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Foul word in childrens books!


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#1 3mummy3

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:55 AM

My dd aged 8 borrowed the Roald Dahl book revolting rhymes from the local library. My 13 yo ds was just flicking through and told me i shouldnt be letting dd read that because there was a foul word in it. It is in the cinderella story, the line is:
The prince cried, 'Who's this dirty s*ut?
Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'.

I know the whole story is a bit gross about chopping peoples heads off etc and it is supposed to be a bit of dark humour but i am seriously shocked that such a word is used in a childrens book. For those that dont know the book, it is a picture book with 'revoltingly funny' rhymes of popular childrens tales like snow white, goldilocks, jack and the beanstock etc.

So would you/have you let your kids read this or should i send it straight back to the library?

#2 WibbleWobble

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:57 AM

I would let her read it and explain that the meaning for s*ut has changed over time and explain what it meant when the book was written.

#3 cinnabubble

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:00 AM

The traditional meaning for s*ut is a slovenly woman. It wasn't sexual.

#4 RobotFerretOfDoom

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:00 AM

What Wibble Wobble said.

To be honest I was expecting something much worse. I remember reading this book as a kid and being completely unfazed by the word.

#5 niggles

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:02 AM

I would encourage her to read it and doscover the richness of the English language. A s*ut is just a word for a poor housekeeper. Would an 8 year old know any other meaning?

#6 bakesgirls

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:13 AM

It wouldn't bother me in the slightest, for the reasons PPs have stated.

#7 RichardParker

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:13 AM

I actually think Roald Dahl was a bit of a misogynist.  I loved his books as a kid but I find something creepy about them as an adult.  

The word 's*ut' wouldn't bother me in that context, once you explain what it meant to the author.  I remember getting a kick out of reading the rude words from the dictionary or the stuff about sex in the bible.  I turned out normal.  Sort of.

#8 Chelli

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

I know the word meant something different back then, but I would've been shocked to read it in a children's book.

#9 StinkerSlinker

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:18 AM

We love revolting rhymes in our house!
It wouldn't worry me - I would just explain it in context, and explain that it is not a very polite word, and I would rather they didn't use it.

#10 Livsh

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

It's Roald Dahl, it had a different meaning and it wouldn't bother me in the slightest.



#11 Madnesscraves

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:22 AM

The more you kick up a fuss about it, the worse the word becomes.

I read so much of Ronald Dahl as a child was was completely unfazed by his writing.

Of course I just recently read James and the Giant Peach to my DD and I wasn't sure that opening to the story was appropriate for a child. How casually and graphically he describe's James' parents death. Sometimes I wonder if we've become a bit too analytical of how a story is written and just don't really 'enjoy' the story as a whole anymore. We seen ti need ti decipher it so far down to physiological meanings. I mean, I enjoyed Twilight for example, but I didn't need someone to write up a report on how a vampire is just another metaphor for ummmm 'imitate relations' (best thing I can think of without using banned words)

#12 cinnabubble

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:26 AM

I think it's interesting that regardless of which meaning you attribute to the word, there is no male equivalent of s*ut.

#13 **Xena**

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 12/12/2012, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's interesting that regardless of which meaning you attribute to the word, there is no male equivalent of s*ut.


I have heard boys and girls being called s*uts. Though it does seem to be used in a more derogatory fashion for women, and more jokingly for men.

#14 76 others

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:30 AM

QUOTE (*Greenbag* @ 12/12/2012, 10:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I actually think Roald Dahl was a bit of a misogynist.  I loved his books as a kid but I find something creepy about them as an adult.  

The word 's*ut' wouldn't bother me in that context, once you explain what it meant to the author.  I remember getting a kick out of reading the rude words from the dictionary or the stuff about sex in the bible.  I turned out normal.  Sort of.

What makes you say he was a misogynist?

#15 livvie7586

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:33 AM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 12/12/2012, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's interesting that regardless of which meaning you attribute to the word, there is no male equivalent of s*ut.


we used to use 'man-whore' to describe a mate who would sleep with anything (using the current meaning of s*ut as the basis)

#16 3mummy3

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:39 AM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 12/12/2012, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's interesting that regardless of which meaning you attribute to the word, there is no male equivalent of s*ut.


According to wikipedia:

Even earlier, Geoffrey Chaucer used the word s*uttish (c.1386) to describe a slovenly man; however, later uses appear almost exclusively associated with women.[5] 

Also on wikipedia:

The modern sense of "a sexually promiscuous woman" dates to at least 1450.[5]

The book was first published in 1984, by which time the modern meaning was well ingrained. So yeah i am still a bit shocked to see it used in a kids book.

Edited by 3mummy3, 12 December 2012 - 09:41 AM.


#17 michie0moo

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

Our teachers read those books to us when I would have been around 9 or 10 I think. Guess that wouldn't go down very well these days. We had "story time" with our teachers right through primary school, so I might have been as old as 12, but other kids in my class would have been 10 or 11 (small school and all composite classes).

#18 natangel

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:46 AM

QUOTE (Gloriosa @ 12/12/2012, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What makes you say he was a misogynist?


Ironically, i get the impression that he didn't like children.  I know he's being satirical and all that, but there is a sadistic under current in many of these stories.

#19 3mummy3

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE (natangel @ 12/12/2012, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ironically, i get the impression that he didn't like children.  I know he's being satirical and all that, but there is a sadistic under current in many of these stories.


In the Jack and the beanstalk story he writes of jack being beaten by his mother with the handle of a vacuum cleaner for half an hour!

#20 StinkerSlinker

Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

I get the impression that Roald Dahl has a lot of faith in the resilience of children, but not much faith in the goodness of adults.

#21 RichardParker

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

QUOTE (Gloriosa @ 12/12/2012, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What makes you say he was a misogynist?

Maybe misogyny is the wrong word.  There's just a lot of anger there - a glee in describing horrible people, horrible little girls and boys and horrible adults.  That's part of what makes the books so enjoyable, probably.  I don't know.  I just reckon he had issues.

#22 76 others

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

Oh definitely dark against children and stories of adults who love to be abusive to children.

#23 BetteBoop

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

He saw kids suffer and die throughout his life, including his own kids. It might have twisted his outlook a little.

But as greenbag said, it's the reason his books are popular. Clearly he's not alone in enjoying the more macabre aspects of humanity.



#24 PurplePaperFrog

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

I disagree on the misogyny. Matilda was one of my favourite books growing up.

I think he just had a knack for writing things that would captivate young kids.

I loved the darkness of his stories.

ETA: Words in books don't bother me. Just explain its context.

Edited by PurplePaperFrog, 12 December 2012 - 10:23 AM.


#25 50ftqueenie

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:20 AM



QUOTE (tess @ 12/12/2012, 10:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I get the impression that Roald Dahl has a lot of faith in the resilience of children, but not much faith in the goodness of adults.


I agree with this, but I'm yet to re-read his books as an adult. It will be interesting to see how I feel about them now.




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