David Profumo

Not Very Nice

The Dictionary of Disgusting Facts

By

Futura 157pp £1.95 order from our bookshop

Many people will find this article extremely offensive – Ed.

The most revolting word I know is ‘mung’ (US 1950’s) which describes the act of whacking a pregnant woman across the abdomen with a baseball bat. But it all depends on what you find disgusting. Few men would be able to swallow down a glassful of their own expectorated saliva, but most find the vaginal secretions of a total stranger to be a subject of happy interest. The mother of Swift’s friend Mrs. Pilkington threw up her dinner on reading one of his ‘boudoir’ poems, yet it first appeared in print in The Gentleman’s Magazine opposite a page of figures relating to the National Debt. Taste is so subjective that the compilers of The Dictionary of Disgusting Facts have opened their defences wide with its title: the result is something of an own goal.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'To be clever without wanting to glory in it, put dimmer people down or make an act of covering it up (viz Boris Jo… ,
    • 'Her favourite design included a body in the shape of a horse, with a steam engine inside ... The passenger would t… ,
    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,