USE of the insult ‘prick’ is at its highest level since the late 1980s, researchers have found.
The once-popular ‘prick’ fell into disuse, replaced by other penis-based insults including ‘bellend’ and the evergreen ‘tool’, but has found itself enjoying a resurgence.
Etymologist Dr Helen Archer said: “When we call someone a bellend, a tool or even a dickhead, there’s the possibility they may just be foolish or inept.
“Meanwhile, the double-edged sword of ‘wanker’ can refer to either self-satisfied pomposity or pathetic, solitary onanism.
“But shouting ‘prick’ at someone on the television, or a speeding Audi driver, defines them succintly and completely.”
The return of the insult, which has been in decline since that Halifax advert where the prick who lives in a warehouse goes to get milk, is a response to changing political and social conditions, Archer believes.
She said: “Britain was full of jumped-up pricks in the 80s, whereas the 90s was the Age of the Arseholes.
“There is, once again, an unmistakable prickishness in the air.”