Plus, wild synonyms from Flower to Penis Fly Trap.
Referring to your “woo-woo” by its proper, anatomical name (penis) is hardly considered uncouth in 2021. But for all the proper bodily terminology we’ve managed to adapt into casual discourse in recent years, it would seem that dropping “vagina” still operates as something of a faux pas (naturally, shouting “penis” gives off a different effect).
Worse, even, than our apprehension to toss the word “vagina” around without pretense is how quick we are to define the term incorrectly. Often, the label is misused to describe the vulva –– which refers to your external genitalia but not the internal structures in the area (more accurately, the vagina describes the muscular canal that connects all that external genitalia to the uterus).
On that note, the vagina’s specific etymology likely plays a part in our reticence to use the term colloquially. According to the original Latin use of the word, “vagina” was a sheath for a sword (unsurprisingly, the penis was often referred to as...the sword in question). And at the time, that ethos ran deep: During the Roman Empire, it was actually believed that men and women shared the same sex organs, but women bore a certain “deformity” as an outward manifestation.
Fortunately, by the 1500s, research—and publicly accessible anatomical drawings —disproved that entirely absurd theory. And by the time the Enlightenment Period rolled around (circa 1685), the “vagina” had its distinct terminology. That said, our relative cagey-ness around the word could perhaps spawn from the historic Latin definitions that identify “vagina” as a vessel for male pleasure (a sword sheath) rather than a pivotal, complex part of female physiology.
In the meanwhile, though, over the years, we’ve certainly built up quite a catalog of euphemisms for the V-word. So, for the sake of our amusement—and in the hopes of reconfiguring the way we talk about female biology—here’s a look at our favorite vagina synonyms from throughout the ages.
Roast Beef Curtains
Penis Fly Trap
The Most Coy