Newspaper publishes inadvertently lulzy Libya headline


67 Responses to “Newspaper publishes inadvertently lulzy Libya headline”

  1. Mike Ketchen says:

    Could be worse, they could have said, “Libya Washes Off Gadhafi’s Taint.”

  2. I think that half the trick to writing a good headline is seeing how much innuendo you can slip by the editors.

  3. I dont get it. English is not my native language.

  4. Mark A says:

    It could be a kid’s cut and paste project.
    “Ferrets Out Gadhafi’s Libya Taint”
    “Gadhafi’s Taint Outs Ferret”

  5. Matthew Elmslie says:

    I wonder just how many Libya ferrets there were.

  6. A.C. Valdez says:

    To be fair, this is the Express, not the WaPo, which is the half-sheet they have dudes trying to foist on you as you enter the Metro.

  7. Thorzdad says:

    Heh. It makes one wonder if the text isn’t set via speech recognition. Around my neck of the woods, that’s exactly how people pronounce tent.

  8. mguffin says:

    OK, just hold on while I get the popcorn and then someone start explaining ‘taint’ to Agust and Guido…

  9. wastrel says:

    Some people learned English before “taint” became a puerile slang term.  The word does have a real meaning not related to human anatomy.

  10. Bastiaan van der Peet says:

    As a non native speaker I didn’t get it either, so I looked it up.

    Turns out that taint is a slang term for perineum.

  11. Michael Leddy says:

    An inadvertent headline of my acquaintance: “Questions remain on what to do with removed members.”

  12. For the non-native english speakers, it comes from the joke, “It t’aint yer arse, and it it t’aint yer balls”.

  13. Mister44 says:

    Ferrets and Taints? Some people would call that a good time.

  14. apparently they used financing cuts to the upper 10% of households in Lybia to fund the ferreting. This will forever be know as the “upper-cut to the taint”.

  15. Arthur McGiven says:

    Had me baffled too – another case of the British and Americans being two peoples separated by the same language

  16. kmoser says:

    The non-slang usage of “taint” has been around a lot longer than the slang usage, which to me means the non-slang interpretation wins out in a headline. That means while those of us in the know might bust a gut upon seeing a headline that reads, say, “Santorum Shocker!” the rest of the world will simply shrug and go about their business.

  17. HikingStick says:

    I’m a native English speaker in the Unites States, and I only knew the dictionary definition of “taint”.  Even accepting that it is now peurile, phallic slang, I still don’t see the humor.

  18. hostile_17 says:

    Never heard of taint. Don’t get it. And I am an English, native English speaker!

  19. Threedonia says:

    Gadhafi… smells like fish… runs and hides like chicken.

  20. Threedonia says:

    Accidental double post…

  21. Roy Trumbull says:

    In some Spanish speaking countries you can no longer call papaya by its name because it has become a vulgarism for vulva. Instead you say “la fruita bomba” – the fruit that is shaped like a bomb. For as long as I can remember in the American south the chicken breast has been called the white meat. In my lifetime “up tight” has gone from meaning the dude in the 3 piece suit with the attache case who votes Republican to meaning someone who is cool and on top of things.
    In headlines the double meaning has been the norm going back a long way.

    • “In some Spanish speaking countries you can no longer call papaya by its name because it has become a vulgarism for vulva”
      Same thing in italian with ‘fica’. Now for the fig fruit they had to change it to ‘fico’.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      In some Spanish speaking countries you can no longer call papaya by its name because it has become a vulgarism for vulva.

      Don’t get me started on the Year of the Rooster.

  22. Geoduck says:

    I’m another life-long American/English speaker who had never heard the slang definition. I do lead a sheltered life..

  23. Adam Goetz says:

    maybe you know it by grundle? urban dictionary explains: The prime piece of real estate located conveniently between Scrotumburg and Anusville.

  24. taintofevil says:

    I don’t get it.

  25. alaws67 says:

    wow. How do you NOT notice this?

