Monday, November 10, 2008

We Don't Make Sense to Ourselves Either

[Conversation with Tpiglette, over a pre-rehearsal dinner from KFC.]

Lara: *BURP!* Whoa, sorry, that just sort of jumped out there...

Tpiglette: That's okay. I'm the kind of friend you can talk to when your butt itches, remember?

Lara: Hahaha, yeah, that's right. Is it 'butt-naked' or 'buck-naked'? These are the kinds of questions I come to you for.

Tpiglette: Hahaha.


Wait, which is it?

Lara: ... I don't know, actually. These are the questions I come to YOU for!

Both dissolve into giggles.

Lara: I think you just wrote my blog post for tonight.


I was going to add some background info to make that conversation make a little more sense, but I decided not to. However, I put it to you all, my wonderful readers:

Buck naked?
Butt naked?


Mrs. Chili said...

I say "buck-naked," but I could make a case for "butt-naked," too.

Lisa said...

Ha ha ha! I have a friend JUST like this. If anyone else ever listened in to our conversations....
I say both actually. I think both exist and work and are used often.

Juka said...

I think "buck-naked" was the original, but it's long since been corrupted to "butt-naked."

If you are lucky enough, maybe Steven Ngai will post with a full etymology of the word, and we'll all groan about how every conversation with Tmony devolves into linguistics.

Ashley // Our Little Apartment said...

I'd say butt-naked.

Or maybe buck-naked.

I like butt-naked better.

I never really say either, though. I prefer: plain ol' naked.

Tandava said...

"Buck." It includes more than just your butt.

And I remember that card too. That was a good one. :-)

Natalie said...

I'm with Justin. Pretty sure buck naked was the original, and by now "butt naked" has a long enough pedigree that it can be considered English slang as well.

Issa said...

In my house it's buck naked or butt nekkid. Whichever you prefer.

BetteJo said...

I am kinda thinking it's an age thing. It used to be buck naked all the way but over time butt naked has become acceptable too. And I agree with juka about it being corrupted. I imagine someone misheard it a few times and off it went to butt. I mean - it's a logical guess if you didn't hear it right.

Wow. Never knew I had so much to say about naked stuff.

Wolf Lover Girl said...

I'm going with both. I've heard and probably used both.

Kind of reminds me of a conversation with my bf one time. She needed to use a tampon and I gave her one of mine. After she took care of business she was asking me the brand and everything - we sounded like a freakin' tampon commercial.

~ Wolf Lover Girl

MB said...


Kennethwongsf said...

It's a topic that linguists and grammarians have wrestled over for years, but all in vain, I'm afraid.

The dictionaries don't help either. Some side with "buck naked," claiming "butt naked" is a corruption of the original. Others suggest "butt naked" is the earlier form, changed to "buck naked" because some folks were too delicate to say the word "butt" (probably the same crowd that popularized "darn" as a substitute for "damn").

At the present, I'd say most sensible editors will accept both forms as legitimate.

I don't see why we should butt heads over this ;-)