by Dan Savage
on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 1:12 PM
The Guardian has a story today about some words getting booted out of the dictionary because no one uses them anymore. Words like "drysalter," "aerodrome," and "charabanc." This one caught the eye of a couple of hundred "Savage Love" readers (Slog tipper credits for everybody!):
Other words on the list include "wittol"—a man who tolerates his wife's infidelity, which has not been much used since the 1940s.
Hm. I'm not sure we can save that word. If it's pronounced like whittle, which I'm guessing it would have to be, that would make for one very confusing verb/noun homonym. Which may be why it fell out of use in the first place. So honestly, gang, saving "wittol" may be beyond the powers of even my readers, the same folks responsible for creating and popularizing "santorum," "pegging," and "diamondbacking."
But it seems to me that we could use a word for a guy who tolerates his wife's infidelities. A cuckold, in its current and fully fetishized usage, is a man who gets off on his wife fucking other men. So what do we call a man who doesn't get a kick out of his wife's infidelities but who endures or puts up with them if not wittol?