It’s not for a man the shape you’re in, Sir Clifford, to twit me for havin’ a cod atween my legs

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 397, chapter 17) by DH Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Clifford wrote to Connie and told her that Mellors' wife Bertha was gossiping about Mellors and other women..…)

He said it with some bitterness, and no doubt it contains the real germ of truth. The mode of putting it, however, is neither delicate nor respectful. I hinted as much, and then I heard the tin can rattle again. ‘It’s not for a man the shape you’re in, Sir Clifford, to twit me for havin’ a cod atween(=between) my legs.’

The blue sentence is very confusing for me. How should I understand it please?
I understand for a man the shape you are in to be (proper) for a man (of) the shape(=condition) you are in. But I don't know what having a cod atween legs mean

Thank you in advance
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Isn't Clifford crippled?

    He seems to be saying: Considering your physical state, you aren't justified in criticising me for having a strong sex drive.

    A cod is a sort of fish. You can probably guess now what he meant by "a cod atween my legs".
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Perhaps it refers to a characteristic of the cod. Aggression, energetic behaviour, something like that. I doubt the comparison was made based on looks alone.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Apparently the etymology is different.

    cod (n.)
    large sea fish, mid-14c. (late 13c. in a surname, Thomas cotfich), of unknown origin; despite similarity of form it has no conclusive connection to the widespread Germanic word for "bag" (represented by Old English codd, preserved in codpiece).
    Online Etymology Dictionary

    I think there is an association in other languages between a fish (or a bird, funnily enough,) and the male member - owing to the shape of the average fish perhaps. I wouldn't know anything about the other characteristics mentioned by Barque.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I wouldn't know anything about the other characteristics mentioned by Barque.
    I don't either.:) Just a guess as to why he chose to say "cod" rather than some other fish.

    Perhaps something to do with the similarity between "cod" and "c**k"?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I don't either.:) Just a guess as to why he chose to say "cod" rather than some other fish.
    It's not that he chose to say "cod" rather than some other fish. That has been a standard word for "male genitals" for 500 years at least, hence the codpiece or decorative pouch at the front of Henry VIII's breeches and every other wealthy man of his time. See a blatant example on this portrait by Holbein: http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/henry8petworth.jpg.
    Cognate with peascod - a pod or pouch containing seed.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This use of "cod" has nothing to do with fish.

    OED
    Cod (n)
    Etymology: Old English cod(d < Old Germanic type *kuddo-z : compare early modern Dutch kodde , ‘coleus, testiculus’ (Kilian),

    †1. a. A bag, scrip. Obs. (In 18th c. in slang use: a purse; see quots.)
    1699 B. E. New Dict. Canting Crew Gold-Finch, he that has..a Purse or Cod of Gold in his Fob.

    4. a. The integument enveloping the testicles, the scrotum; improperly in pl. testicles. (Not in polite use.)

    1632 R. Sherwood Dict. in R. Cotgrave Dict. French & Eng. Tongues (new ed.) The cod or cods of a man or beast, couillon, testicule.
    1739 Gen. Chirurg. Dict. at Pneumatocele, in J. Sparrow tr. H. F. Le Dran Observ. Surg. A Wind-Rupture in the Scrotum or Cod.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you a lot, everyone.
    The integument enveloping the testicles, the scrotum; improperly in pl. testicles. (Not in polite use.)
    Yes, I find a definition from American Heritage dictionary
    cod: Archaic The scrotum.
     
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