back to article Judge: You can't call someone a c*nt, but a C∀NT is a cunning stunt

At a time when far-right websites are being denied domain names, debate about the limits of free speech may never have been more fierce. And now an Australian court has weighed in with a decision that it is okay to call the nation's former Prime Minister Tony Abbott a c*nt. In a glorious moment for jurisprudence in Australia, …

  1. Brett Weaver

    As we know..

    The Australians were picked by the finest Judges in the Commonwealth..

    Now we have a fine Judge in Australia..

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: As we know..

      Why are there so many Australians in Britain?

      Because criminals always return to the scene of a crime...

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: As we know..

        Do we have any 'jokes' from the more recent past?

        From the 1800's maybe?

        (or are we forgetting the crims were unwanted Brits?)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As we know..

          "unwanted Brits" AKA the lucky ones

          1. Kernel Silver badge

            Re: As we know..

            ""unwanted Brits" AKA the lucky ones"

            Some years ago I read a book called "The Second Fleet", which was about the women that made up a large portion of the second shipment of convicts.

            They wouldn't have thought so at the time, but looking back at where many of these women came from (think backstreet prostitution and gin by the bucket full in some of England's finest cities) and it's hard to disagree that in retrospect it was the best thing that ever happened to them and their descendants.

            Worth hunting down and reading, if you're interested in the history of early European settlement in Four Ecks.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge


    Tony is a bit of a .......

  3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    The former Minister for Women

    is not totally lacking in qualification for the post

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. frank ly Silver badge

    Missed chance

    I was hoping that you'd get the word 'cant' into the article. Maybe another time.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    What a waste of the courts time, how people can take offense to one particular word more than others is beyond me. If the placard had said vagina or pussy then he probably wouldn't have even been arrested.

  7. magickmark

    Etymology of cunt

    For anyone interested in the etymology and use of the word this is a good starting point:

    1. Oh Homer

      Re: Etymology of cunt

      According to my offline etymology dictionary, the term was actually coined by the eponymously named Cunty McCuntface, a primary school headmaster in rural Scotland, circa 1975.

      Admittedly I actually wrote that dictionary, when I was 8, so I may be somewhat biased (and off by a few centuries).

    2. emess

      Re: Etymology of cunt

      First known reference in English apparently is in a compound, Oxford street name Gropecuntlane cited from c. 1230 (and attested through late 14c.) in "Place-Names of Oxfordshire" (Gelling & Stenton, 1953), presumably a haunt of prostitutes. Used in medical writing c. 1400, but avoided in public speech since 15c.; considered obscene since 17c.


      1. Oh Homer

        Re: Etymology of cunt

        The earliest reference I could find was the Latin cuneus meaning "wedge".

  8. Prosthetic Conscience

    Well looking at his board all I can read is "Malcolm you can't say we can't [..]" so if the judge said that's criminal that'd literally be thought crime?

  9. JJKing Silver badge

    missed it by --><-- that much.

    Tony is a bit of a .......

    No, tony is an ankle which is 3 feet lower than a cunt.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For this case to go forward, shouldn't the prosecution have been required to prove that Tony Abbott is not a cunt?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    He could have argued that the sign meant "People can change Tony you can't"

    And a struck-through V would have been a more accurate reproduction of the original sign

  12. Jtom

    According to Wiki, et al, the word was Anglo-Saxon (though it had origins in other languages, as many words do), and was no more offensive than the word 'vagina', today. When the Normans invaded England, they used language as one more form of oppression of the common people whom they had conquered. The word "vulgar' derives from the Latin word for 'common'. It was - is uncouth to use vulgarisms, i.e., words of the common people.

    Most ALL of the forbidden words (if you remember George Carlin's routine), were Anglo-Saxon common words. They didn't urinate (Norman); they took a p1ss (A-S). They didn't defecate; they took a sh1t. Other Anglo Saxon words are still considered impolite or less sensitive than more proper Narman variants. Which sounds better, "His wife is dead," or, "His wife is deceased?" You can guess which one is derived from the Anglo Saxon language versus Norman.

    After all these centuries, the oppression of Anglo Saxon continues. I think it is past time to end it.

    1. Chozo

      +1 for the George Carlin reference. His hilarious insight into how language has and continues to be changed is both fascinating & disturbing. For those who have never seen this comic legend here he is talking about how 'Shell Shock' became Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  13. madick

    Speak or utter

    In the context of the Summary Offences Act section 4(2), what's the difference between "speaking" and "uttering"? Judge Scotting obviously thinks there is difference, otherwise he wouldn't have specified both.

    Is it even possible to "speak" without "uttering" or to "utter" without "speaking"?

    1. Toni the terrible

      Re: Speak or utter

      Is not Free Speech normally considered to include text? So his "text" is speech and so... I am going for a drinkie

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