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World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Pajudo, Pajuo
Created by John Eipper on 02/06/17 3:16 AM

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Pajudo, Pajuo (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 02/06/17 3:16 am)

Regarding Henry Levin's post on "pajudo," Venezuela is the only place in Latin America where I ever heard the word used, or its variant "pajúo." It has a lot of meanings depending of the context, but definitely it is not used to call one who amuses himself by masturbation, but somebody silly, stupid, or idiotic, or someone who makes fun of people, a liar, a gossiper or tattletale, a boring person or even a coward.

Maybe originally its meaning was to refer to somebody addicted to self-abuse, or maybe it was the belief among young people that excessive masturbation would eventually turn one into an imbecile, a belief spread by Catholic priests to repress it.

I cannot be certain, but the current meaning is that.

A more interesting word similar in less common context is "jalabolas" or "jalamecate," meaning a evident and exaggerated flatterer.

JE comments:  The Urban Dictionary on-line describes "pajúo" as "100% echa [sic] in Venezuela" (100% made in Venezuela), but the Colombians use it, too.  The meaning is in line with Henry Levin's original understanding:  a gossiper, a spewer of flattery, or a clumsy and stupid person.  I will ask around to see if it carries any masturbatory connotations elsewhere in Latin America.  "Pajero" is definitely the preferred term for the latter.

Back to an English question:  What is the origin of the euphemism "self-abuse"?  It must be church-related.  The Online Etymological Dictionary traces the term back to 1728, but gives no details.  Prior to that, it was "self-pollution" (1620s).  "Polución" still has that meaning in Spanish, such as "polución nocturna."


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  • Self-Abuse and Macbeth (David Duggan, USA 02/06/17 12:38 PM)
    From Macbeth, Act 3, scene 4 (when Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost), the concluding lines spoken from Macbeth to Lady Macbeth:

    "Come, we'll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse

    Is the initiate fear that wants hard use:

    We are yet but young in deed."


    I'll leave to others more literarily inclined the question whether the juxtaposition of "self-abuse" and "hard use" in a pre-bedtime conversation between a ball-busting wife and her murderously compliant husband has any sexual connotation.


    JE comments: Sounds racy to me.

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