The adjective impudent (meaning "impertinent") and the noun pudendum are related. Through Middle French, the former comes from Latin impudens, which was formed from the prefix in-, meaning "not", and the verb pudere, meaning "to be ashamed". A pudendum, meanwhile, literally translates as a "thing to be ashamed of". This kind of curious split isn't exclusive to English: numerous languages have shaped pudere into words meaning everything from "modesty" (Italian pudore) and "prudish" (French pudibond) to slang words for "to have sex" (Austrian German pudern) and "penis" (Spanish pudendo, though archaic). Because of how the word could be interpreted as both "shame" and "thing to be ashamed of", it evolved in very different ways. Finally, pudere comes from the Proto-Indo-European root paw, meaning "to strike".
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.