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Origin of 'cuckold'

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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Origin of 'cuckold'
    Posted: 01-Apr-2012 at 18:47
The word cuckold is applied to a man who has an unfaithful wife, and the cuckolded man is said to grow horns. The word cuckold is meant to relate to the word cuckoo, the female of which lays its eggs in other birds' nests.

Is there an alternative derivation for this word? It is the wife who is behaving like a cuckoo, not the husband, so why is he called a cuckoo? What is the link between cuckoos and horns (surely the husband should grow feathers or wings?). And horns traditonally symbolise virility and strength, so why is the husband said to grow them? - surely it would be more likely to say that he had lost his horns (with the accompanying innuendoes) when he can no longer 'keep' his wife.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2012 at 19:01
The horns were originally antlers because defeated stags are forced to give up their mates to the new alpha male. The cuckold was a failure because of his inability to control his woman
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2012 at 21:23
So the defeated stag would loose his horns? Or are you meaning all the men had horns? But a cuckold is said to grow horns when he didn't previously have them.

Edited by Sidney - 02-Apr-2012 at 21:24
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 02:50
There is a topic about "Skull with Horns"?Maybe  Sidney's cuckold came from there!LOLPrimeval feminist movement results:Man with Horns!
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 03:21
In Bulgaria "growing horns" means that one has been made a fool of - like growing donkey's ears; because a human being with an animal parts on his head is caricature of the human being, mocking of it's nature.

As for the "cuckoo-ol-ed" husband - whoever slept with his wife dropped his "egg" n the "nest" of the husband - just in case he wife gets pregnant and the husband is stuck with raising someone else's kid - what all males, I suppose, are terrifiedLOL.

Needless to say, such thinking only reveals deeply flawed possessive nature of such thinking - only a possessive male can see his wife as a "nest", or as a breeding machine, and possessiveness is injurious to healthy human relationships that are supposed to be based on mutual trust and understanding of teh very complex nature of gender relationship, not on gender roles. But this is another topic.


Edited by Don Quixote - 03-Apr-2012 at 03:29
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 03:36
Till the moment we can reproduce ourselves without need of other sex this story will be funny&serious both together!SmileIt is sure that child has one mother and many fathers!(Majkata e edna,bashti se mnogu!Bulgarian proverb)
P.S.
This has been under legislative of punishment according the law.Personally,I agree  about  sperm  banks  role  and  adoption  of children.I can not agree about "nesting" out of legal nest cause it implicates lot of health's&moral&ancestral issues!Homosexual behavior starts in sharing of sexual partners!But that is another story.


Edited by medenaywe - 03-Apr-2012 at 08:08
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 12:35
Well, in societies where the living standards is relatively low and people depend in inheritance to make it, it's important for the male to know that the kids he lives what he has are his. The above Bulgarian proverb implies, for me at least, that the mother is the one who take care of a child, because one can divorce several men and everyone of those to be for a short time a father of her child; but no woman will take care of the child as the mother does - which, most lamentably, is true.

However, the gender roles are not a good basis for gender-based relationship, and actually many people never get to a real mature human-to-human relationship because they are concentrated on the gender roles - that's why in US there are so many divorces of people after 50 - when the kids are gone, - because they married for gender roles, they stayed together so she can raise the kids and he support her, so with the kids gone there is no reason to be together. This is immature and unsatisfactory base for a marriage, and hence it doesn't last. In fact, cheating is a way to avoid divorce - one tries to compensate for unsatisfactory relationship with a spouse with taking a lover; if people tool care to grow a mature relationship they don't need to compensate through lovers.

As for homosexuality - how possibly can it start from sharing partners? Homosexuality is based on use of alternative sexual techniques, looking at the same sex, which is found more attractive for reasons that cane be physical, psychological, or both. Sharing of partners  is an abnormal sexual preference, based on whatever a person tries to compensate for and with, and most homo-sexual couples are monogamous and don't share partners.

Amy point is - if one has a successful marriage, in other words if a couple grew a mature relationship, based on mutual trust and appreciating of one another as a human being, then cheating and jealousy have to ground to raise, and no need of. Most lamentably, I had seen very precious few relationships like that, most people are hung up of gender roles and end up with unsatisfactory marriage lives, as a result of that.

Children have nothing to do with relationships, but I think it's unreasonable to have kids when one's marriage is not psychologically satisfactory - but many people have kids just to  fill in the void they have in their hearts because their relationships are not working - and such behavior causes even bigger messes.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 19:21
There might also be a link to the pointed caps worn by fools. These originally had phallic connotations predating Christianity
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 19:49
This reminds me of what Jago says about his wife in "Othello" - he calls her "my night cap". So, if someone was to sleep with his wife, this person would quite literally put a "horn" in his "night cap" - then Jago would be ending up with "pointed cap"; this making him a fool, since the fools wore pointed caps, as seen in a deck of cards.

