To ask you for a name for daughter's bits?

(302 Posts)
lucamom Sun 07-Apr-13 09:11:03

Apologies in advance if this is inappropriate.

My two boys (6 & 4) are mildly obsessed with the fact that baby sister (1) doesn't have a dinkle. We deal with the anatomy explanations quite well I think until it comes time to 'name' her bits (appropriate to their age, but avoiding twee names like foo-foo/Twinkie etc)

I hate the 'v' word (rubbish I know-sister is a midwife who believes in using medical terms for everything!), and I think as a kid we used fanny, which I also hate.

So tell me, what do you/your daughter's call yours? Inspiration needed please.

Sorry if this is weird!

GirlWiththeLionHeart Sun 07-Apr-13 09:12:11

I used to call mine 'Minnie' not sure why

chubbymomie2012 Sun 07-Apr-13 09:13:15

I have one Dd and 3ds' we call ladies bits our tuppence. I'm a nurse but I think the v would is ugly. So we stick to the twee I'm afraid.

We use Minky but they know the correct names too.

HamAlive Sun 07-Apr-13 09:13:26

Isn't "dinkle" a bit twee?!

We used "tuppence" as kids but I don't like that.

Suzietastic Sun 07-Apr-13 09:13:48

We say bits for my sons and my daughters which has always been fine. A few of my friends think it's odd and use bits for boys and minnie for girls - which I hate. As I say, we went with bits and its worked fine for years.

What's wrong with vulva? If you aren't going to use it at least tell them that's the proper word for it.

Failing that, fanny or Minnie.

Crawling Sun 07-Apr-13 09:14:12

I used to call mine a minnie ds has assumed that dd has a big bum grin

ParadiseChick Sun 07-Apr-13 09:14:17

Fucking hell.

ParadiseChick Sun 07-Apr-13 09:14:55


NewAtThisMalarky Sun 07-Apr-13 09:14:56

When my daughter was little we used tushie, but there's so much Americanisation now that it might be confusing as they use it differently.

Altinkum Sun 07-Apr-13 09:15:34

My nieces call theirs their fairy....

However I have 2 sons and they call mine my front bottom.

juwie Sun 07-Apr-13 09:16:07

fanny,minnie,penny,foof or foofy.

ohmentalnessisme Sun 07-Apr-13 09:21:05

Its minnie in our house, ds asked one day and I had to think of something quickly.

Catbert4pm Sun 07-Apr-13 09:21:16

Front bottom smile

BikeRunSki Sun 07-Apr-13 09:21:35

It's female for Willy after all.

MrsPatrickDempsey Sun 07-Apr-13 09:22:18

DD aged 2 ish 'mummy, what is this called?' (Points to genital area)

Me 'well its called a vagina but people call it different things, eg, penny, fooofoo, front bottom etc.'

DD 'I am going to call mine peach!'

So there you have it! Wish there was a more acceptable common name though like there is for willy.

pinkyponk67 Sun 07-Apr-13 09:24:07

We call ours girls' bits in our house, in a staggering display of originality.

Montybojangles Sun 07-Apr-13 09:24:17

My gran used to say Mary, my nan said tuppence. I've heard people just call it front bottom, fanny and flower. Use what ever you fancy.

Montybojangles Sun 07-Apr-13 09:25:06

grin pinkyponk

ChilliJo Sun 07-Apr-13 09:25:24

DS has a winky, DD a front bottom. I think that sits midway on the twee/factual scale.

Alwayscheerful Sun 07-Apr-13 09:27:49


I think front bottom is awful. Bottoms are seen as dirty and not to be touched as that's where poo comes out. Why would anyone teach her daughter that about her genitals?

puddock Sun 07-Apr-13 09:29:11

You're going to get a wide range of opinions on here. Mine is that using coy names is (a) twee, (b) potentially confusing, (c) anatomically vague, and (d) suggests that the bits-that-must-not-be-named are something to be ashamed of.
We use vulva and penis (sometimes willie). I would use vagina if we were talking about childbirth or sex but so far we've only had conversations about external bits! My DCs are younger than yours. Willie is DP's preference - IMO it is a bit like "tummy" - i.e. an inoffensive child's name that's universally understood - but there just isn't a female equivalent and for all the reasons above, I prefer to go down the accurate/anatomical route.

Ra88 Sun 07-Apr-13 09:29:36

My dd calls hers her "lady" lol

Pickles101 Sun 07-Apr-13 09:29:52

We have dickies & duckies in this house, thanks to Ozzie OH.

mum2jakie Sun 07-Apr-13 09:30:57

We use tuppence for girls and widger for boys' bits.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 09:31:58

I change it all the time and the girls do too. They know vagina and vulva...but We also have minnie, bunty, bits and I sometimes call mine "Dave" which they think is hysterical.

I told them mine's a dude. grin It might's demanding and's quite hairy too.

we have willies and girly bits in our house.

Rowgtfc72 Sun 07-Apr-13 09:32:36

We use " bits".

Pickles101 Sun 07-Apr-13 09:32:38

MrsPatrickDempsey I shall memorise that technique for when DD is older! Nice one grin

I hate the term vulva. Such an ugly word!

KatoPotato Sun 07-Apr-13 09:33:52

We say bits. Or willy.

Growing up my DM had my sister and me calls ours our 'split' ! How utterly fucking disgusting, thanks mum!

ArabellaBeaumaris Sun 07-Apr-13 09:36:51

What puddock said.

fluffyraggies Sun 07-Apr-13 09:41:49

3DDs, teens and up.

We used 'flower' till DDs were each 7 or 8ish.

After that there wasn't much need to discuss their bits except in passing and after that sort of age if it was serious stuff they'd explain properly what they wanted to say using the proper terms. They were never confused.

Incidentally DD1 said to me the other day in a shop - ''stand in front of me mum, i've got my knicks in my flower and it's driving me mad!'' Made me grin 'cos she still uses the term. She's 20.

No one is damaged or confused by using a daft name for their bits when young surely?

