Wednesday 4 November 2015

Let's call a spade a spade. Unless it's a shovel. Or a diggy stick. Or a spayspay, or spoospoo...

*warning - another wordy post with little quilting and a few NSFW words*

So man and me, we're sitting on the sofa exhaling deeply after a successful end to the "bedtime" routine (otherwise known as moos mental hour).
"during her bath tonight she did something" man says, looking frankly a bit shifty.

"oh?" says I, thinking either floaty turds or some such malarkey.

"well,"  he says.  "she had the sponge, washing herself, and I said 'now wash your fanny'."
(*for any American readers, in UK fanny refers to vagina*)

"aaaaand?"  I say, not remotely surprised he's asked her to do it herself, as I know he really makes an effort to try to not be awkward about it but....  Blokes!  Anyway.  "aaaand?"

"Well.  She did it."  he says with concern.

"yeaaaaaah."  I say, with a 'so what' implied....

"She did it."  he says.  "She washed her fanny."

"okay,"  I say slowly, "what did you think she'd do?!"

"no," he says, (I'm clearly not getting the point here) "she did it, she knows she's got a fanny" he says, like all should be clear now.

"well of course she knows she's got a fanny!  what the hell are you on about?!"

"no!  She knows its a FANNY.  She knows that word."  He genuinely seems quite troubled.

I'm a bit bemused here I must admit.  "So?  What's the problem there?"

"well!  Isn't that a bit, well, a bit rude?"

Trying not to laugh, as he seems so concerned here, I said "well, I hate to break it to you but she probably knows you've got a willy's just learning body parts!"

"I know, willys not rude though.  I just thought maybe we should have called it something else, that's all."

"Oh so Fanny is rude and Willy isn't?  What else would you call it?"  genuinely curious as to what he'll come up with now...

"well, I call it her funny front bum".

"...?...!....."  give me a minute...  "okay, so do you want her to grow up thinking its funny or peculiar?  Which?!"

"och no, course I dont, I dont know.  I never thought about it like that before."

"Right."  I said, thinking I should reign myself in a bit here and approach this better.  Admittedly I was enjoying myself a bit too much, and when I could see he was being so genuine too...  What a meany.
"I was told it was my 'front bottom', and in our house even 'bum' was considered a swear word.  Other girls thought I was well stuck up.  I didn't want to call it that with my girl.  Sorry, maybe we should have discussed it ages ago, I just didn't see a problem with fanny."

"ach, well, I don't know, I don't really have a problem with fanny" he says  (I'm thinking dont laugh dont laugh dont laugh)  "I just, well, for kids like, arent you meant to call it something less, well. rude?"

Letting the second 'fanny is rude' go, I say "Let's google it.  See what others say."

What followed was a good half hour or so of incredulity, laughter, disbelief...  Confusion, and in my case, ultimately a bit of a ranty strop!

All the googling and forum reading boiled down to this.  There seemed to be two camps.

On one side we have all the foo foo's, the nu nu's, the flower's, the Mary's (wtf?!), the Moo moo's (oh dear god we nicknamed our daughter a term for genitalia?  Way to traumatise her...), the lady garden's, the bits, the bitsies, the lady bits, the girl parts, the fuff, the gina, the china, the foof, the area, the minnie (what would mickey say?!) the ninnie (in Scotland a ninny is an idiot!), the twinkle (like the little star we sing of?!), the tuppence, the tuppy, the v-jay jay....  I could go on, but if my eyes roll any more they are likely to spin out of the sockets.
I don't wish to offend you if one of the above is yours.  Its a very personal thing, isn't it.  Each to their own!  But me?  I simply couldn't use any of them with a straight face.  Neither could man. (phew!).

On the other side, the straight forwards camp, we have the vagina, the vulva and the labia.
I find these a bit cold.  Correct they may be, but I'd only use them with a doctor...  I get the point though.  Sensible argument - a toe is a toe, a knee is a knee.  I'm more in agreement with a commenter who said "and do you tell her to wipe her anus?!!!"   Precisely.  Again man and I are in agreement (rare thing!), its a tummy not a stomach, its a bum not a posterior, and neither of us are inclined to want to say vagina to a two year old....

However.  This is where I got a bit ranty....  Both camps with their completely opposite names, both camps seemed to agree on one thing.  Apparently, Fanny is a bit rude.  But Willy isnt.


Why is fanny more rude than willy?

Why are we raising girls to be more self conscious and uncomfortable about their fanny than boys would be about their willy?

