Word Of The Week: ‘Hunty’
Do you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the rapid expansion of the English lexicon? You’re not alone. A lethal combination of celebrity culture and twitter has given rise to a host of new and at times seemingly unintelligible words. As such, we shall be taking an in-depth look at one word each week, exploring its etymology, meaning and significance in pop culture and beyond. It’ll be just like learning your ABCs again. Welcome to Word of the Week.
1. Slang. An expression both affectionate and pejorative directed toward both friend and foe.
Hunty is a sleek, seemingly innocuous word that originated in the drag community. It is an amalgam of the words honey and c*#t. Popularised by ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, it is now a permanent fixture in the ‘Dragtionary’. This is the first time we have had a portmanteau in Word of the Week, and will no doubt be the first of many.
The portmanteau has been around for many years (smoke and fog – smog is an early example). Not only does it endure, it has seen a massive rise in popularity in the 21st Century. There are so many in our current lexicon, they are sometimes hard to spot. Here at WOTW we are we well aware of this and will ensure readers are aware of the slippery portmanteau.
Hunty is no run of the mill portmanteau (I know we are repeating this word, but sadly it has no synonym) – incredibly, the word is a juxtaposition. Perhaps in future we could refer to it as a port-position? As Winnie the Pooh as well as all young lovers will testify, honey can refer to different things. As for c@#t, well, need we go there?
As you might have guessed, hunty is most often used as a cheeky, implicit way to drop the c-bomb.
As we know, the birthplace of hunty is the colourful world of drag. However, as it has made its way into the wider world, we need to ask the question – when is it actually ok to refer to someone as hunty? Do you have to be a prolific swearer for it to be ok, or can we drop it out of the blue? Calling someone a c$%t is a pretty big deal on any given day. Unlike bae or fleek, which are wholly inoffensive, there is a careful line to be trod when using hunty. While we do our best to educate readers on the meaning and history of these words, we aren’t able to prescribe when and where they are employed. We can only suggest that you use hunty with great caution. Good luck.