The Latin Sexual Vocabulary

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The Latin Sexual Vocabulary

LIke other languages, Latin contained certain words its speakers considered obscene as well as a rich stock of sexual euphemism and metaphor. Our sources for this information range from surviving graffiti to literary works with a marked sexual content. Yet despite its manifest literary and linguistic interest, the sexual vocabulary of Latin has remained uninvestigated by scholars.

J. A. Adams's pioneering and unique reference work collects for the first time evidence of Latin obscenities and sexual euphemisms drawn from both literary and nonliterary sources from the early Republic to about he fouth century A.D. Separate chaptes treat each of the sexual pasrts of the body and the terminology used to describe sexual acts. General topics include the influence of Greek language on Latin, changes in the Latin vocabulary over time (including the evolution of sexual words into general terms of abuse), and lexical differences among various literary genres.

Publication Date: 
October 1, 1990