Some coworkers and I were joking around the other day by coming up with the worst possible name you could call a person (outside of racial slurs, and things like “lazy” or “dishonest”). It was universally agreed that c*nt was about as bad as it gets. Adding an adjective added a bit of flair, but the word itself seemed to be about the worst insult you could hurl at someone.
While we agreed on the level of offense we couldn’t figure out what was so bad about the term? Why and how did the word become so offensive? I understand from a feminist perspective that the use of the word as an insult may be offensive, but why is the word itself viewed as something nasty and insulting?
Any ideas or etymology anyone cares to share?
(I apologise for bringing the down of the tone of the board.)