ChairmanWow Sun 07-Apr-13 09:46:10

My niece calls hers her front bottom. I've just had a baby girl (already have a DS) so I think we'll call it the same. kiss I don't really make that association with back bottom and dirtiness but if you do I can understand why it might sound a bit nasty.

Willdoitinaminute Sun 07-Apr-13 09:59:30

Beware calling it 'fairy' a friend got into real trouble with her dd when DH said they had to put her fairy on top of the Xmas tree.

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 10:00:22

I hate front bottom. It makes me ragey, not sure why. I can tolerate the other twee names but not front bottom.

FriggFRIGG Sun 07-Apr-13 10:05:25

I hate twee names.
It's bizarre IMO to re name a body part something wouldn't do it for their elbow,so why their Vulva?

I've taught my DS and DD the correct names for all their body parts.


AvrilPoisson Sun 07-Apr-13 10:10:27

Vulva and penis. Teaching them anything else is ridiculous- why should they be shy about their bodies? Ooh, titter, titter, let's not talk about that part of you... hmm

Uncle Steve admired my fairy, he thinks it's lovely.
Anyone else seeing a slight problem here?

Samu2 Sun 07-Apr-13 10:15:04

Vulva/ vagina and penis here!

Although, my 4 year old nicknamed hers geena the gina blush

I don't like cutesy names, they are just body parts so don't understand the need to call it something else. Although it does make me smile when my four year old uses her nickname.

Front bottom is just horrible.

Mary, don't know why, but had DS in stitches when he met his friends Mum of the same/name smile

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 10:22:03

Front bum here clearly against popular opinion but sure why though.

Vulva is a horrible word can't imagine a 3 year old saying it.

Don't really like twinkle tuppence and all that crap. Called it front bum as a child and no lasting damage! People do over analyse this stuff.

AvrilPoisson Sun 07-Apr-13 10:25:27




What is so horrible?

Velvelty vulva.

FriggFRIGG Sun 07-Apr-13 10:26:56

It's not nice to call your vulva a bottom,because when people hear 'bottom' especially children,they think off poo,and are often told that its dirty.
Why should a girls vulva be thought of as dirty? Even subconsciously.
Why should women have two dirty areas?
It's horrid.

Vulva as a word is fine people think of it as a horrid word because you are taught that it's so awful it must be re named.

ComeOnBeANoOne Sun 07-Apr-13 10:28:22

We call our daughter's a Noonie!

MDA Sun 07-Apr-13 10:29:35

Son has a willy and daughter has a Minnie though we don't use the term often, don't need to really. I'd be more likely to say "wipe yourself" and hand her toilet paper than "wipe your Minnie" or "lets give you a wash" etc

Vulva as a word isn't too bad though kind of clinical it is correct but we drive a Volvo so I'm envisaging all sorts of confusion if we introduce that term grin

tethersend Sun 07-Apr-13 10:31:23

It's fanny in our house.

FriggFRIGG Sun 07-Apr-13 10:32:39

Uncle X looked at my flower,he liked it.
Uncle X looked at my fairy,he said it was nice.
Uncle X looked at my Minnie.
Uncle X looked at my

Uncle X looked at my vulva.

Anyone else notice why it might be important to teach our children the correct terms for their body parts? especially the most private ones?!

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 10:35:00

I think bottom bring dirty therfore front bum being dirty and they will think of themselves as dirty us hugely over thinking it. They are not going to be psychologically scarred by it.

Vuvla is just cold and clinical the same way as I would say "come here and I'll kiss your noggin/fingers better"

I don't say "come here and I will put my labium on your skull/phalanges"

digerd Sun 07-Apr-13 10:36:27

Venus Butterfly, I heard it once called. Rather like that.

We called it a wee wee, as that is where it comes . DB the same.

Knew nothing about having a vagina inside until I was 10.

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 10:36:49

Oh FFS then not knowing the word vulva won't open them up to abuse!

DD1 knows that her body is private and she is to say no to anyone who makes her feel uncomfortable and tell mummy.

Branleuse Sun 07-Apr-13 10:37:03

She calls it her foo

almostanotherday Sun 07-Apr-13 10:41:02

Minnie or girly bits.

Softly: plenty of experts in child abuse disagree with you. A friend of mine went on a parenting course where she was told that too.

HowAnnoying Sun 07-Apr-13 10:51:34

The 'V' word hmm is that like the 'n' word or 'c' word?

OxfordBags Sun 07-Apr-13 10:55:19

Wow, do adult women feel weird about the correct term for their own genitals? Seriously? If you can't handle words like vulva and vagina, how are you even mature enough to make a baby come out of one?!

Front bottom is bloody awful. It implies that they are dirty, smelly, etc. And it's suggesting an anatomical similarity which could be confusing for older kids, which at least doesn't exist with mimsy names like Fairy, etc.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 10:57:03

I honestly would suggest you just call it what it is. It's a body part. Same as an arm, a leg, a foot, a toe...

Finding euphamisms for a body part has the potential to give the child the impression that there's is something shameful about it. Which someone shouldn't have about a part of their body.

So it's penis, vulva/vagina and a generic 'genitals' all the way here. By being casual and unembarrassed about it, I hope to avoid it being a sniggery subject. After all, nobody giggles as they chant arm arm arm arm, do they?

We make that happen because we find different words, because we talk of it in whispered voice. There's your head, shoulders, knees and toes and then there's your <looks round. whispers> bits.

Not good.

TidyDancer Sun 07-Apr-13 10:59:25

We say vulva and penis.

Some odd names on here! Tushy/tushie for eg, is a slang term for bottom! Not sure I'd want those definitions mixed up!

I've never understood why people are so afraid to let their children learn correctly. Why would you willfully teach a DC an incorrect word when there are perfectly good correct terms?!

With my next DC I am going to train them to say beef curtains and meat whistle. joking

TheBigJessie Sun 07-Apr-13 10:59:26

Oh FFS then not knowing the word vulva won't open them up to abuse!

