century dictionary translated as “to wench”, is now defined as “perform fellatio” and translated as ‘suck cocks.’”

The all-new dictionary also cuts down on the original authors’ editorializing with outdated terms:

“While Liddell and Scott defined βλαύτη (blaute) as “a kind of slipper worn by fops”, in the Cambridge Greek Lexicon it is described as “a kind of simple footwear, slipper”; κροκωτός (krokotos) is no longer defined as “a saffron-coloured robe worn by gay women”, but as a ‘saffron gown (worn by women).’”

While Liddell and Scott perhaps believed that they were doing a public good by leaving the most graphic terms to ancient history, if Donna Tartt’s A Secret History taught us anything, it’s that no one gets their perfect blood orgy unless they truly understand all the nuts and bolts of ancient Greek including, probably, the exact correct word for fellatio. Luckily, contemporary scholars understand this and, I’m sure, other uses for as accurate a translation as possible:

“Liddell and Scott could have claimed, in the words of Edward Gibbon, ‘My English is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language,’” Diggle said. “We use contemporary English.”

Advertisement

Unfortunately for other types of blood orgy enthusiasts, this is the last dictionary of dead languages with which Diggle will be blessing us:

“Diggle, however, said he had no plans for further lexicographical ventures. ‘No, no, no, no, no,” he said. “I finished it with an enormous sense of relief and joy – for the last 15 years of it I did nothing else, it really dominated my life.’”

Advertisement

You may soon acquire your copy from Cambridge University Press should you have $84 lying around and a translation kink.

DISCUSSION

Barada_nikto_byotch

has done away with Victorian niceties and just said the damn thing.

I say the same should be done when it comes to ancient art. Took a course in college and thought nothing of its sexually sanitized books...then I ran across something in a bookstore and blam! I felt like I was shorted.

(a temple in India)

That stuff is on ancient temples that tourists visit. What are they gonna do, shield their eyes? Well, they might want to on the one below cause those folks look like they’re getting buck wild. I mean, (possible pegging) ass slappin’ and monkey voyeurism? Who does that?

(sculpture from India)

Not to mention ancient Roman art...

(art from Pompeii)

There’s all kinds of that. Point is, it exists. It always has.