Saturday, August 11, 2007

Down and Dirty

My oldest, very pregnant daughter recently showed me an ultrasound snapshot of her own daughter’s vagina. The absolute wonders of science. Of course, she said, “Look at her hoo hoo,” my husband’s childhood word for female anatomy. In my family, it was called a “quincy,” which certainly gave me pause when I was forced to learn the presidents in chronological order and I got to John Quincy Adams. My Viennese mother called my backside a “po-po.” I have no idea if that’s traditional in Austria or not, but it’s sweeter than ass or butt or badonkadonk. When I raised my own children, I tried to be clinical and scientific...except, apparently, for hoo hoo, which I believe the Smart Bitches refer to as the Magic Hoo Hoo.

There are lists devoted to euphemisms regarding male and female private parts and the myriad activities associated with them. Check out for some eye-opening research. And there’s continued controversy as to what words offend in literature. Ultimately it’s a matter of your crudity comfort zone. I have no objection to cock, but I’m not sure about the “c” word that’s sometimes applied to females.

What words turn you on and off? Any childhood nicknames you’d care to share? What words make you laugh out loud or throw the book across the room? You can post anonymously and be as sexplicit and silly as you want!

In the words of Trace Atkins: That's it, right there boys, that's why we do what we do---It ain't for the money, it ain't for the glory, it ain't for the free whiskey---It's for the badonkadonk.
Chapter Two of Third-Rate Romance is now posted! Don't forget Romance Novel TV's month of writing tips!


Atherley said...

Maggie, I'm laughing my own po-po off over that illustration because I thought it was what it's supposed to suggest, not what it really is, and I wondered what in the world are they doing???

Honestly, something in me bristles at the use of anatomically correct terminology in literature. I'd much rather read about the character's response and reaction to what's being done to her or him than to read the clinical name for the part being acted upon. And, let's face it, "penis" and "clitoris" may sound like the H/H of an ancient Classical ode, but they're oddly hard and rather destroy the mood of a moment.

Hold on...did I just describe the word referring to the primary portion of the male equipment as "hard?" Gad! A Freudian slip if ever there was one, LOL!

Atherley said...

Oh! Speaking of euphemisms, I must add that I once knew a high school English teacher who named her son JOHN THOMAS, the name of choice for the item of choice in Lady Chatterly's Lover!

Santa said...

Never heard of whatever that was before. We used hinie and coolie when we were little.

I just learned the word hoo-hoo. J Perry kept freezing her's off in Dallas...was that TMI?

I'd rather read nicknames in books rather than clinical names. I find them hard to accept in historicals, especially when they use the 'for unlawful carnal knowledge'. It just doesn't ring true for me.

Love the Georgia O'Keefe print. My dentist used to have the one that looks like the vulva. It hung above the receptionist's desk. Try as I might my eye would still wander up to it as I was making my next appointment. Interesting that it's an all female office. I've often wondered if the men 'knew'.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Anne, I'm with you that some words sound all too "medical."

LOL, Santa, Georgia O'Keefe is not too subtle, is she? I had a hard time picking which picture to use. I like her "flowers" a lot better than her skulls, tho!

RevMelinda said...

One of the things I love about getting older is that there are so many stories filling up my head. Back when my oldest was a baby, this happened to my friend Sue:

Sue and her husband had always used the Correct Anatomical Language for genitalia with their 3 year old son--penis and vagina. The boy did his best to say those words, but the best approximation he could come up with for "vagina" in his little-boy lisp was "china."

So--Sue and her son are visiting her very buttoned-up and proper mother in law. And as they're sitting politely on the couch chatting among the teacups and cookies, the little boy pipes up, "Grandma, where's your china?"

Sue's M-I-L said, "I keep it in the cabinet, dear."

The little boy was EXTREMELY perplexed by this answer and pursued it, going, "why is it there?--doesn't that hurt?"--

with M-I-L saying "well, that's where I keep it!" and "why should it hurt?"--

while Sue, in horror, tried to turn the conversation to Anything Else before it became Obvious what he was talking about.

Teaching children correct anatomical terms may be perfectly appropriate, but there are certain dangers!

Atherley said...

Maggie, you've gone blue!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Yes, Anne, I'm feeling experimental again. I may change seasonally. I'm looking at a Tissot fall picture to replace the Childe Hassam.Wouldn't want to become stagnant. Must keep myself awake somehow!

RevM, I just wonder what pattern than "china" is--Desert Rose? Runnymede Blue? What a great story!

Anonymous said...

Maggie, love the new "skin" color. Gorgeous!

Since you appreciate "not too subtle", you might get a kick out of this ad for Cosmo magazine which I found hilarious.

irisheyes said...

Funny blog, Maggie!

In my books I can handle just about anything but the female "c" word you referred to. Unless, of course, it's used by the villain and then it seems appropriate. I've read just about everything over the years and nothing has jolted me out of the story except that word.

Our big thing was whether or not to use the correct language with our kids. Hoping, of course, they don't feel the need to educate the masses.

