A notable use is from the "Miller's Tale": "Pryvely he caught her by the queynte." The Wife of Bath also uses this term, "For certeyn, olde dotard, by your leave/You shall have queynte right enough at eve ... However, in Chaucer's usage there seems to be an overlap between the words "cunt" and "quaint" (possibly derived from the Latin for "known")."Quaint" was probably pronounced in Middle English in much the same way as "cunt".

"Coney", which also rhymes with "honey", is an old-fashioned term for a rabbit.

The word "cunty" is also known, although used rarely: a line from Hanif Kureishi's My Beautiful Laundrette is the definition of England by a Pakistani immigrant as "eating hot buttered toast with cunty fingers," suggestive of hypocrisy and a hidden sordidness or immorality behind the country's quaint façade. Samuel Beckett was an associate of Joyce, and in his Malone Dies (1956), he writes: "His young wife had abandoned all hope of bringing him to heel, by means of her cunt, that trump card of young wives." In 1998, Inga Muscio published Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.

In Act III, Scene 2, of Hamlet, as the castle's residents are settling in to watch the play-within-the-play, Hamlet asks his girlfriend Ophelia, "Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

" Ophelia replies, "No, my lord." Hamlet, feigning shock, says, "Do you think I meant country matters?

It is sometimes unclear whether the two words were thought of as distinct from one another.

Elsewhere in Chaucer's work the word queynte seems to be used with meaning comparable to the modern "quaint" (curious or old-fashioned, but nevertheless appealing).

Cunt has been attested in its anatomical meaning since at least the 13th century.

While Francis Grose's 1785 A Classical Dictionary of The Vulgar Tongue listed the word as "C**T: a nasty name for a nasty thing", it did not appear in any major English dictionary from 1795 to 1961, when it was included in Webster's Third New International Dictionary with the comment "usu. Its first appearance in the Oxford English Dictionary was in 1972, which cites the word as having been in use since 1230 in what was supposedly a London street name of "Gropecunte Lane".

This was pronounced as [kʌnt] in Devon, and [kʊnt] in the Isle of Man, Gloucestershire and Northumberland.

Possibly related was the word cunny [kʌni], with the same meaning, at Wiltshire.

(Philip Massinger (1583–1640): "A pox upon your Christian cockatrices!