Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's in a name?

What indeed.


When your little ones start to communicate,
it becomes necessary to start giving things names.
Words that they can recognise and understand
and eventually verbalise themselves.

Milk, flower, car, banana, tree.
You know what I mean.

But this process of course includes body parts.

I am finding that there is a big component of family influence here.
I grew up with a "fanny".

Well, I am grown up now but I think I still have one.
It was there the last time I looked.

One friend thinks fanny is a dirty word.

Another, a doctor, thinks that the correct words for the correct anatomy
right from a young age is the way to go.
So her daughters don't have fannies.
They have vulvas.
And vaginas.

While I am comfortable with fanny,
I was an adult before I recognised that the Americans
use the word "fanny" for bottom.

You can imagine my shock to hear someone demand that you
"get your fanny moving"
and geeze, I did not want to know what a fanny pack was used for.

(Mind you, the Americans also seem to use the word "panties"
I am an undies girl.
Panties to me conjures up porn images
or at least a MA rating)

Boys bits are easier.

Willy is a nice word
given the options available.

But somehow my boys already know to use the word penis
the same way they use the word bum or fart.

Whatever you may think of these words,
I think that they are infinitely more functional and socially acceptable
if you have a young kid on the other side of the fruit and veg section at the supermarket
who is capable of yelling out
"Mummy, Bertie just pulled out his pink bits"

And our house is a boob household.

I think of this word as the equivalent to breast
in the same way that bonk is a light hearted version of
many, many other less attractive words.

"Mummy's boobies" is good.
Before you pass judgement on this, consider your options.
Would you prefer mummy's twangers?
Her air bags,
sweater kittens,
David and Goliath,
crowd pleasers,
devil's dumplings,
magic mountains
or perhaps bodacious ta-tas...

Personally I am going to stick with boobs.
It could be oh, so much worse...

(Footnote: I did have to google to find some of those breast words.
Given the moderate content of this blog,
there were a heck of a lot that didn't make the list.

And I didn't even dare google penis.
I learnt enough hideous variations at Uni.
I hate to think what is out there now...)


Leonie @ Cuppa and Cake said...


We use Doodle and Jina, who knows what to say!

I was told off the other day for using the word "disability" and I have a DISABLED son!!! errh


Nikki said...

In our house, we have a Daddy full of euphamisms and a Mummy who thinks you should say it like it is. Somehow the Daddy always gets in first with the labels (maybe I should get home from work earlier?) and the kid will geta bit of a shock when she studies high-school biology.

toadstooldots said...

*lol*, thanks for the little vocabulary lesson - now I can understand a bit more ;-)

Adele - A Lass from Downunder said...

My niece (now 19) called her vagina her "china" from a very young age. We particularly loved this name and still refer to it today with fond memories of the much younger childhood days (my kids are now 17 & 20). I think this is a perfect alternative name, afterall china is precious isn't it?

Tracy aka Mad Quilter said...

I'm a correct word type of girl. Although on a few occasions when my children have been very forthcoming with said correct words and I've been glared at by family members, I can see the bonus of using other words.

Mary said...

We are a doodle and boob house although they do know the correct names they don't seem to stick but given what Lucas was trying to do to the milk last night I think that what we call it around here is the least of my problems.

bec said...

I'm a midwife, and have met adult women who don't know the correct terms for their anatomy! "Pussy' is not what it's called! So mine calls he a vagina, 'Jina' for short and boys have 'doodles', which she knows is a penis. The worst words I've EVER heard for breasts is 'titties' (courtesy of my M.I.L); any othe term is better! But lets not go into breasts and women with breast issues......

Zoobeedoobee said...

Boobies work and willies here I heard about a ho ha once love that name, but my favourite body part is the rectus abdominus ('cause mine is totally wrecked).

Sally said...

My little girl thought she'd lost her vagina whilst at the supermarket with her Dadda and brother. Apparently she was screaming at the checkout "where is my vagina? where is my vagina?" Her father trying to convince her not to pull down her knickers to check right there and then!!!