Fabulous 40 .. my next decade begins :-)
I'm not the social networking type and I'm slavishly old fashioned, so I tend to have mostly printed pictures.
Anyway, this is my muse.
I'm a sucker for the indie mommies. We're slowly but surely patching things up so I'm glad.
History of the term
Cuckold derives from the cuckoo bird, alluding to the alleged habit of the female bird in changing its mate frequently and authentic practice of laying its eggs in other nests within its community. The association is common in medieval folklore, literature, and iconography. The original old English was "kukewold". It was borrowed from Old French "cuccault", which was made up of "cuccu" (old French for the cuckoo bird itself) plus the pejorative suffix – "ault", indicating the named person was being taken advantage of as by a cuckoo bird.
In medieval literature, the "kukewold" was almost universally scorned instead of the adulterous wife, they were viewed as worthless due to their physical stature and somehow at fault for the adulterous act. The word was chosen in an attempt to connote scorn.
Usage first appears about 1250 in the satirical and polemical poem "The Owl and the Nightingale" (l. 1544). The term was clearly regarded as embarrassingly direct, as evident in John Lydgate's "Fall of Princes" (ca. 1440).
The female equivalent cuckquean first appears in English literature in 1562, adding a female suffix to the "cuck"; Wittol, which substitutes "wete" (meaning witting or knowing) for the first part of the word, first appears in 1520 and means a man aware of and reconciled to his wife's infidelity (in contrast to a cuckold, who by the original definition had been deceived by his wife).
Modern western culture tends to shun infidelity as something abhorrent to discuss, so the very existence of this word appears awkward to many and hence its use in modern days is very limited.
Medieval literature was much more focused on the subject of infidelity and subsequently the term was one of many coined to bring a vocabulary to the culture of the time.
Metaphor and symbolism
In Western traditions, cuckolds have sometimes been described as "wearing the horns of a cuckold" or just "wearing the horns". This is an allusion to the mating habits of stags, who forfeit their mates when they are defeated by another male. (See the Italian insult cornuto). In French, the term is porter des cornes, which is used by Molière to describe someone whose consort has been unfaithful. Molière's L'École des femmes (1662) is the story of a man who mocks cuckolds and becomes one at the end. In Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (c.1372-77), the Miller's Tale is a story that humorously examines the life of a cuckold. In Chinese usage, an altogether different allusion is used, when the cuckold (or wittol) is said to be "戴绿帽子" (wearing the green hat), which derives from the sumptuary laws used in China from the 13th to the 18th century which required the males in households with prostitutes to wrap their heads in a green scarf (or later a hat).
Cuckold, one of my favorite words ever.
I didn't learn it until college when I saw The Royal Tenenbaums in theaters.
Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray) to Margot Tenenbaum: You've made a cuckold out of me.
by the way, her response is awesome.
raleigh: youve made a cuckold of me
margot: *insincere as can be* so sorry