Furburger, the Irish Inch, and Other Names for Genitalia Through the Ages

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Aug. 16 2013 3:11 PM

Furburger, the Irish Inch, and Other Names for Genitalia Through the Ages

genitalia

Credit Jonathon Green

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 Jonathon 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.*

Katy Waldman Katy Waldman

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer. 

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.     

Advertisement

VARIETIES OF TERMS FOR MALE GENITALIA

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.

VARIETIES OF TERMS FOR FEMALE GENITALIA

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.
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

Our doctor's appointments have the potential to get a lot more interesting now. So too, our insults ("Curse you, blue-venied trouser serpent! Camel manhunt!") and terms of endearment ("You fleecy purr-tongued oracle, you"). Not to mention that we can class up the genre of "sexting" by referring to it as nether eye photography, and porn as the cinema of the red-capped majesty. Just don't ever put me and "velvet-lined meat grinder" in the same sentence. That would be a dingwallace move.

Correction, August 18, 2013: This post originally misspelled Jonathon Green's first name. 

 

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 9:19 PM The Phone Call Is Twenty Minutes of Pitch-Perfect, Wrenching Cinema
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.