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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Names for Genitalia Through the Ages


The Physically Descriptive

For penises: worm, iron, rudder, pike, maypole, spicket, noodle, white staff, cucumber, standing wire.
For testicles: pebbles, plums, bullets, nuggins, nutmegs, tackle, eggs, jewels, agates, berries.

The Functionally Descriptive

For penises: prod, pissing place, shove devil, rump splitter, holy poker.
For testicles: glands?

The Whimsical and Poetic

For penises: the silent flute, the gospel pipe, the glister pipe, Mr. Peasbey.
For testicles: whirligigs, tarriwags, Salda crackers.

The Lewd

For penises: kidney wiper, liver disturber, cunt plugger, egg white cannon, yogurt spitting sausage.
For testicles: basket of meat.

The Baffling (and vaguely culinary)

For penises: Plum tree shaker, okra and prunes, enchilada, cookie.
For testicles: basket of meat.

The Baffled

For both: Thingamabob, thingummy.

The Disparaging

For penises: brute, goober, stuffed eelskin.
For testicles: cullions (“vile fellows”).

The Appreciative

For penises: shaft of delight, staff of life, candy cane, champion.
For testicles: diamonds, charms, as-good-as-ever-twanged.


The Sentimental

Fountain of love, Venus’ cradle, treasure, Cupid’s warehouse, garden of delight, seat of love, pleasure place, love’s cabinet, nature’s treasury, harbor of hope, venerable monosyllable.

The Derogatory

Spitfire, trench, snatch blade, nethermouth, mark of the beast, jack nasty face.

The Unambitious

Cleft, groove, crevice, unit.

The Huh?

Best in Christendom, aphrodisiacal tennis court, Whitechapel portion, bit of skate, the batcave, the duckpond.

The Clever

Cock pit.

The Not-So-Clever but Nice Try!

Mouth-that-cannot-bite, breakfast of champions.

The ripped-from-Spenser’s Fairy Queen

Bower of Bliss.

The “You Had to Be There”

Hans Carvel’s ring, Buckinger’s boot, Mrs. Fubbs’ parlor, James Hunt.

The Bakery-themed

Golden donut, muffin, hairy donut, ho-cake

The Anatomically Incorrect

Fanny, ass

Via Slate
You and me [sic] may be nothing but mammals, but we are mammals that talk about sex a lot more than our cousins on the Discovery Channel. Now lexicographer Jonathan Green has created two interactive timelines tracing slang words for male and female genitalia through history. He's compiled words for the penis and its satellite parts, going back to 1360, and also words for the mons pubis, going back to 1230.

Some fun facts: The earliest recorded name for the vagina—unprintable here—is still with us today. Testicles (“ballocks,” in Renaissance parlance) received an epithet before the male member (“pin,” 1460), while the most recent addition to the penis thesaurus is “bald-headed mouse” (2012). Anyway, we have selected a few terms from each infographic to illustrate some relevant aesthetic categories in the art of describing sexual anatomy, which is a very important historical-lexical-anthropological pursuit (teehee, “periwinkle”). Behold.

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