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S-words sound symbolism (2022)

Polystyrene mirror, text on foil, 35x50 cm. and 45x50 cm.

It is considered that there is a sound symbolic relationship between words such as “slide, slip, slither, sloppy, spill, slattern, sleazy and slut.”* They contain similar sounds signifying close meanings in relationship with each other. This points to an imagined relationship in the history of English among smooth, slippery and dirty matters that can leak, women and sex. In the piece, some of these words are mixed with other affectionate ones in a call to an unknown receiver who has maybe internalized some of these derogatory descriptions. 

* in Word Origins and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone by Anatoly Liberman.

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