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Buckinger’s Boot: 16 Bizarre 19th-Century Euphemisms for ‘Vagina’

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By Jennie Goldstein on March 1, 2012

Back (and front) by popular demand! There’s a lot of real talk going on about ladybusiness these days. Some men want to give us transvaginal ultrasounds and restrict our access to reproductive healthcare. Other men don’t. But the one thing both groups have in common: Neither one can say the word “vagina.” Clearly, the world needs better terminology.

So, inspired by “38 Slang Terms From Colonial Times,” we present a highly edited list of our favorite Georgian Age euphemisms for a woman’s “monosyllable.”

Crude and absurdly sexist, these 200-year-old terms made us giggle for their, um, descriptive qualities. (See CARVEL’S RING — you will never look at an ice cream cake the same way again.) Which is why they’re perfect for 2012, the year the GOP frontrunner talked endlessly about rolling our reproductive rights back to the 19th century. We need an 1800s vocabulary to talk about our ladybusiness.

Start practicing now! If Dave Albo had said “trans–doodle sack” instead of “trans-v,” he’d probably have gotten laid that night.


1. BITE. A cheat; also a woman’s privities. The cull wapt the mort’s bite; the fellow enjoyed the wench heartily. Cant.

It’s also a French slang term for penis. Somebody obviously got mixed up crossing the Channel.

2. BOTTOMLESS PIT. The monosyllable.

Depends on if you’re man enough to fill it.

3. BUCKINGER’S BOOT. The monosyllable. Matthew Buckinger was born without hands and legs; notwithstanding which he drew coats of arms very neatly, and could write the Lord’s Prayer within the compass of a shilling; he was married to a tall handsome woman, and traversed the country, shewing himself for money.

If you can explain this, get at me. Matthew?

4. BURNING SHAME. A lighted candle stuck into the parts of a woman, certainly not intended by nature for a candlestick.

Sexist. But please send me a drawing of this.

5. CARVEL’S RING. The private parts of a woman. Ham Carvel, a jealous old doctor, being in bed with his wife, dreamed that the Devil gave him a ring, which, so long as he had it on his finger, would prevent his being made a cuckold: waking he found he had got his finger the Lord knows where. See Rabelais, and Prior’s versification of the story.

If you like it, ladies, put a Carvel’s Ring on it. P.S. What if this were “Carvel’s Rim”?

6. COCK ALLEY. The private parts of a woman.

Google Imaging this will get you 11 results before porn. We know this because.

However, if you map it … !


7. COFFEE-HOUSE. A necessary house. To make a coffee-house of a woman’s ****; to go in and out and spend nothing.

I love this because, as a coffeehouse patron (get your mind out of the gutter. Hey, what’s up, 9th Street Espresso!), I identify strongly with the sentiment. Also, it’s easily the most romantic term on the list. Steamed-up windows, making eyes across a cup of joe (or Matthew) …

8. CRINKUM CRANKUM. A woman’s commodity.

This is the only one on the list I’ve actually heard in bed. Thanks, baby.

9. DOODLE SACK. A bagpipe. Dutch. —Also the private parts of a woman.

It stains your fingers orange!

10. MADGE. The private parts of a woman.

(This photo is actually called madonna-crotch, and it comes from a site called Triple Nippled Cowboy.)

11. MAN TRAP. A woman’s commodity.

Fuck everything about this.

12. HAT. Old hat; a woman’s privities: because frequently felt.

This is my actual favorite. No snarky comment could do “hat” justice. Just … props, whoever you are.

13. MONOSYLLABLE. A woman’s commodity.

You have to say “monosyllable” while puffing on a cigar in your drawing room. Preferably to your secretary.

14. MOTHER OF ST. PATRICK. The Monosyllable. IRISH.

Pairs well with Jameson. Not just for breakfast anymore!

15. NOTCH. The private parts of a woman.

This has the advantage of being anatomically correct.

16. TUZZY-MUZZY. The monosyllable.

It’s adorable and onomatopoeic. What’s not to love? “Tuzzy-Muzzy & Pudenda” sounds like the name of a children’s book. Aww.

Enjoy your weekend, kids.

Jennie Goldstein is the associate director of the Arab American Association of New York, a nonprofit social service agency in south Brooklyn. She speaks three languages and never wears prints. Jennie tweets for @ArabAmericanNY. Reach her at BackpackandSneakersKid [at] gmail.com.

All terms are taken from Francis Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence (“considerably altered and enlarged, with the modern changes and improvements, by a member of the Whip Club. Assisted by Hell-Fire Dick, and James Gordon, Esqrs. of Cambridge”), published in 1811.


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