  26. jerwin says:

    Given that the taint is established not to be a hole, the slang interpretation doesn’t make that much sense, and we can reinterpret “taint” in the conventional, standard manner,

  27. public bizmail says:

     Ms. Stephens is over-reaching. Slang moves fast, especially sexual slang,

    Show the headline editor also avoid using “trim” in a headline? Because trim once had a similar meaning and was almost unusable in polite company. How about the truly hurtful words like “Maroon” and “ger” ( both were racist pejoratives that thankfully have been repurposed to more benign uses.).

    Slang moves faster than standard usage. By standard usage, that headline is reasonable, if over-word. Bully for the headline editor if  s/he increased interest in the article by sneaking an au courant double entendre past the chief editor.

  28. Chentzilla says:

    By the way, Wikipedia article on Quaddafi has a hilarious scheme at the end showing different spellings:

  29. John Napsterista says:

    More like “No one at the Washington fucking Post was enough of a killjoy to deny the copy editors their fun that evening.”

  30. Chris Scott says:

    On the subject of obscure body regions: Are there crude names for the back of your knee? The bit under your nose? Do Ladies have a perineum?

    • Guest says:

      Whay did you capitalize ‘ladies’? That’s odd.

      I’m a woman, and speaking for myself only, I’d say I have a taint. ‘Taint my asshole and ‘taint my vulva! XD /runs away

  31. Bucket says:

    They’ve really got him by the balls and are going to rip him a new one.

  32. goinoutwest says:

    Everything I learned about taint, I learned from Mr. Show:

  33. bjimba says:

    I’m a native-born American, lifetime English speaker, and never heard of “taint” being slang for anything.  I guess I’m never going to be able to listen to the song “Tainted Love” again.

  34. GlenBlank says:

    If you think that headline is ‘lulzy’ you should try doing a Google Books search for ‘taint’.  The resulting titles should leave you rolling in the aisles. :-)

  35. travtastic says:

    It’s funny, yeah. Until someone realizes that Rule 34 has yet to be properly applied here, and we get some interesting cosplay videos to watch.

  36. Antinous / Moderator says:

    BBC was reporting yesterday that they found a secret suite under the university in Tripoli that had a luxury bedroom and bath with jacuzzi and an operating room with a pelvic table. Apparently, searching for Gaddafi’s taint has been going on for quite some time.

  37. Roy Trumbull says:

    When it comes to sexual slang, English will never catch up with Chicano. It’s very inventive laugh out loud kind of stuff. I picked up a book on Chicano slang in a bookstore and it was truly funny. Too much of English sex related slang is just smut devoid of fun. Snicker Snicker – Yes; Hah Hah- No.

  38. cdh1971 says:

    If we find Qaddafi’s Happy Trail, we will have found Qaddafi…! 

  39. summertimecowboy says:

    No one saw that Weeds episode?   taint or runway?

  40. purple-stater says:

    I’m American-born and also had no clue what was supposedly so offensive about the headline until reading the comments here.  Now that I do know, I can only roll my eyes at those that find juvenile humor in significant world news.

    I find terms like “lulzy” to be infinitely more offensive to the English language.

  41. David Hart says:

    anyone who doesn’t find this funny just needs to grow up and embrace their inner adolescent. “gooch” is my favorite term for perineum though. just sounds so much dirtier.

  42. John Desselle says:

    Noun: A trace of a bad or undesirable quality or substance: “the taint of corruption”.

  43. darrrrrrn says:

    I always preferred “biffon” over taint – it’s the part your balls biff-on during sex.

  44. rudehaggis says:

    Probably intentional. DC readers pick up the WP Express because of headlines like this.

  45. bigyaz says:

    This is not the “Washington fucking Post.” The Post owns it, but it’s produced by, and aimed at, all you young hipsters.

  46. Aloha,
    I always understood tainted…to mean something rotten/horribly smelly  ( IE skunk/ death/rotting flesh/ rotten  sperm/ a really rotten/ funky V-jaja).
    To leave a taint is as if a slime trail of unimaginable funk has been left behind.  Of course…some smells are an acquired taste type of thing, and are used to attract sexual partners…some groups of homo sapiens have ancient love for some very stinky foods…such as HAM HA or BUGA ONG….Too much?   Am I wrong?

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