Perhaps not "open up", but make it harder for them to report it, yes.

This has happened! Little girls with private family cutisms have tried to tell trusted adults outside the family, such as teachers, and not been understood.

ihearsounds Sun 07-Apr-13 11:01:02

Boys, willy/penis.
Girls, vulva.

Vaginas, imho are not bottoms (seriously people use this?), minnie (not a mouse), tuppence (money), minky (housework stuff - ironing boards etc), fairy (yea because it's magical and has wings), penny (really, another money one never mind a persons name), foofoo (character in beano).

Why not call it what it is, rather than a ridiculous name.

we just say girl/lady bits hmm hmm

UnknownGnome Sun 07-Apr-13 11:01:34

Why do so many people thimk the word vulva is an ugly one?

Is volvo ugly? Or lava?

It's a word. I don't think there has to be an alternative word. My children know the words penis, testicles, vulva and vagina and manage to say all of them without flinching, Having said that, we also use the informal versions - willy and bits.

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 11:06:04

i will admit to using a nickname because DD is likely to talk very openly about her body parts and i want to offer a bit of safeguarding - she has very few appropriate social boundaries and we figured (rightly or wrongly, i'm sure there will be many who will judge me on that wink )

she knows there are names for all the different parts, vagina, vulva 'wee hole' (urethra is too hard for her to remember) but collectively we use the word 'flower'

FriendlyLadybird Sun 07-Apr-13 11:06:37

My DD (5) called hers her 'outrage'! Goodness knows where she got it from.

shellbu Sun 07-Apr-13 11:07:13

we just used the word privates .

OxfordBags Sun 07-Apr-13 11:07:37

It's very disempowering to not know the correct name for such an important part of one's own body. Making it all silly/shameful/mysterious/taboo/unconnected to anything physical or biological does not set girls up for life positively. Society is sexist enough without us joining in by being self-regulating in such pathetic ways.

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 11:17:16

I would not like my dd to have called hers a vulva when she was small! A 4 year old does NOT need to feel empowered by her sexual organs,My nan called mine a kipper, I called dd's a flower. My brothers were just plain old willy.

The scan man at hospital called my friends dd at a sexing scan a burger! hideous!

I don't think anyone is saying you shouldn't teach them the correct anatomical names. However I talk about my dcs tummys is that not ok then?

I do think we have to talk about vulvas etc in a different way to elbows, knees because they are different. They are private. I have taught my dd vulva and vagina is inside but we use a nickname. Same as ds2 has a willy and wingles.

I don't want them thinking people can touch them in the same way as if they hold hands iyswim.

If dd came to someone and said 'Uncle X looked at my Minky' I still think it would set off alarm bells.

Clawdy Sun 07-Apr-13 11:18:49

Crotch in our house. Accurate and straightforward.

bunnymother Sun 07-Apr-13 11:22:46

Nunu in our house

MrsBungle Sun 07-Apr-13 11:23:26

Front bottom here. I do not associate bottoms as being 'dirty' at all.

HollyBerryBush Sun 07-Apr-13 11:23:55

Just to point out, "vulva" is the collective term for all the female external reproductive bits, not a specific things like labia or vagina. So if you are going to use "vulva" you might just as well wave your hands in the general direction and vaguely point at it because you aren't saying anything specific at all.

meddie Sun 07-Apr-13 11:25:54

Used lady bits but DD self named hers her Sugar Puff, due to the resemblance to the cereal.
My son refused to eat sugar puffs for years because of it.

Emilythornesbff Sun 07-Apr-13 11:27:30

Minnie in our house.

UnknownGnome Sun 07-Apr-13 11:28:31

Whereas 'flower', 'tuppence' and 'bits' are more specific?

teaandcakesagoodmummakes Sun 07-Apr-13 11:33:49

We use winky for DS and twinkle for DD

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 11:34:38

unknown if you were in the shop, say stood in the que and ur 4 year old said ''mum, my labia is itchy..'' how would u feel? For me personally it would be tmi for others around.

lucamom Sun 07-Apr-13 11:36:07

Thanks to everyone for replying-food for thought.

I fully understand why some are against teaching alternative words to kids (a pet hate if mine is baby-talk, we never use gee-gee/choo choo etc, always talked using proper names).

However, I think for very young children there is a level of appropriateness which means we can't be as free with our private parts as other parts of the body, and somehow it seems to de-sexualise them by giving them nicknames. Going to the toilet/having sex/giving birth are all completely natural but we do them as privately as possible, hence there is a difference with body parts used. I use boobs/dinkle etc as they somehow seem less offensive (if that's the word) from a child's mouth.

Think we'll go with front bottom (reminds me of when Daniel Craig was on graham norton recently, where they played a game to find your porn star name-childhood name for genitals plus grandmother's maiden name. My sister's porn name, therefore, would be frontbum Taylor!)

TidyDancer Sun 07-Apr-13 11:36:12

Why would it be tmi? Children come out with random shit all the time, lots of it you wouldn't, as an adult, say in public. Why is it that correct terms for genitals have special protection?

UnknownGnome Sun 07-Apr-13 11:40:13

I just think it's sad that we feel that way about the proper names for female genitalia. Is it more embarrassing for a girl to say her vagina's itchy than for a boy to say his penis is sore? And if it is, why is it? I would argue that we're programmed to believe the words are rude or embarrassing. To the point where grown women will refer yo their minnie when talking to a doctor.

DumSpiroSpero Sun 07-Apr-13 11:40:33

On a day-to-day basis it's girly bits/lady parts in our house, but we've recently had conversation about puberty/periods/sex and on those occasions I generally use the correct terminology.

There's room for both imho.

stressyBessy22 Sun 07-Apr-13 11:41:41

My younger DDs call it 'toot toot' No ida where that came from- and older ones call it their 'privates'
I like 'privates'
I am surprised so many people use 'Minnie'. There are quite a few little girls called that around this way.

