cuss (n.)

1775, American English dialectal, "troublesome person or animal" (usually with a defining adjective), a vulgar pronunciation of curse (n.), or else a shortening of the slang sense of customer. The word in the literal sense of "a curse" is from 1848.

cuss (v.)

1815, "to say bad words, use profane language," a vulgar pronunciation of curse (v.). The transitive sense of "to curse, swear at" is by 1838. Related: Cussed; cussing. To cuss (someone) out is attested by 1881.

The loss of -r- before -s- is not uncommon: Compare arse/ass (n.2), burst/bust, horse/hoss, barse/bass, garsh/gash, parcel/passel

updated on October 04, 2022