Edited by Don Quixote - 03-Apr-2012 at 19:51
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 19:31
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 20:45
Thanks everyone.

I wonder if the woman who makes her husband a cuckold would be a coquette? Or is that a different derivation entirely?

Still don't see how horns can be humiliating when they symbolise the stag, the ram, the bull and the goat - all animals celebrated for their strength and virility. Ears I could understand as a symbol of foolishness (especially asses ears, and fool's caps have ears) but not horns.

On the other hand Greek mythology has the cuckoo as a symbol of Hera, the wife of Zeus. Zeus seduced Hera disguised as that bird, and was known for his philandering. Two of his better known guises were as the bull that carried off Europa, and the horned god Ammon of Libya.
Moses is depicted in Biblical art as having horns (due to a mistranslation of 'radiant face' = 'horned head') to symbolise his meeting with God. The old Celtic horned god - Cernunos, was revered for his strength and vitality. Maybe its an old pagan hang-on from when a man would give his wife to other men as a sign of his power and was somehow a celebrated position??? I've no idea!!!

Edited by Sidney - 04-Apr-2012 at 20:47
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 21:12
That's right, Alexander of Macedon was potrayed with ram's horns too, as a symbol of his divine origin
http://gwenminor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/alexander-the-great1.jpg
I don't recall wife-exchange as any kind of honor among the Mediterranean cultures though, on the opposite, it was a shameful thing to get one's wife had; otherwise there wouldn't be a Trojan war.

This site proposes 2 possible explanation:
1. That the horns are symbol of unwareness on one's own status of being cheated to
"...Cuckolds and their attendant horns provided a source of humor that was notably widespread during the seventeenth century, especially in plays, and then sharply curtailed afterward. Professor, Claire McEachern argues that horn humor was prevalent because it allowed a ludic response, collective laughter and even enjoyment to the anxieties provoked by the Protestant theology. The cuckolds’ horns, because they represent ignorance of one’s own status, resonate with the uncertainties of soteriology, while other widely disseminated symbolic registers of the horn expand the leverage of the ludic response...."
http://www.cuckoldpassions.com/cuckold-articles/why-cuckolds-have-horns/2009/02/25/

2. That the cheated to husbands are "horny"=unsatisfied, because their wives are spending their energy on satisfying someone else.
In any case, this seems to be a later image, staring it earliest in the early Middle Ages, and then it has nothing to do with antiquity and the symbolic meaning of horns then.




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  Quote benzin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2012 at 10:53
I dont think when the word cackoo was given to that bird they took much care of its the male or the famele wich takes over other birds nests.

the word cackoo is similar to this birds hungarian name : kakkuk
ugrian : kukkuk

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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2012 at 21:17
So that's where the modern slang for promiscuous "horny" came from. A husband deprived of his wife would doubtlessly look for sex elsewhere, resulting in other women committing adultery
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2012 at 01:43
Or man has been used by other men for nesting their seeds.Trick has used in religions where close relatives mating was forbidden for X-men breeding!Big smile
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2012 at 20:22
Although cuckoldry was a predominately-male crime, the cheating wife was by no means safe from the community's criticism. She would be seen as a scold who abused her husband in addition to disrespecting him by seeing other men. To punish such disorderly women, Tudor-era people could resort to shaming-rituals of varying degrees of severity
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2012 at 02:38
Big smileDoes baby sitter comes voluntary at your home Nick?Have been lot of male baby sitters without payment check in History?What does law says about it today?LOLHow did they know woman not carry other
child before She enter new home?Sure check!!!



Edited by medenaywe - 07-Apr-2012 at 02:43
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2012 at 02:58
How was cuckoldry a male crime? The cuckold was victimized by cheating wife, he wasn't doing anything wrong; now, a cheating husband was supposed to be blamed, but of course in most societies only female cheating is frowned upon, the male one is seen as something "cool", in a brilliant show of double standards. However a cheating husband wasn't called "cuckold", which was a shame, actually the shame was on a cheated husband, not no a cheating one.

Hence - it's was an honor to have someone else's wife, but a shame to have yours had... in a display of most subjective and unethical male selfishness, not no use a stringer word. After all, women cheat with males, not with ducks, so if one is cheating on his wife, all he deserve is to be ...cheated on in response.


Edited by Don Quixote - 07-Apr-2012 at 03:00
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2012 at 03:11
Stereotypes are always on Don!Human nature is something else.I knew the man that had married a wife and died few years after.Next year real father of children entered the House of passed cuckold.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2012 at 03:56
Originally posted by medenaywe

Big smileDoes baby sitter comes voluntary at your home Nick?Have been lot of male baby sitters without payment check in History?What does law says about it today?LOLHow did they know woman not carry other
child before She enter new home?Sure check!!!


What does it matter who is the father of whom, and with what the woman came into the new house or didn't? Children are children, they need love and they are not in blame as to who made them. If people think about that, instead of their own selfishness there would be less pain in the world.
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