MannUp Sun 07-Apr-13 11:44:30

DS has a "special purpose"

MrRected Sun 07-Apr-13 11:45:47

Proper names in our house. I don't call my foot my twinkle. Not sure why a different rule falls true for my vulva/vagina/breasts??

quoteunquote Sun 07-Apr-13 11:51:10

This^^ what MrRected said.

Proper names, we have always used proper names boys and girls,

never had a problem, and it is important.

proper names are required when interviewing children about abuse, so using proper names from the beginning helps protect children.

I find the silly names creepy.

SirBoobAlot Sun 07-Apr-13 12:01:32

I don't get the silly name thing. Like MrRected said, I don't teach DS to call other body parts by ridiculous titles.

I'm a single mum. DS sees me naked most days when getting dressed, and obviously, I see him naked when washing and dressing him. So he's asked about why I don't have a willy / what sanitary towels are for <longs for a wee in peace> / what my 'milk' is really called. I've answered each question honestly. They're perfectly capable of understanding it.

And if a name of a body part being repeated by a child in public, you need a bit of a reality check.

stressyBessy22 Sun 07-Apr-13 12:03:05

'proper names are required when interviewing children about abuse, so using proper names from the beginning helps protect children. '

what non sense.I awas abused as a child and one of the first thing the police asked my mum were for the 'pet' names used to describe genitals

Besides we don't call other parts of our body by their medical names.It sounds utterly cringeworthy to hear a 3 yr old say 'vulva' or 'testicles'

TidyDancer Sun 07-Apr-13 12:12:43

No it doesn't sound "utterly cringeworthy", Bessy. I think it's utterly odd you feel this way. You are entitled to your opinion of course, but why on earth do you feel this way?! Are we to assume you have pet names for all body parts? If not, why not?

If anyone could articulate why it's wrong to use the correct words, I would be impressed. Using fake terms is imo bloody ridiculous.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 12:13:57

The silly name thing is a way of letting children know that those parts are different to their arm, leg or's a way of separating them into another area altogether.

Which is well and good because those parts are special and private.

TidyDancer Sun 07-Apr-13 12:17:31

You need special names to teach your children that? Really?

How do children distinguish between 'Minnie' and 'vulva' to know that it's private? Surely you as a parent would teach them that regardless of the word used? Calling their genitals a pet name in no way shape or form gives them protection or privacy.

Fanjounchained Sun 07-Apr-13 12:23:57

Winkle and winkette in our house. Ds knows the proper names. Dd is happy to call hers winkette for time being.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sun 07-Apr-13 12:34:58

Willy's for the boys, (didgeridoo if we are joking). I think i have used meat and two veg to make them laugh.

Girly bits or bits and bobs for the girls. We also use the word petouski but I have no idea why (I hope it doesn't mean anything weird)

I think the logic that you should use the proper name is flawed. The proper names are too serious. I think it makes it easier to talk about your 'bits and bobs' when you inject a little humour and affection into the name IYSWIM.

Trust me, you need a lot of humour when you are trying to remind teenage boys to wash their digereedoos or to check their 'meat and two veg' for lumps.

Josie1974 Sun 07-Apr-13 12:47:58


Vulva just doesn't sound like the right word to me because I grew up thinking it was vagina not vulva, tho I know anatomically its correct. I have explained that to ds'! (6 and 4) who know that vagina is actually the passage for babies. I can't bring myself to use silly euphemisms, I don't see why it isn't just a biological thing.

Dd is2 and she is v proud of her gina!

Josie1974 Sun 07-Apr-13 12:49:22

Each to their own but I don't see why you have to be humorous about a body part?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 14:19:55

well, yes, Holly. It's non-specific in the same way that "your arm" doesn't actively specify whether it's your arm, your whole arm, your forearm, your elbow or whether you're including your wrist or hand in it or not. I'm not really sure I get your point.

ihearsounds Sun 07-Apr-13 14:20:36

Why do you need to use a lot of humour though?

Do you use humour to mask your own embarrassment?

We don't need to use humour. I talk to the teens in an open and honest way, without the need of humour.

twentythirteen Sun 07-Apr-13 14:22:59

I don't really care, but we don't come up for special words for arms, ears or teeth so it does send a message that these are at the very least private, which they are.

ihearsounds Sun 07-Apr-13 14:28:48

Ok so we have established that certain body parts are private and to be given little pet names.. Well, if you are a girl anyway.

Why don't we give boys these silly little names for their penises?
Or what about bottoms and anuses?
These are also private.

TomDudgeon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:31:27

Just asked Ds (3)

Where his stomach is
He pointed to it
Then asked where his tummy is
He pointed to it
Then asked where his belly is
He pointed to it

He's perfectly capable of knowing more than one word for the same thing without getting confused
(And he now thinks I'm

insanityscratching Sun 07-Apr-13 14:33:06

Dd2 calls hers a pipsy because that's the noise it makes when she wees. Dd1 called hers a pippa, as a child mine was a tuppence.

badguider Sun 07-Apr-13 14:43:57

On a day to day basis we use 'bits' for all genitalia male or female. Eg 'stop playing with your bits in public' - It doesn't matter if it is penis/willy or balls/scrotum that's being fiddled with.

But if more accurate description is required (something is sore for eg) then we use vulva.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 14:46:39

ihear....people DO give boy's penises a pet name "Winky" "Willy" "Dick" "Winkle" and lots more.

OxfordBags Sun 07-Apr-13 14:46:55

I'm really not buying the whole argument that using silly words for female genitals indicates that they're private and special. To me, using silly words does the opposite, as it stops them sounding as though there is something real and important there.

Calling your vagina a minkie or whatever does not imply that is private, FFS. It makes it sound like a toy or a pet... And aren't we encouraged to share and touch those?

Moreover, using a silly name for a body part when we don't use one for any other parts (handies instead of hands, for example, doesn't count, as that's just a cutesy variant of the right word) stops that part seeming real and important (ie to be kept safe). It just sounds like something vague and silly and a bit icky.

What actually tells girls that their vaginas/vulvas are private and special are age-appropriate, frank and unembarrassed discussions about genitals, touching, boundaries, etc.