Of course being completely correct always has it's drawbacks. A friend of mine decided to teach her 3 year old the correct anatomical words. She paid the price in Disney World when her little girl pointed at a young lady in a halter and yelled "look, Mommy, nipples!" Don't ya just love kids! :)

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Irish, we are on the same page. The villain gets to use all the bad words with impunity. LOL at your Disneyworld story...don't they have a dress code there? *g*

Seton! So happy to see you, but your link isn't clear. I want to see the not too subtle pictures!

Terri Osburn said...

I prefer to read some kind of nickname or euphemism in a book more than the correct anatomical terms. Somehow the medical terms don't seem very romantic. But I also agree with Anne in that I'd rather read how it feels to the character rather than a play by play of the action.

I don't remember what my sister and I were told to use for ours but I can remember that my brother's was his pee pee. I will never forget my HS health/gym teacher's reference for it though. I went to Catholic school which meant all the girls in skirts. We all wore shorts under the skirts but the health teacher would always yell at us to keep our legs together so as not to show our Hawaiian Islands. LOL!

Ericka Scott said...

We've been letting my youngest run "nekkid" from the bottom down as part of potty training (seems to be working)...we call them "dangling man parts" well as the clinical names.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Terrio, Hawaiian Islands! I learn something new every day. My friends who went to Catholic school were forbidden to wear patent leather shoes--- so they wouldn't reflect their Hawaiian Islands, I imagine.

Ericka, dangly man parts is hilarious. I like dangly bits myself, but it probably is not a comforting concept. Bits are so...miniscule.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Maggie about the link :-(

I cant seem to figure out html on blogger so I posted the ad on my blog with a bunch of other far from subtle ads while i was at it.

Anonymous said...

Maggie, you make me laugh. It's funny the power of words. I remember when the movie The Spy who Shagged Me came out. I was a little taken a back. Doesnt' Shag mean f@#% in England? Yet all these 9 and 10 year olds were running around saying - "I just saw the movie The Spy Who Shagged Me". In America - none of the kids knew what it really meeant so it was ok to say it.

BernardL said...

My sister once made the mistake of asking my Grandmother what she thought of my sister's boyfriend, who had just left. 'Ma looked at her and said, "Well, if his nose was full of nickels, he'd be a rich man". :) One of the most derogatory names for a guy I can remember was Needledick, and for a woman: Cuntola. They were guaranteed to earn you either an open hand smash or a closed fist send off into dental surgery.

Atherley said...

Ohmy, Seton! That link! Is ther enot a saying,"Going to hell in a handbag?" It's a very good thing there's a woman of the cloth in our midst. We'll have good company on the way down! ROFL!!!!!!!!

Atherley said...

See what that handbag did to me? I could hardly write two words in a straight line! LOL I DO apologize for the wretched proofing. ;)

Carey Baldwin said...

Actually CM and Tessa and I had, at one point, a jillion email discussions trying to decide what term to use for heroic anantomy in their hisotroicals and my contemporary romances.

After a jillion emails, we couldn't decide. I wound up going with penis, since my hero and heroine are doctors. I avoid the female terms cleverly.

I think I also use "him" a lot!
What a sorry excuse for a romance author am I!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Bernard, I promise: there shall be no violence here.

Seton, I visited your site at 5 AM. Good morning to me. Woke me right up!

Marisa, I too was amazed by the shagging in the title...but what a silly, funny movie. I just can't watch the Fat Bastard parts, tho. ICK.

Anne, I'm convinced spelling doesn't count on the Internet! Misspell away.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

India, I think since you ARE a doctor, 'medical' terms are appropriate. But it really is a challenge to come up with creative language that's just not clunky. A JILLION, huh? And all you came up with was penis, LOL?

Elyssa Papa said...

I love the new webpage, too Maggie! How about va-jay-jay?

Atherley said...

Er...does anybody else here get a headache from writing those juicy scenes, and playing with all that terminology? I just drafted something for Runned Away, a contemp, and my poor little head is splitting!

Perhaps it's caffeine this time of the day I most definitely need chocolate!

lacey kaye said...

I had a tu-tu. Very, VERY confusing when this little one began ballet lessons...

Hellie Sinclair said...

Yeah, I like my body parts VAGUE as possible when reading. Most any word can send me straight out of the moment and into fits (or screams) of laughter, which is not what we're shooting for, yes?

If a writer were to say, "He slid deep within HER"--I know where he's talking about...I don't need other names.

Names that throw me out of the story: Pussy draws me flying straight out of a story. Hoo-ha or Hoo-Hoo would have worked better than the P-word.

And "manstaff" also sends me into fits.

Vague. Keep the words vague.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Hellion, vague is in vogue with me, too. I have a little something up my sleeve (or down my pants) for my September contest, which I hope you'll participate in. Anne, get some aspirin handy!

Lacey, tu tu is too cute!

Ely, my girls use that word and they didn't learn it from me! *g*