Last year, we posted this list of words—from aholehole to wankapin—that sound, well, a lot more suspect than their fairly mundane meanings might suggest. (An aholehole is a Hawaiian flagtail fish, by the way, and a wankapin is a Central American lotus plant.) That list, however, was just the tip of the suspect-sounding iceberg: Here are 47 more entirely genuine English words that sound rude, but really aren’t. Honest. 

1. ARSECOCKLE

An old Scots word for a sore and inflamed spot or zit, or a pockmark—or as the Dictionary of the Scots Language defines it, “a hot pimple.”

2. BASTARD-ROCKET

Listed in Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language as another name for the plant dyer’s-weed, Reseda luteola.

3. BUMBARGE

Another word for a bumboat—a vessel used to transport provisions to a larger ship. 

4. BUTT-SHAFT

A term used in archery, referring to “a target arrow without a barb.”

5. BUTT-WOMAN

A 17th century word for a fishwife—butt, in this case, is derived from “turbot.”

6. COCKAROUSE

An English corruption of caucauasu, an Algonquin word for a wiseman or elder, cockarouse was used by early American colonists for someone who held a position of responsibility or consequence. 

7. COCK-HEAD

In a flour mill, the cock-head is apparently the upper part of the spindle around which the topmost millstone sits.

8. COCK-SNAPPER

A juvenile Australian snapper fish.

9. COVERSLUT

A 17th century word for any item of clothing worn to hide a dirty or untidy garment underneath.

10. CRAPPIE

A local name for the Mississippi sunfish, Pomoxis annularis

11. CRUDDY-BUTTER

An old Scots word for poor-quality curds—not good enough to be used to make cheese—that are instead served just as they are, with a pinch of salt.

12. CUNCTIPOTENT

Watch how you pronounce this one—it’s just another word meaning “all-powerful.”

13. DICKPOT

An 18th century word for an earthenware vase filled with hot coals and used as a foot-warmer.

14. HIGH-HOLE

An early 19th century dialect nickname for Colaptes auratus, a bird of the woodpecker family.

15. HOLE-BREEDER

A 19th century word for any bird—and in particular the kingfisher—that nests in holes in riverbanks or cliff tops.

16. HORSE-BUTTS

The thickest part of a horse’s hide (or the hide of any similar animal) that’s used to make the toughest, thickest leather.

17. ILLYWHACKER

A con artist or small-time crook.

18. KUMPIT

A type of “trading vessel in the Philippine islands,” according to the OED.

19. MONKEY-POOP

A smaller-than-normal poop deck on board a ship.

20. PENISLE

Think again—that’s pronounced “pen isle,” in case you’re wondering, and it’s a 17th century word for a peninsula.

21. POONALITE

Named for the Indian city of Pune, poonalite or poonahlite is another name for the quartz-like mineral scolecite

22. POOP-ORNAMENT

Definitely not what it sounds: this is an old 19th century nautical slang word for an apprentice sailor.

23. POUNIE-COCK

An old Scots word for a male turkey.

24. PRICKSHAFT

Prick is an old word for an archery target or bulls-eye, and a shaft is simply an arrow. Put together, a prickshaft is an arrow used specifically in target practice, or else refers to the arrow that falls most closely to the target in a game of archery. Dates back to Tudor England. 

25. PUSSY-HOISTING

Old 1920s criminal slang for stealing fur coats and stoles.

26. RIMBOMB

An old-fashioned (and thankfully long-forgotten) word meaning to reverberate or to resound. A rimbombo is a deep rumble of thunder.

27. SCARPENIS

A very unfortunate Scots corruption of the French word escarpines—a pair of thin-soled shoes or slippers.

28. SCOLLUCKS

An old dialect word for the waste material from a slate quarry, or for blocks of substandard quality slate. 

29. SEXFARIOUS

The little-used etymological cousin of words like bifarious and trifarious, sexfarious simply means “comprising six parts.”

30. SEXTACTIC

A mathematical adjective defined by the OED as “relating to or involving a point of contact of the sixth degree.”

31. SHAFT-ALLEY

An old nautical term for the passageway on a ship leading from the engine room to the stern, which houses the shafts of the propellers. Because it was so secluded, crewmembers would often meet to gossip there—so shaft-alley eventually came to be used as a byword for gossipy, unreliable information too.

32. SHAGAMUFFIN

Simply defined as a “term of abuse” by the OED, with just one recorded use dating back to 1642.

33. SHITTLE-WITTED

Shittle is an old 15th century word meaning “fickle” or “inconsistent” (and is probably related to skittish). If you’re shittle-witted or shittle-brained, ultimately, you’re hot-headed and changeable. 

34. SLUT-HOLE

A Victorian English word for a bin or garbage heap, or a receptacle for rubbish.

35. SPUNK-WATER

Nineteenth century American slang for the water that collects in hollows of tree stumps, spunk-water was once believed to be a cure for warts; Mark Twain mentions it in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

36. STORMCOCK

An old English dialect word for the mistle thrush, a European songbird whose song was supposed to forecast a storm or downpour of rain. 

37. TIT-BABBLER

Any one of a number of medium-sized songbirds native to India and southeast Asia, including the pin-striped and the fluffy-backed tit-babblers

38. TITHAND

An old 18th century Scots word for the latest news …

39. TITTYNOPE

… and an old 18th century Yorkshire word for a small quantity of something left over after all the rest has been used. 

40. TURDIFORM

Describing anything resembling a thrush (or a stormcock, for that matter).

41. TWATTER-LIGHT

A 17th century word for twilight.

42. TWO-HANDED-CRACK

A Scots dialect word for a meeting between two people, or a tête-a-tête.

43. VAGINULA

A term from the botanical study of mosses, essentially referring to the base of the tip of a single “blade” of a mossy plant. 

44. WANKLE

While Wankel (spelled with an –el and an upper-case W) is the name of a type of engine, wankle (with an –le and a lower-case w) is an old word meaning “unsteady,” or “in weak health.” 

45. WANSUCKED

An 18th century Scots word for a child that has not been properly suckled.

46. WILLIE-WHIP-THE-WIND

An old nickname for the kestrel, referring to its ability to hover in one spot

57. WILLY-WURLY

An old word from Cornwall meaning “dizzy” or “in a spin.” Willy-wurly-way is an old English name for a game of tag.