Why are so many women (and that's the tragedy here, the self-collusion with sexism) scared to let their daughters take their genitals seriously and view them as real, normal, healthy, etc.?

ChairmanWow Sun 07-Apr-13 15:00:35

Aren't we all getting a bit judgy about what others choose to call girls' gentials? I really don't see how it matters whether they're called a vulva, tuppence or frigging ickle wickle rose petal as long as girls are taught that their genitals are a part of them and nothing to be ashamed of. They're just words. I didn't hear the word vagina until sex ed and I've somehow managed to come to terms with this terrible omission on the part my parents.

In other news, I'm yet to see anyone use the MN shorthand, fanjo with their kids. I mean, we all use it and most of us seem to be coping with the fact that we have vaginas fairly well. hmm

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 15:29:06

Oxford....but no...I have told both of my DC what their vaginas are for...what the real names for the various parts are and yet I'm just not going to say "Did you wipe your anus darling?" when the little one has been to the loo!

Neither would I say "Now you must change your kinckers daily dear or you will get an itchy vagina."

No. I will say what I like thanks and we have a laugh about's I say, I like being creative.

For general use we use "bits", also we use fairy and willy.

They do know the medical terms, vulva, vagina, penis and testicles, but prefer to use the other names.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 15:30:03

Chairman I do say "Fanjita" on occasion as to my children.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 15:49:05

My goodness it's up to parents what words they use to describe their child's genitals. I qute like what another poster has said, e.g this is called your vulva but sometimes people give it different names; and let your child decide what they feel comfortable with.

fuckwittery Sun 07-Apr-13 15:59:47

Noo noo here. Such odd obsession about 'correct' names. My children have pet names for everything, they can point to their bits if necessary.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 16:03:33

My dd 6 has asd and signigpficant developmental delay, that means sh is not at the maturity level of her peers and would not understand the anatomical names, I just call her girls bits when referring to them e.g put some shower gel on your hand dd and wash your girly bits

FoofFighter Sun 07-Apr-13 16:07:22

Wow, this must be what it feels like to be name-checked on MN threads a lot grin

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 16:09:47

Oxford bags biscuit, what the hellis wrong with girls having names for their vulva, boys have different names for their bits, why not girls. What is it to you if women choose to use a cutsy names for teir genitals it's up to each woman!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 16:12:13

piglet....your DD doesn't need and should not use shower gel or soap on her foof. grin or her vaginny. She needs water...that's all we need.

Lady parts

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 16:13:54

Well sometimes she has poo accidents which go on her bits so have to wash it off

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 16:14:55

Usually I bung her n the bath and put some infacare in there and let it work

OxfordBags Sun 07-Apr-13 16:44:29

Piglet, if people are allowed to think it's fine to be too scared to call their genitals by a correct name, I am equally allowed to think it's daft!

Also, how is vulva any harder to say than girl bits? V is an easier sound for the mouth to make than G, for a start. How is vulva or vagina harder to understand than girly bits? It's no harder to understand than elbow, say. Am not being disingenuous, these are genuine questions.

You can tell her to call them them whatever you like, I'm not trying to tell anyone not to, I just don't get it and think the arguments for cutesy names are spurious.

lucamom Sun 07-Apr-13 16:49:47

I can't really explain why I think the correct names somehow don't seem appropriate. I just imagine that if my son said to his (22 year old male) teacher that he saw his mom's bits, I'd be slightly embarrassed, but if he said he saw his mom's vulva I'd be mortified.

Don't know why, but out of the mouths of children the terms Vulva and vagina sound crude and wrong.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 16:50:51

Thats your opinion but I prefer to refer to them as I do to dd, also I don't like te word vulva, every time te car Volvo is entwined I think f vulva. I refer to my Fanjo not my vulva, it's a Rivas thing ad up to me

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 16:52:52

Meant Private. I agree Luca that would finish me off, whereas bits are not too bad. I call ds 14 monts hs willy when changing him

Xmasbaby11 Sun 07-Apr-13 16:54:34


thegreylady Sun 07-Apr-13 17:03:34

my dd had a 'gina' to rhyme with 'finer' and ds astonishingly had a penis! His friend had a winkle and when we were on holiday we went to Holy Island and there was a stall selling winkles and cockles grin

Catmint Sun 07-Apr-13 17:12:04

We shortened vagina to 'gina, (rhymes with china) as it is easy to say, and recognisable for the body part it actually is.

Now dd is 6, she knows that gina is short for vagina, but still says gina.

How many times can I say gina or vagina in one post?

Catmint Sun 07-Apr-13 17:12:52

Oops, cross post grey lady smile

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Apr-13 17:14:23

It's a vulva and a penis for crying out loud.

Read (or better go and see) the vagina monologues.

There is nothing crude or confusing about them.

I was massively offended when my midwife referred to my 'down there'
She's a fucking midwife and she can't say vagina aaaaaaaaaargh!

Fwiw I think vulva a brilliant word, penis is a bit silly sounding but I use it!

StuntGirl Sun 07-Apr-13 17:18:26


I would never teach a child an alternate word, any more than I would teach them an incorrect term for their head or their leg.

It only sounds 'wrong' because you don't use it often. Use it, and it will become second nature soon enough.

tethersend Sun 07-Apr-13 17:19:23

Was les Dawson your midwife, Herrena? grin

tethersend Sun 07-Apr-13 17:22:29

"I would never teach a child an alternate word, any more than I would teach them an incorrect term for their head or their leg."

Don't you mean their cranium or their tibia? wink

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 17:25:11

neomaxi grin laughed out with that one - I think I might even say it to DH !
oxford I wasn't ever scared of using the correct terminology, just preferred something less clinical for my little dd.

Also am I detecting a hint with some posters that any thing to do with sexual organs is NOT allowed to be taken in any kind of humour. I think that's quiet oppressive - but then again we are all allowed our own views!!

