Thank you for Slang Genitaliacs


Why is our genitalia a subject of derogatory character attribution and name calling?

Why does the sophomoric activity of name calling lend itself to such absurd names?


During a discussion about sensitivity, a friend tossed out the word “Wuss”. I am assuming that word is a derivative of the word “Puss”, slang for vagina, which strikes me as hilarious twelve hours later. But at the time, it was a source of confusion for me and made me feel like my friend of eleven years had completely forgotten who I was and may have relegated me to a category of weaklings.   


Incidentally, I have never considered myself a weakling nor have I ever considered my genitalia the weakest link to my character. 


I am therefore forced to examine the basis on which this term is utilized. This brings me to all those other terms we learned in junior high and now my head is spinning with stupid phrases like “He is such a Dick!” and “What a C…” and “He’s making an ass of himself.” This last one may have more to do with Eyore and less to do with gluteus maximus, so let’s add “hole” to it and now, Viola! it’s associated with a body part that folks don’t generally expose to the light of day or other unfamiliar people.


I am certain if you take some quality time out of your day and consider this, you can come up with all manner of clever names attributed to genitalia that folks call others when they want them to go away. I refuse to list them here.


But I am truly curious about the events in our language evolution that brought about this genitaliac slang, transforming our most precious tools for procreation and pleasure into expressions of derision. 


Perhaps we need to quit giving the Vagina and the Penis those cutsie names so they are not in danger of becoming potential insults when we experience a lapse of creative language skills.  

~ by leakelley on November 21, 2007.

2 Responses to “Thank you for Slang Genitaliacs”

  1. Perhaps all humans are of two minds about their animalness. The class of curses you refer to call those at whom they are aimed animals, thus at least momentarily depriving them of privileges & rights accorded to fellow humans. The subject class of curses includes references to things other than body parts. For instance, we may call someone a dog, or an ape, a pig. In my own case, I am a pine tree. A person who is a pine has less status than one who is an oak.

  2. And something must also be said about thingness. Our minds regard our bodies as things, which are very different from minds. Things are dumb, blind & responsive to nothing mental. When someone is called something identifying him or her as a thing, we may again – as mentioned above – see the one named as not worthy of human privileges & rights. During WWII the Nazi propaganda minister, Dr. Goebbels, made drinking the then very popular spritzer (red wine mixed with soda water) into an anti-semitic act. When drinking it, Gobbels suggested, thus entering the thought into the common German imagination, imagine you are drinking the blood of a Jew. Jews thus became things in Germany, like rocks or an alcoholic drink, & ceased to be perceived or treated as humans. Such prejudices are still with us everywhere – very much so in America, where at this moment immigrants & Iranians are being aggressively & purposefully added to the class of persons many Americans regard as things.

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