I’ve long been baffled by the word “sodomite,” including its etymology, pronunciation and meaning. It turns out I’m not alone–fully 84% of people surveyed don’t understand the true meaning of ‘sodomite’ or ‘sodomy’–but I finally figured it all out, and I’ve provided this helpful primer to help you avoid the same befuddlement I suffered for decades.
My confusion began a long, long time ago when I was sick and vomitous from some unnamed virus, a pale mass of sweaty misery, and my mother said I was “so domite” — which, as everyone knows as Wikipedia confirms, refers to “a greyish variety of trachyte.” Trachyte is of course a pale igneous rock from Puy-de-Dôme (France), which was my mother’s clever way of pointing out that I was pale, hot, sweaty and generally looked like crap. I’m not saying it’s a nice thing to call a boy bent over the toilet, but it’s geologically educational and strangely precise. I spent years telling sick people they were “so domite” when they looked sick, gray, or just boring, and no one ever corrected me (even if they did look a bit confused):
Sodomite (inc. So Domite): An adjective referring to a person with an extreme pale, grey and lifeless pallor. Usage: “That zombie is sodomite.” Often but incorrectly written as “so domite.” It’s one word, people. Keep it together.
Later in life, I tried to earn some money during the summers by mowing rich people’s lawns, about which they are inordinately obsessed and for which they are extremely willing to part with cash otherwise held in the vice-like grip of their accountant’s fist. During one hot August day, I turned up at a sprawling mansion to find the groundskeeper laying down rich, lush pads of sod. I was fascinated, but bummed; there was clearly no need to mow these fresh squares of fancy grass.
“Don’t worry,” the groundskeeper said, “It’s Sod-o-Might. This stuff grows like gangbusters. You’ll be mowin’ again in no time.” Turns out Sod-o-Might (TM) was a popular brand of genetically engineered grass that grew perfectly straight up to 5-8″ in proud, powerful blades (yet strangely tender to the touch), and dazzled the eyes with dizzying emerald visuals whenever the wind blew. And it really perked up in the morning. While it was eventually discontinued due to the costs of replanting every year (it couldn’t be bred and had to be produced in the lab), I always loved mowing that lawn. It was one of the most stimulating jobs I’ve ever had, and they paid way too much for my boyscaping (that’s a portmanteau of boy and landscaping, a strangely uncommon word these days outside of Catholic Diocese).
For years afterward, I forgot that sodomite referred to sickly grey people on the verge of death, and instead thought of verdant lawns resplendent in all the greens of nature, and isn’t that better?
Sod-o-Might: A noun referring to a brand of artificial sod from the 1980s, since discontinued and considered archaic. Usage: “I wish Sod-o-Might was still around; I would use a little more sass in the backyard.”
And I’m sure you know about the next meaning, popularized in the 1990s by the makers of Jolt Cola (“All the sugar, twice the caffeine”), which really kept you up at night. Their Soda Might (R) was one of the first customizable bubbly soda products on the markets, sold in a whole rainbow of colors and taste sensations. I simply could not get enough Soda Might in my mouth. It’s a little embarrassing to think about but, hey, it was the nineties. It tasted better than grunge and made vodka a lot more fun. I’m not sure how Soda Might morphed into sodomite in my mind, but it turns out it was commonly written that way–possibly to fill the gaping chasm left by increasingly rare Sod-o-Mite:
Soda Might: A noun referring to a line of soda drinks popular in the 1990s in the North America and parts of Europe. Usage: “Did you buy the chartreuse Soda Might? It’s usually only available in France, but it tastes like heaven. J’aime la sodomie!”
There are of course endless variations. There was the time my girlfriend called me “so damn white” I had to ask her to repeat herself several times before I got what she was saying. It had been a long winter. There was the brief and somewhat racist tendency of everyone in the 2000s to blame everything on Saddam Hussein, as in, “Who burnt the toast? / It was Saddam, a’ight!” (groan) and who can forget the now disbanded Chicago Christian band, Saw da Might! (I saw da light, I saw da might, I bask in love on the darkest night). Kinda catchy now that I think about it, but then so’s Ebola. Sodo Mites sometimes refer to bedbug infestations in hotels South of Downtown Seattle. I even tried to market a line of salty miniature animal crackers called Sodamites, but they went soft in your mouth and everyone spat them out.
And so on, until we arrive at what was apparently a usage for decades before anyone laid down a blade of Sod-o-Might–previously referring to people from the lost city of Sodom somewhere under the sultry sifting sands of Israel:
Sodomite: A noun referring to a person from the biblical kingdom of Sodom, a place that doesn’t exist anymore and might never have. Meaning no one can be from Sodom, so it’s a silly word and no one should use it. Informally, a person from any imaginary place that’s probably more fun than this place. Usage: “That Disney princess is from Happyfunpartyland. I wish I could I could be a sodomite like her.” Don’t we all, princess? Don’t we all.
Which of course just brings us to the latest and most most unpleasant variation, an expletive directed at gay men and their sexual proclivities:
Sodomite: A noun referring to a person who puts their naughty bits on other people’s back holes, most commonly applied to homosexual men. Usage: “That sodomite can really dance.” Which, while possibly true, is a bit of a stereotype. We can all dance if we try. Having anal sex doesn’t make it any easier. Turn out this is used as an insult by some people, which seems weird. I mean, who cares where people put their naughty bits? Which brings me to related word:
Assholes: A plural noun referring to people who treat other people like crap because they have tiny, shriveled hearts and nothing better to with their time, a broad category including the the word:
Homophobes: Also a plural noun, referring to people who spend all their public time talking about love, forgiveness, rights and/or freedom and all their private time fantasizing about men’s butts. Usage: “Those homophobes should go fuck themselves, because fucking other people might result in more homophobes, and the world has reached its asshole quota.”
That’s all the meanings I can think of right now. I hope this helped.