In Which We Learn New Words For "Vagina"

Illustration for article titled In Which We Learn New Words For "Vagina"

Over at the Guardian, Annalisa Barbieri addresses a reader question: "what should we call our daughter's genitals?"


While this piece raises an interesting question - why do we even need kid-friendly words for "vagina?" What's wrong with just calling it what it is? - the best thing about the piece is all the hilarious suggestions from readers.

There are the twee and cutesy ones, including twinkie, fairy, tweenies (actually kind of clever, since it's from "between the legs"), bunsie, minky, mimi, pom-pom, schmooey, and my personal favorite, flossy (Urban Dictionary definition: "Superficially stylish; Showy; Attracts attention with looks or nice things; similar to "bling"; someone or something that is considered cool, stylish, hot, expensive or attractive"). Some parents suggest calling it by a girl's name - like Priscilla or Doris - which is sure to cause confusion if their child ever actually meets a Priscilla or a Doris. There are also some really wonderful stories.

"Anne" has a great family name for her ladybits: "My mother and her mother, etc, referred to it as a 'ha'penny' - and generally only in the reminder to "keep yer 'and on yer ha'penny" when unsupervised. I think this dates back to my great-grandmother, who would have been born in the 1870s or 80s."

"Angela" remembers: "Some time ago, my sister overheard her daughter and son talking about this very subject. 'If a boy's willy is called a penis, what's a girl's thing called?' said my niece to her younger brother. In all seriousness, he replied that it was called 'Fine China'. Sweet."

The article even includes some educational suggestions from other languages. Some Italians apparently refer to a woman's "private parts" (as us North Easterners apparently call them) as patatina, meaning "little potato." Also, conchiglietta, or "little shell." Yoni is a Sanskrit word, and zizzi is French.

So, we're curious, do you guys have any new suggestions, any childhood words for your fiorellas we should know about?


How to find an acceptable word for your daughter's genitals [Guardian]
Image via Little Baby Guide



Vagina is good by me. It's perfectly matter of fact; euphemisms are for when I'm being rude (conch, quim, cooch) or really really vague (nether regions). We were taught the proper names for the mons veneris, vulva, vagina, etc. with diagrams when we were very young. Vagina stuck as the best all purpose word. "Private parts" referred to all the areas we were supposed to have covered when we ran out the door after the ice cream truck and that we shouldn't let adults touch.

It doesn't bother me that technically speaking, the vagina is only one part of the genitalia. Nothing wrong with a bit of synecdoche. The penis and testicles can be included in the term penis too. (I also call orchestral, choral and chamber music not written between 1750 and 1720 Classical music.)