Cuck is a word used by alt-righters to describe anybody weak, specifically a conservative who compromises some of their values to the "liberal agenda". This term, popularized on deeply conservative message boards in election-season 2016, derives from the much older word cuckold, the "husband of an adulteress" and a type of person typically stereotyped as weak, because they couldn't keep a partner. Cuckold has quite the diverse history. In Middle English, it was spelled either as kukewald or cokewold. Both of these alterations come from Old French cucuault, which is a formation off of cocu, the word for "cuckoo" (because the female cuckoo is known for changing mates) and the Germanic suffix -ault, which had pejorative connotations. Cocu is onomatopoeic in origin, as it's meant to be imitative of the actual cry of a cuckoo. -Ault comes from Frankish walda, meaning "authority".
8/27/2018 09:10:31 pm
Interesting etymology. In Italian, *cornuto* [cuckold] has long been used as an insult too.
8/27/2018 11:28:08 pm
Fascinating! Thank you!
6/14/2019 06:47:17 am
Very helpful in my research for the origin in names ending in the suffix ault or eault. Thought to be french but apparently has a deeper origin.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.