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Uncertain. Various theories include:

  • Proto-Indo-European *gʷḗn (woman), whence it would be cognate with Mycenaean Greek 𐀓𐀙𐀊 (ku-na-ja), Old English cwene, Proto-Slavic *žena, Sanskrit जनि (jani);
  • Proto-Indo-European *kut-nos (cover), cognate with cutis (skin). The metaphor is identical to the one connecting Latin vulva and English hull, albeit from a different IE root.
  • Other theoretic relation is to Latin cuneus (wedge).



cunnus m (genitive cunnī); second declension

  1. woman
    • 40/41 CE, Horatius, Sermones, I, 3:
      nam fuit ante Helenam cunnus taeterrima belli
      causa, sed ignotis perierunt mortibus illi,
      quos venerem incertam rapientis more ferarum
      viribus editior caedebat ut in grege taurus.
  2. (vulgar) cunt, cunny (obscene word for the vulva)
  3. (vulgar) female pudendum, pubic hair


Second declension.

Number Singular Plural
nominative cunnus cunnī
genitive cunnī cunnōrum
dative cunnō cunnīs
accusative cunnum cunnōs
ablative cunnō cunnīs
vocative cunne cunnī


See also[edit]