Robert Harley (Nicholas Hoult) in The Favourite uses this delightful word!
Robert Harley (Nicholas Hoult) in The Favourite uses this delightful word! Courtesy Fox Searchlight/ Yorgos Lanthimos

In my review last December about The Favourite, I noted that the film gave me my new favorite word: "cuntstruck." Meaning "overwhelming sexual obsession with someone who has a vagina," the word is a close cousin to "dickmatized," a state of being totally hypnotized by someone's dick.

So imagine my surprise when watching Succession this Sunday and the perpetually snarling Roy family patriarch, Logan Roy, called his son Kendall "cuntstruck" for sleeping with a woman from a rival family. But one thing here: on HBO's closed captioning "cuntstruck" was instead hyphenated as "cunt-struck." And then this tweet, which had the closed captioned screengrab from The Favourite, the word is also hyphened. Even a quick Google search brings up a Wiktionary entry for the word which is first "cunt-struck" with the alternate form as "cuntstruck." Apparently the film and play called History Boys also used this spelling. History Boys playwright Alan Bennett might have been the first person to use the word in this scene:


Obviously, this can't stand. "Cuntstruck" needs to be all smooshed together. The hyphen makes the word way too busy and self-serious—when you're sexually obsessed, there's no time for hyphens, only time to revel in someone's sweet, sweet cunt. My intuition isn't enough to base an argument on (yet), so I consulted my colleague Rich Smith, who taught English, about it this morning and he said, "Cuntstruck is a compound word using two whole words, so a hyphen isn’t necessary and even misleading." I agree! Time for an old-fashioned poll: