There are some questions you just don't want to hear from your eighty-something year old mother. "Joe, what is a cnut?" is pretty high up that list.
Spelling changed, incidentally, so you won't get in trouble at work if you pop this up.
Apparently, some bottom-shelf celebrity called one of President Trump's kids a "feckless cnut" and it made all of the major news outlets. My mom has very little to do except sit in front of a TV all day long. She was pummeled with that word....not 'feckless', the other word.
"What is a cnut?" is a question my dad could have answered. In his working days he was the principal of an inner-city middle school. At its peak, the school had 1400 students. I am pretty sure that in the 35 years he spent in education he heard the word "cnut". However, he must have politely declined the opportunity to define that word for my mom. And it was not in any of the dictionaries that are on the table where she does cross-word puzzles and such.
So it fell upon me to educate my mom in "street language."
To the best of my remembering I told her, " 'Cnut' is the coarsest possible word to call a woman. It is slang for 'vagina' and is used by low-class, very low-class, people when they deliberately want to pick a fight with a women. It is a word that is designed to enrage women." Like Dick Gregory observed, it is something about those hard consonant sounds.
Dad was rocking in his chair. I saw him nodding. He was OK with that definition.
My mom said, "That makes sense."
I hate it when I have to explain things like that to my mom.