Cojones

From Academic Kids

Cojones Template:IPA2 is a vulgar Spanish word for testicles, corresponding to "balls" or "bollocks".

Use in English

The word has entered popular use in the United States as a slang term meaning to have a brave attitude. It is used in a similar to way to chutzpah. Anglicized/Americanized pronunciations include Template:IPA2 or the less accurate . A very frequent misspelling is cajones, which actually means "drawers", i.e. the item of furniture, in Spanish. Some people also spell it the way they pronounce it, e.g. there are many thousands of Google results for "cahonies" (http://www.google.com/search?lr=&safe=off&q=cahonies), "cahoonas" (http://www.google.com/search?lr=&safe=off&q=cahoonas), etc.

The word entered into wider, international, usage in April 2004 when Bob Woodward revealed in his book Plan of Attack — an account of the build-up to the 2003 Iraq War — that U.S. President George W. Bush had remarked to Alastair Campbell, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman, that "Your man has got cojones". Bush was referring to Blair's continuing support for the invasion of Iraq despite mounting opposition from his domestic political party and Britons at large. The meeting at Camp David in September 2002 at which Blair made his commitment on invasion to Bush, and Bush made his comment to Campbell, was later repeatedly referred to by Bush as "the cojones meeting".

The word was also famously used almost a decade earlier by Madeline Albright, then serving as the USA's ambassador to the United Nations, in the aftermath of the downing of a Hermanos al Rescate light aircraft by Cuban airforce MiG 29s on 24 February 1996. Following the release of a transcript of radio traffic between the fighter pilots in which one exclaimed, ¡Le partimos los cojones! ("We busted his balls!"), Albright offered the following comment: "Frankly, this is not cojones. This is cowardice." Albright later described the vulgarism as "the only Spanish word I know".

Use in Spanish — etymology

Cojón Template:IPA2 (plural: cojones) along with huevos (literally "eggs") is one of the commonest ways of referring to the testicles in Spanish. It contains the augmentative suffix -ón (which implies largeness), and derives from Vulgar Latin coleonem, the accusative form of coleo "testicle", an augmentative form of cōleus (variants: cūleus and culleus), which meant "bag", particularly "leather bag for holding liquids".

The lej or lij pronunciation shift is a common one, as shown by other Latin and Spanish examples such as foliahoja ("leaf", cognate with the English word "foliage").

It can be used as in English to imply virility or courage: tener cojones = "to have balls".

The same word exists in Catalan as colló, very commonly used in the plural (collons) as an exclamation in Valencia. Other cognates include the French couilles, Italian coglioni and Portuguese colhões.

References

Template:Spoken Wikipedia

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