Reflecting different national usagescunt is described as "an unpleasant or stupid person" in the Compact Oxford English Dictionarywhereas Merriam-Webster states that it is a "usually disparaging and obscene" term for a woman  or an "offensive way to refer to a woman" in the United States. The earliest known use of the word, according to the Oxford English Dictionarywas as part of a placename of a Cunt street, Gropecunt Lanec.
Use of the word as a term of abuse is relatively recent, dating from the late nineteenth century. The term has various derivative senses, including adjective and verb uses.
Feminist writer and English professor Germaine Greer argues that cunt "is one of the few rate my blowjob words in the English language with a genuine power to shock".
Scholars are uncertain of the show of the Proto-Germanic form itself. The etymology of the Proto-Germanic term is disputed.
In Middle Englishcunt appeared with many spellings, such as coyntecunte and queyntewhich did not always reflect the actual pronunciation of the word. The word in its modern meaning is attested in Middle English.
Proverbs of Hendynga manuscript from some time beforeincludes the advice:
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