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I was looking for the etymology of the word ensamblar in Spanish. At first I looked at what the DLE says, but it only says that it comes from the Old French ensembler. So looking at other dictionaries, I finally found this information about the English verb "assemble":

[...] from Old French assembler "come together, join, unite; gather" (11c.), from Latin assimulare "to make like, liken, compare; copy, imitate; feign, pretend," later "to gather together," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + simulare "to make like," from stem of similis "like, resembling, of the same kind" (see similar).

But what really amused me was the following bit of information:

In Middle English and in Old French it also was a euphemism for "to couple sexually."

So now we know what was meant by "I'm going to assemble my husband tonight". But the euphemism is said to be used in Old French and Middle English. So was this also applied to Old Spanish? After all, the word ensamblar already appears in Spanish dictionaries from the 16th century, so it was probably used before that. If not, was there any known euphemism for the sexual act that was used in Old Spanish?

  • 1
    Tirar la barra es uno de mis favoritos jajaja – user0721090601 Oct 19 '17 at 13:11
  • @guifa pues si se usaba en el medievo, anímate y escribe una respuesta con ese y otros que te sepas. :-) – Charlie Oct 19 '17 at 13:16
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Out of my head, I know that ayuntarse was one of them. In fact it still appears in the DLE with that meaning, although marked as "desus" (not used anymore):

ayuntar.
Der. del ant. ayunto 'junta', y este del lat. adiunctus 'junto'.

  1. prnl. desus. Realizar el coito.

Some examples of its use c. 1400:

E veyendose el muy fuerte enflamado e cabtivado para pecar, e los sus pensamientos para salut de la moça e para conversion a Dios, puestas asy commo manjar en anzuelo, era çerca del fazimiento, e los enemigos, faziendole entender que non era pecado por la salud del alma ayuntarse una vez a la moger, llorando la mengua de la su alma, somitiendo a sy mismo, luego se torno a la oraçion (...)
Anónimo, Barlaam e Josafat (manuscrito S), c. 1400.

Item saluia motañesa, dada a comer a los puercos monteses, o a qualesquier otros animales, quando quieren ayuntarse, luego se empreñara: o los poluos de los genitales del puerco que nunca fue castrado: si jelos dieres a beuer en vino a la mujer, quando se enxuga del mestruo, le aprouechara para concebir.
Anónimo, Traducción del Compendio de la humana salud de Johannes de Ketham, c. 1400-1500.

  • Muy buena, de hecho lo que se entendía por "assemble" y "ayuntarse" era más o menos lo mismo, así que podría decirse que el eufemismo de la pregunta también se usaba (con una ligera variación) en España. – Charlie Oct 19 '17 at 13:21

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