Article published in:Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society
Edited by Richard Trachsler and Baudouin Van den Abeele
[Reinardus 27] 2015
► pp. 33–57
“Ele boute son doi en son con…”
The Question of Anglo-Norman Obscenity*
Across the Middle Ages, Continental French texts satirised the French spoken by Englishmen, with particular comic value attached to their alleged tendency unwittingly to use foutre and other obscene terms. Since the Anglophones’ jargon relies on grotesque parody of attested morpho-syntactical and phonological features of Insular French, this article assesses whether there may also be a lexical kernel of truth underlying the satire by exploring the frequency and context of occurrence of specific items of sexual vocabulary in Anglo-Norman texts, including fabliaux, comic monologues and dialogues, courtly narratives, manières de langage, word-lists and glosses, legal records, and medical writing.
Published online: 24 March 2016