This inevitably brought me round to a favourite rant of mine, one which man has heard before, many times.  Why is the universally accepted most rude and offensive swear word CUNT?  I disagree with it's use as a derogatory term full stop, but the fact that its seemingly the most offensive of all cursing winds me up no end.

At the end of all our googling, man looked at me with a twinkle... "go on, join the forum, tell them you're telling our daughter it's a CUNT.  You know you want to...  Go on...."

I'm only too sorry to say that I didn't.  But I dont think thats the last of the gender equality discussions me and man will have now we have our Moo.  Not by a long shot!

Anyway.  To lighten things I'll leave you with this for fun.  Many would say it's one who dresses far too young for her age and another just doesn't dress enough!  I disagree.  I see two strong independent women who are always fighting to teach young girls (and the rest of the world!) to love their bodies and not fear their sexuality.  And ppfftt to all that, they do damn good pop too.

Miley Cyrus
“I don’t get the violence revenge thing. That’s supposed to be a good example? And I’m a bad role model because I’m running around with my titties out? I’m not sure how titties are worse than guns.” 


  1. Well, we are far less interesting in my neck of the woods. Girls have vaginas and boys have penises. And surprisingly, neither word seems weird or cold if you just use them correctly and often. And people in the store or at the school or in the library might blush but rarely argue with your or your child about their appropriateness in the end. But if you want to use a different word it is entirely up to you and whatever makes sense to you, just as you learned there are a lot of different opinions and views on what is appropriate and what is not.

  2. I was told mine was a diddle but the girl next door had a - wait for it - kisswasti - wtf !! x
    ( sorry for deleted comments above - blogger throwing a hissy fit )

  3. They're fannies in our house, and willies. I think vagina is inside, and I don't live the word labia.

  4. I'm on my phone, ands it's so hard to type long comments! When I was little I was taught fanny, but my close friend called it a Bagina (vagina, but with a B not a V)!!

  5. I love this.... great post. We can't be far behind you in needing to have this conversation but haven't yet, and I have no idea what word we'll use. I'm tempted to bring it up tonight just to see how Daddy deals with it - thanks for giving me a laugh!

  6. I reckon people have a problem with fanny in case children start using this or other words in a way that might seem shocking or offensive to others. When my niece was little I referred to it as her do-da. I did laugh above that your Man was calling it a fanny to Moo then shocked that she knew what he was referring too - well if he'd been calling it that what did he think she'd think? I do remember when my niece was small she told me her dad had a "woolley" I said. Yes, keeps him warm in when it's cold. She looked pretty perplexed. It later transpired she was on about him having a willy. I don't want to think of such things regarding my brother - whatever they're called ;-)

  7. I think fanny is a good word - better than the ones that try and cover up what it really is. Agree it is generally seen that female genitals words are seen as ruder. I think it stems from the message that they are dirtier somehow and what happens down there should be hidden and kept more secret. Yes, I get angry about it as well.

  8. we're anatomically correct in this house now, but when the kidlets were small it was willy/tookie (don't ask). Then the lad turned six and began performing his "penis dance" - a chorus of "my penis! my penis! my penis!" accompanied by pelvic thrusting. It was game over at that point.

  9. Fanny sounds ok to me, but I'm an American, and my dad used to say fanny instead of bottom. Vagina was 'wee wee place'. I much prefer fanny to that!

  10. This is so funny! There is an unbalance in the gender!
    I agree with both women are strong but I disagree to show that in underwear (even if their bodies are great). I wouldn't stop laughing if a male singer would go on stage in his undies. But I have to say my girl did not stop laughing watching Mily on her wrecking ball.

  11. See, fanny is a swear word to me so it really is in the cunt zone (and yes, agreeing about the disparity between male/female genital slang!) and I can't get away from that. Maybe there's a bit of a regional thing going on. If Chook went to the school nurse and said she'd, I dunno, got a football in the fanny at PE she'd get a demerit for swearing!