One of the teenagers I worked with calls a ladys neither regions a wizard sleeve................... grin sorry but I think that funny ha ha

Wishihadabs Sun 07-Apr-13 17:31:11

We use lady parts as opposed to boy's bits, I think thats ok.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Apr-13 17:34:36

I love this

My son has a penis his friend has a winkle gringringrin

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 17:39:45

I don't like the words for female genitals much prefer to refer to mine as Fanjo, or fru fru. Why is it sically acceptable fo men to ave nicknames for ter oenis and testicles bit if women use names it's seen as anti feminist.

thegreylady Sun 07-Apr-13 17:39:49

Herrena indeed; and one day his parents came round to complain about my son's 'bad language'-he had of course used the p** word!!
They still let their ds come on holiday with us though.That was in 1977 and in the fullness of time the boys grew up and acted as best man for one another so not too much trauma for the winkle wearer grin

Borntobeamum Sun 07-Apr-13 17:55:04

My dd coined the phrase Tippies and Duddun.
Lord knows where they came from but they've stuck! X

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 17:57:16

what about 'bum' then?
that's a slang term and no-one minds...

OxfordBags Sun 07-Apr-13 18:01:04

So if I don't like the word ankle, should I start going around calling it my walky bone? That's as daft as saying you don't like the given word for a genital body part and are going to give it a coy name instead.

Wizard's sleeve is funny, but also on a par with terms like clunge in terms of offensiveness. I love sweary words and daft names for everything, and often call my vagina a silly name deliberately to make a comedic point to Dh or close friends, it's just the people reaching for the smelling salts over using a boring, mundane term for a body part that makes me get a bit over-serious. I have very little time for mimsiness in adults.

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 18:04:46

wizard's sleeve i think is quite offensive - it refers to the vagina losing elasticity confused

jamdonut Sun 07-Apr-13 18:06:05

My grandma and Mum always used to say "penny". I always thought that was why you "spend a penny"...until I realised it was to do with actually putting a coin into the door of public toilets!blush

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 18:06:40

I want an official term for the vaginal area! I'm feeling oppressed!

Seriously vulva just feels too clinical like when my sil (gp) said that a lady we er with had a vasovagal episode. So that would be fainting then?

A "hand" isn't a hand, a "leg" is a collection of differently named parts. We have willies and plonkers but nothing non twee but non clinical generally accepted for the female genital area.

I see a mumsnet campaign coming in wink.

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 18:09:16

Oh and for those of you who use "vulva" and are offended by other names, dooyou tell your children to wipe their anus properly? Genuine question.

tethersend Sun 07-Apr-13 18:09:33

I think piglet's in a minority not liking the words vulva/vagina- I think most people agree that they are formal words, and opt for informal ones instead.

Since there are few informal universally recognised words for female genitalia which are suitable for children, people have made up crazy names.

I'm sticking with fanny. So to speak grin

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 18:11:24

I've only ever heard it being referred to as a vulva on here following shrieks of vagina being not anatomically correct. But vulva 'contains' (for lack of better word) other anatomy such as the labia, so if you're being pedantic, vulva isn't right either IMO.

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 18:12:44

If willy and balls are the accepted words for males, us females should have accepted words too without being descended upon as if we have commit a crime against all women.

UnknownGnome Sun 07-Apr-13 18:16:15

Just as an interesting aside, the 'nicknames' that are used for penises - cock, dick, willy - are listed in the dictionary as slang words for such. I think the only one for women's bits to appear in the dictionary is cunt which, of course, is highly offensive.

poshme Sun 07-Apr-13 18:16:54

I told my DDs it's a vulva and DD 2 couldn't say it so she calls it her ulva. (She's only 2)...
I don't se why people dislike the word so much. DS has a willy. He knows its really called a penis.

UnknownGnome Sun 07-Apr-13 18:21:16

Ah, minge is in the dictionary too. So the 'official' slang words that we have are cunt and minge.

StuntGirl Sun 07-Apr-13 18:22:57

<sigh> I almost included a sentence about how obviously there are multiple slang words for body parts, such as noggin for head, but we use the correct word the majority of the time and the slang words occasionally, and we teach children that they are slang and not the correct terms, but then I though oh no surely I won't need to go down to such minute detail.

Apparently I did.

"I have very little time for mimsiness in adults."

^ This.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 18:24:11

Oxford that's up to,you what you call your vulva, my body my choice, yes I know the anatomical terminology I am not stupid, but why can't I talk about my Fanjo or fru fru without the feminists having an attack of te vapours and reaching for te smelling salts. So why is it acceptable for men to talk about their willy or todger, or pointing percy at the Porcalinbuttoning for a pee),but if women uses anything but anatomically correct term it's very bad. Yes if you want to be even mre correct, it's cranium for head, femur for leg, and stand so forth. No I'm not in te minority quite a fe people are not keen on the wrds vulva or vagina.

StuntGirl Sun 07-Apr-13 18:24:21

Perhaps we should teach our children those terms unknown. I wonder how the faint of heart would cope with hearing those coming from children's mouths! grin

StuntGirl Sun 07-Apr-13 18:25:26

It's less about using slang and more about teaching children slang to the exclusion of the actual terminology.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 18:25:33

I hate the words cunt, clange sets my teeth on edge

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 18:27:54

I have seen plenty of interviews of young children about abuse utterly derailed because of cutesy or weird names used for genitals. One child used 'bottom' for everything. Apparently her abuser had 'three bottoms'. God only knows what she meant. CPS wouldn't take it further.

I don't like 'cute' names.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 18:28:41

The femur is the long bone in the thigh. It is NOT an equivalent of 'leg'.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 18:32:49

I dont like front bottom. It was 'down there' when I was younger. And that seemed to suffice. I don't agree with vulva and vagina coming from very small children.

OxfordBags Sun 07-Apr-13 18:34:53

It's fine to have a casual term if needs be - I often say vag for brevity's sake - but why do they have to be such twee, silly names? It's very infantilising in adults. I like Gina as an abbreviation, that's a good one (although not so much for women called Gina/Geena grin ).

