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Week forty-three: POONTANG (probability 20890), by David Sutton

Philip Larkin begins one of his poems with the lines 'Sexual intercourse began/In ninety sixty-three'. Even by the lax standards of factual compliance that are, alas, endemic to so much poetry, this is an extremely inaccurate statement, since biologists believe that sexual intercourse actually began about one and a half billion years ago. (The point of sex, in case you have ever stopped to wonder, and let's face it, not many of us do, is to create genetic diversity in a population, thus making it more adaptable to changing conditions).

Anyway, there has been plenty of time, both before Mr Larkin and since, for colloquial terms for the sexual act to make their appearance, and one of these is POONTANG. This is American slang, and derives from the French putain, whore. Other terms relating to fornication include the Papuan KOAP, the British NOOKY, ROGER, SWIVE and RUMPO, and the Yiddish SHTUP, but surely the prize for euphony, if not for brevity, must go to the Scots HOUGHMAGANDIE (or HOCHMAGANDY), a word of uncertain origin.

There are, of course, many variations on the straight sexual act, but I will leave you to explore (lexically speaking, of course) the delights of GAMAHUCHE (or GAMARUCHE), FELLATIO, FROTTAGE, ANILINCTUS, TRIBADY (or TRIBADISM) and the rather unsatisfactory sounding OUTERCOURSE.

   













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