    We had a geographical "between your legs" which - for me - straddled (heh) between the brutally honest biological and the pet names. Fairy?! *shudders* But we may need to agree to disagree on that Cyrus girl. I could get my high horse out the cupboard but it's boring for folks listening to me rant. *g*

  12. Fantastic - I'd have loved to be a fly-on-the-wall with that conversation! We tend to keep penis and vagina for clinical type discussions but all my lot know that is what they're called. John grew up in a house where nothing like this was ever discussed, I've no idea what words they referred to their anatomy with - possibly no references at all, and there wasn't any talk on sex education - nothing at all, no mention of how things work ever. The poor man also went to quite a traditional private school which didn't teach sex education either - he got to the last 2 years of school before he rebelled and insisted on going to the local sixth form college. I can't imagine growing up like this, my household was very to earth and up front about all things body related - vets for parents leaves nothing to the imagination and used to shock a lot of my friends with what they'd discuss at meal times! And I really appreciate that equality was taken for granted.
    The strangest I've ever heard was a neighbour who said 'poh poh' rather than poo when her daughter was being toilet trained. Juliex

  13. I'd have got into big trouble if I'd referred to it as a fanny - that was regarded as a swear word in my (Catholic, traditional) home but then so was bum and pig (if used as an insult rather than referring to the animal!) and willy was definitely rude!

    I think we called it 'front bottom' (and boys had a tail..!) and I'm fairly sure that's what my nieces call it, although it's not something they particularly talk about so I can't be sure. And 'down there' isn't something I talk about but I may have to do a straw poll among my friends and get back to you! When I was teaching, most of the girls called it 'front bottom' or 'between my legs' (I didn't need to have that conversation very often) but one girl called it her tuppence which I didn't like - I think because it was linked to money...

  14. Thank you for the immense chuckle! We call them 'weasels' in our house, but that wasn't intentional on my part. It's because 2 year old Hannah called it a weasel herself one day; after I'd choked down my laughter and asked 'why is it called a weasel?' she answered 'because that's where the wees come out!' And there it was - gospel of a 2 year old. 5 or so years later we still (fondly) refer to it as a weasel, and it makes me crack up every time without fail. They both know the 'proper' terms, we just choose to use her term. In my family growing up we never used Fanny though. I can remember when I was in primary school and the teacher was reading a famous 5 book aloud to us, she said 'Fanny' referring to the mothers name and I had no idea what they were laughing about! I don't think it's commonly used in NZ.

  15. Now I'm trying to remember what I was told it was called! I was living with parents that hadn't got past the 70's and walking around in the buff when they got up in the morning, so i certainly knew what all the bits were though, and I remember one of my dad's colleague's wives being horrified that when I was 5 my mum bought some Usborne book of the body that had ALL the bits in it, and even said how babies were made (in basic terms). Still, fanny and willy were both equally verboten at all the schools I was at, and I just *hate* the word cunt, it's the sound rather than the reference I detest.

  16. Sorry can't help with your dilemma, but this might make you smile. We used to have a dog called peaches, who moved with us from uk to Czech. It took us a few weeks to realise the word peaches is very close to the Czech for the c word! (sorry can't say it or even write it) we had been walking around calling our dog a c**t.

  17. Well being Dutch helped lots here. The translation for both boys and girls is a wee-wee when they are little (under 5). After that, in my family at least, we go to the correct terms like vagina and penis.
    Not sure why fanny should be rude though when willy isn't.

  18. We used fanny and willy (and bum and boobies) but one of the other kids who went to the same childminder called his willy "piglet", and didn't wee or pooh, but did number ones or number twos. Lisa spent a while getting muddled with Piglet and Pooh! Good luck, but thanks for the very entertaining post!

  19. Lol, great post. I think we used "bits" or "girly bits" when Jess was younger. Fanny took over when she got older. Always such a contentious subject. The c word comes out when I'm really cross!

  20. This is brilliant. Started off saying 'lady bits' ironically but now use vagina and penis. Explaining stuff to a bilingual child is complicated enough. Having said that, she also sometimes calls it her knoedel (a kind of German dumpling) and a penis is a 'porky'. These are not German slang terms, they seem to have come straight out of her head, disturbingly! Miley = role model?! seriously?!

  21. Thanks for the laughs. I nearly wet myself. Here in Australia fanny and doodle were used in my house growing up and I passed these terms on to my kids (2 girls and 1 boy). I have 6 granddaughters and I refer to it as fanny to them. The two younger ones call it their bits which horrified me when I first heard the 5yr old use that word. DIL uses that term.

  22. Thanks for the best laugh I've had in ages! We use fanny/billy and can't help but think that giving it a nickname is just ridiculous. Don't think that I'd use vagina either as I think fanny applies to the general area but vagina is more specific to inside?

    I really didn't realise that fanny was considered so rude by so many, it's always been rude in my family as you didn't talk about down there in public but it wasn't considered a swear word!

  23. hahahahaha! I haven't read anyone's blog for so long I can't remember the last time I did. But just read this and near laughed my arse (can I say that?) off. Maybe I'm just being cunt. ;-P