EdenFantasys Blog

Fresh temptations from inside the garden

Word of the Week: Come/Cum June 25, 2008

Filed under: Word of the Week — Cock Wrangler @ 3:01 PM

I’m really torn on this one. I know people who fully embrace the colloquial term “cum” and use it freely. It’s a slang version of an established term, and that alone is perfectly acceptable by my standards. After all, language has to progress somehow. But, ‘cum’ always catches my eye in text, and something about it continues to bother me. Often, one is the action and one is the fluid- “she came on his chest and left cum on him”- though sources vary as to which is which. I continue notice and question the interchangeable use of these spellings. So, this post will be about the meaning of these two words, and how (I think) it doesn’t make sense to conflate them into one term.

‘Come’ didn’t achieve its current sexual use until the 20th century, and popular use not until the later half of the century. Linguistic roots of this word are all over the board- it’s not an unusual term. More traditionally, ‘come’ signifies an approach or arrival, whether of a person or event. A less-known meaning: growth, or the act of vegetation; as in, there’s a come on the ground, of water or vegetation (from the OED). That’s an interesting definition- it kind of calls up the image of something flooding over a surface, like water, or semen, etc. I can definitely see the development of the term ‘come’- hey, my orgasm is here, I’m coming! Especially in typical sexual contexts where orgasm is the goal…

‘Cum’ is a different story. It is also a word in its own right (outside assimilation into porn/sex culture), used mostly in the context of describing changing/overlapping uses of one item. For example, “bus-cum-greenhouse” (wiktionary’s example) means a bus that was converted into a greenhouse. This relatively common usage of the word ‘cum’ has been overlooked in its adaptation to sex.

My theory is that ‘cum’ is simply a misspelling of the word ‘come’, and as such does not merit acceptance as a slang term for either orgasm, ejaculation, or ejaculate itself. Technically speaking, both come and cum are slang terms, but let’s be smart about our slang.

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6 Responses to “Word of the Week: Come/Cum”

  1. maymay Says:

    I have to both agree and disagree.

    I agree insofar as there are definite nuisances to the use of ‘cum’—I sometimes get put off by it, too, but mostly only in situations where it is used inconsistently. I disagree that using it makes people “not smart” about the way they use their slang. Slang is a dialect that will develop whether we want it to or not, and it can be thought of as a language in its own right. “Cum”‘s use in that langauge as a term for ejaculate is obviously happening, so we might as well be smart enough to begin to define its use rather than rail uselessly against its appearance. Again, the key for me is to be consistent.

    Inconsistency is what is jarring in erotica, not philosophical ideals on language. If the story’s any good, I’m way too horny to care about that sort of thing just then anyway.

  2. Essin' Em Says:

    I really don’t like cum (the word or the actual fluid), mostly because of the visuals it produces that I just don’t seem to get with “come.” There was this one banner at my old job that had semen dripping down a wall, and something about cum, and since then, I just shudder.

    However, after a year of editing things at Eden, I’m willing to accept “cum” as a noun, and “come” as a verb.

    *I’m about to come.
    *He came all over me.
    *His cum was sticky.
    *How do you wash cum out of a mattress?

    I love to use the word cum in its intended sense, but then people always seem to get confused.

  3. cockwrangler Says:

    I think my biggest problem with ‘cum’ is that usage IS largely inconsistent. I see it used as both a noun and a verb regularly (not necessarily within one story, but sometimes that too).

    I agree, maymay, that slang/colloquial dialects are valid language structures… part of what makes that so is that they have their own linguistic rules and internal grammars. I would accept ‘cum’ as a valid term if those who use it would, in fact, give it a clear definition in usage, instead of substituting it randomly for ‘come’.

  4. maymay Says:

    I agree, maymay, that slang/colloquial dialects are valid language structures… part of what makes that so is that they have their own linguistic rules and internal grammars. I would accept ‘cum’ as a valid term if those who use it would, in fact, give it a clear definition in usage, instead of substituting it randomly for ‘come’.

    No argument there, cockwrangler! (Which, I have to say it, I’m sorry, is an awesome handle!)

    Essin’-Em says:

    However, after a year of editing things at Eden, I’m willing to accept “cum” as a noun, and “come” as a verb.

    And I have to agree with her. I like this usage and if I do use ‘cum’, this is how I prefer to use it. Specifically, this is to say that I would say that “coming” is akin to an “orgasm” whereas “cumming” is more akin to “producing ejaculate.” But again, I guess it’s all just about consistency and personal preference. Eventually, a folksonomy will stabilize for this term, as it does most others.

  5. I rather like the word ‘cum’… When I hear sentences such as “I’m definitely coming” or “please don’t come” they’re so very harmless however, if ‘cum’ is typed in place of ‘come’ it completely changes the dynamics and intent of the message.

    I went through and scanned my reviews, in 8 I was able to find the word “cum” describing either orgasm or ejaculation. All my years of having cybersex have certainly rubbed off of me where I’ve allowed “cum” to become synonymous with orgasm.

    In my opinion ‘cum’ makes verbiage sexual, dirty, and offers new life to dull and standard erotica. However, there are instances where people just type ‘cum’ because they’re too lazy or in too much of a rush to type out one more letter. Computer talk is this generation’s language of love, but hey np we r all in a rush n I g2g neway, ttyl.

  6. cockwrangler Says:

    Fair enough. I’m going to make a point to amend my reading of these words, because ‘cum’ does seem to make sense, when used as a noun only.


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