People not liking the word vulva or vagina does not make it normal to do so. It just means a helluva lot of people have issues, IMO.

Oh, and everything StuntGirl says about slang <new crush>

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 18:35:00

Spero that reads as if the CPS wouldn't pursue a case because a child didn't use the 'correct' words...

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 18:39:03

I agree vivian, gathering evidence from very young Chidren can be unreliable due to their age and lack of maturity not because they are not sure f t correct anatomical words.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 18:39:06

The CPS wouldn't pursue because they didn't have enough evidence to secure a conviction.

A large part of that decision was based on child's very young age (4) and appalling interview. Yes, police interviewer was awful, but she was not helped by the very confusing terminology used by child.

I have seen this a lot. It is fine calling a stomach a 'tummy' but surely a child can also know it is called a 'stomach' ? Same for genitals.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 18:42:36

This thread is reminding me of the science teacher in Ohio (I think) who has had parents complain because he used word 'vagina' in class.

'Down there'? Are you mad? How on earth does that enable a little girl to tell anyone if she has a sore vulva as opposed to a sore bottom?

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Apr-13 18:43:58

shock They came round and called you for penis, cock I could understand!

Yy to pp who pointed out that cos won't prosecute if a distressed child can't reliably explain which bits of their body were involved.

I think it's about the way you say it, I could do a YouTube link to a specific monologue from the vagina monologues but idiot phone won't let me sad

On a lighter note I used to hang around with a very obviously gay lad who liked wearing a tshirt that said "I love clunge" I hate that word but I did make me laugh. His boyfriend hated it!

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 18:46:21

Oh dear it's tummy in this house there's no hoe for us

FantasticDay Sun 07-Apr-13 18:48:29

Fanny. Not medical. No more twee than willy.

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 18:52:18

poshme why is it ok then for ds to be able to use willy but dd who is two has to use vulva?

tether reminds me of the iron brew advert '' oh fanny, you look just like ya daddy!" lol

spero so we much teach our children the correct terms, vulva, clitoris.. just encase they get abused confused

oxfordbags I actually like gina that's a good idea... but I don't have issues, just wouldn't want my small children talking about there vulva ect

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 18:54:24

but at the same time wouldn't want my ds talking about his 'banjo' every thing in moderation!

SleepOhHowIMissYou Sun 07-Apr-13 18:55:16

What's wrong with calling them your 'genitals'?

That's what they're called at school, so less confusing and not offensive.

You can be more specific if it's necessary but I like the equality of it myself as boys have got 'genitals' too!

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 18:55:30

Because a sore bottom would be a sore bottom. It's up to each individual what they want to teach their children to use. I've never heard of people teaching little children to say vulva and vagina. But if they want to that's their business.

SleepOhHowIMissYou Sun 07-Apr-13 18:56:43

What's wrong with calling them your 'genitals'?

That's what they're called at school, so less confusing and not offensive.

You can be more specific if it's necessary but I like the equality of it myself as boys have got 'genitals' too!

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 18:56:59

I always knew it as fanny growing up or lady bits, it was a tummy until I learned te proper words. I don't think I was psychologically damaged by not knowing te correct terminology for a while. My dd had an itchy fanny, she told the doctrine her fanny was itchy and he understood what she was saying

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 18:58:35

In case of abuse, that never came into my mind and would not most people.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 18:59:28

Because of dd sn dd would not be abe to tell me or anyone if she had been abused,

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 19:00:29

I like genitals they are better, teir is no confusion an I like te equality of it

Grannylipstick Sun 07-Apr-13 19:02:01

My children called it their private. I call mine my nonnie.

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 19:02:58

So noone thought to tell the girl to point to the area of her body then? Sounds like she was seriously let down by useless fucking policing rather than a feckless parent not teaching her vulva hmm.

I find the direction this is taking a bit offensive tbh

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 19:06:12

I agree softly softly surely te Chidren can also point to the area and show the professionals, my dd did tat at te doctor as well as saying her fanny itched. Te doctor a trained rofessional knew exactly what dd meant

OxfordBags Sun 07-Apr-13 19:15:08

Serious... So no issues but baulk at the idea of small children using an ordinary and correct term for a part of their body? wink

Agree that genitals is a good word, it can be used for male or female. Abbreviations or fun names are cool, it's when people are actually adverse to children knowing the correct words that makes me WTF.

A genuine question here, though: for those women who don't want to call their genitals vagina/vulva, what do you actually say when discussing them with medical people? I mean, you don't refer to them as anything but the correct words, surely?! I can't imagine a grown woman being in labour and telling the MW that there's a funny feeling in their flower, FFS!
It'd be like going to see someone about migraines and saying you have a boo-boo in your noggin!

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Apr-13 19:21:42

Softly softly. Actually that is exactly what they do. In a private room pretrial, only police and child present with anatomically correct dolls on video. But then when the prosecution want to cross examine the witness...

Take it from bitter experience that your much better off being able to identify verbally the difference between an anus and a vulva,

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 19:23:57

To medical professionals it's the proper word but talking with friends or on here it's fanjo

witchface Sun 07-Apr-13 19:24:18

My dd told me it was her 'line' the other day which i thought was fair enough - sure people would know what she meant

willyoulistentome Sun 07-Apr-13 19:26:15

I can't believe you're asking.

FANJO - Obviously!!! I only have boys

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 19:28:34

not all HCPs use the medical/correct terminology

i had to give a swab sample not long back for having a coil fitted

the nurse gave the swab and pot, and asked if it was ok if i did it 'you know, up there' myself, i asked her if she meant my vagina and she was embarrassed - wtf?

i have vowed to ask her if she meant 'cunt' next time grin

MooMooSkit Sun 07-Apr-13 19:30:33


seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 19:35:58

oxford I think you have gone a bit over board....of course when i'm speaking to medical professions I would use the correct term but were actually talking about small children...
And no, I defiantly have no 'issues' as I don't want my small dc to know the specific terms of her vulva,clitoris,labia..they have all the time in the world when they are a little older.

