Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's In A Name?

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In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says, 
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
A couple of months ago Grams and Grandad were visiting Our Little Princess and her parents for the weekend. She's about to turn two years old and is talking pretty plainly now. We were sitting at the dining room table having dinner and somehow got on the topic of names for private parts, specifically what parents teach kids to call their private parts.
I would like to point out right now that our son-in-law reminded us that this was hardly proper dinner conversation, but, as usual, we were not deterred.
I was one of those moms who was determined to teach my kids to call it what it is. And I did try. What I didn't take into consideration is that they would be influenced by other kids and other adults.

My daughter arrived at her own terminology. Instead of vagina, she called it her pooch. I have no idea where that came from. It has been suggested that perhaps it came from a Spanish-speaking child care worker, but I'm just not sure.

When he was very little (under 3), instead of penis my son called it his pee-pee. As he got older, the terminology evolved into the usual slang words.

In thinking about this topic I realized that I've heard some strange terminology over the years.
  • I know a grown woman who calls it her "cookie-wookie."
  • I know a young woman whose parents actually taught her to call it by a four letter slang word that starts with "c" and ends in "nt." If I had said that word, my mother would have slapped me in the mouth.
  • My brother-in-law and sister taught their boys to call their penis a "stem."
  • The term "va-jay-jay," used by both Oprah Winfrey and Grey's Anatomy, is my all-time favorite. It just makes me giggle.
  • I've heard little boys call it their "bat."
  • I've also heard male anatomy referred to as "sausage."
This is by no means a comprehensive list. It's just a few that stand out in my memory.

By the way, the preferred terminology for Our Little Princess is "lady business." What can I say? My kids are Saturday Night Live fans.

What did you teach your kids about terminology for their body parts? And, just as important, what terms did they arrive at on their own?

1 comment:

  1. Those parents should be slapped. I can't believe anyone would teach their child the 'C' word. We call everything by the proper name but sadly, at daycare, my son learn to call poop 'ca-ca.' I hate it.

    LisaDay

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