And also just out of interest do you say '' have you wiped, your anus?'

But we are all allowed an opinion ... dosnt mean that that those who disagree with you have ''ishooos'' wink

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 19:42:39

Ask a child to point and they will often just vaguely point 'down below' - and you have to be very careful you can't be accused of influencing a child's account, it has to come from them.

I am sorry so many people are squeamish about certain words but I think it is important for a child to know what parts of their body are called. Hopefully being interviewed about sexual abuser is very rare but children also need to be able to tell adults what bit of them is hurting if they have an infection etc.

And why should children grow up thinking that their 'bits' are shameful or embarrassing?

Treating the whole genital area as That Which Cannot Be Named is massively unhelpful on very many levels.

Fgs this is getting rediculous. Yes some people use a nn, including me, but as previously said, that doesn't mean to the exclusion of anatomically correct words.

All my dcs, 16,9 and 4 know the proper words but I don't use them every day.

I was never told and yet somehow I know. Mmm Maybe it's because I learned them as I got older? hmm

No one is going to do there child irreparable harm using a nn in daily language as long as they do it along side correct terms.

willyoulistentome Sun 07-Apr-13 19:49:23

I will NEVER forget taking my 5 year od step son to WHSmiths to get DH a Christmas present and him spotting the football magazines. A row of footballers defending a free kick on the front page. DSS pipes up REALLY loudly - Look W - those men are holding their VAGINAS. I nearly died and a guy standing next to us nearly spat out his false teeth.

Not sure whe ther it would have been any less embarrasing if he had called them their penises and testicles though.

milkwagon Sun 07-Apr-13 19:51:23

How about 'lemon' - as in 'I need to squeeze the lemon' or 'lettuce' - as in 'I need to shake the lettuce'. That should cause no confusion surely?wink

'Salad for dinner tonight? Can you get the lettuce out and wash it please.' Or, 'would you like a squeeze of lemon on your pancake?' blush

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 07-Apr-13 19:53:11

Frou frou. A name given us by a vair famous female pop star DH was working for at the time of our dilemma. grin

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 19:53:24

Hair - I agree. I used to ask my daughter if she had wiped her bum properly. But she knew what an anus was.

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 19:55:05

why would the child grow up thinking that there 'bits' are shameful or embarrassing?'

Do you use the words urethra,anus, perineum, for me this is too confusing for small dc I would simply ask for them to show me if there was an problem. Plus I don't think they would remember all the correct terminology !

StuntGirl Sun 07-Apr-13 20:00:47

I'm just baffled at the embarrassment to be honest. Vulva, labia, clitoris... they're just words, and straightforward, anatomical, descriptive words at that. They're not even words known to have that bit of shock or gross factor like cunt, minge, clunge or whatever, so where the blushes are coming from I don't know.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:05:22

If my mother had only ever referred to my vulva/vagina as 'down there' or told me that se didn't want to hear those words, I suspect there is a slight chance I might have grown up with not an entirely healthy attitude towards my body parts.

Interested to ponder if there is a link between this twee mimsy and our shockingly high rate of teenage pregnancies.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:08:49

I don't use words like 'uretha' - why would I? My daughter knows anus, penis, testicles, vagina and vulva.

Her grandmother called her lady parts a 'noo noo' which made me want to scream. Her grandmother was also pretty clear she found 'that sort of thing' disgusting.

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 20:09:30

stuntgil I don't think anyone has said they are embarrassed about the words just that they feel too clinical confused

Serious I wouldn't burger I've asked the anus question and have yet to get a response. Strange that hmm

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 20:10:26


Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:10:46

I have answered the anus question. I don't ask my daughter if she has wiped her anus. We say 'bum' in our house.

But she knows what an anus is and could use that word if needed.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sun 07-Apr-13 20:13:48

I really really don't care what people call their bits. I don't think it matters. In our family we don't use the anatomically correct words but it certainly isn't because we are embarrassed, uptight or prudish.

I don't say that i am going to defacate and urinate , I say I am going to the bathroom.

I use words like bum, tummy and boobs. It's normal every day slang.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sun 07-Apr-13 20:16:59

Interested to ponder if there is a link between this twee mimsy and our shockingly high rate of teenage pregnancies.

shock. You have to be kidding!!! Do you honestly think we may of stumbled over the solution to teenage pregnancy. grin

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 20:19:08

According to Spero not teaching children to name their genitals the correct anatomical name puts them at risk of teenage pregnancy and if they are unfortunate enough to be sexually abused, it could mean their abuser not getting convicted.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 20:20:42

I agree hair, I was never taught but learned when it mattered, it was also fanny, bits but I knew wat tey were. What if a child could no speak or had a language delay you would ave to find other ways of trying to get information from them. The terminology just seems to clinical especially for a young child

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:22:16

I look at how the Dutch bring up their children - teach them to take care of their bodies and respect themselves - and how we do, dancing about,calling a vulva a foo foo, thinking its 'too clinical' to use a perfectly ordinary word...

So yes. I do think our attitudes to sex and naming of parts may well contribute to our extremely high rate of teenage pregnancies.

And sadly, I know without doubt from my professional experience, that it contributes to the collapse of investigations into child sex abuse.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 20:22:52

Spero hmm armchair ponderings I think. Well I did not earn te correct terminology until very late and I frost had sex in my 20s and was married and financially stable when I had dd at 30

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 07-Apr-13 20:22:56

I am interested in this too. I think knowing the correct words is fine but using them and not nicknames will open kids up to teasing at school. I think most boys say willy. They really would be the odd one out if the mentioned testicles or penis - e. g. ina football game "cover your penis". Agree that there is no female equivalent. When i was little I think fanny was the accepted form, or tuppence, but not now.

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:05

I'm horrified that adults are failing children in such an awful way. Nice to see so-called professionals let child abusers walk free because they're too dim to work out what children mean,

Hormonalhell Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:25

Tuppy short for tuppence

ohdobuckup Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:26

perhaps there is a deal of embarrassment in using certain words, but there is also fun and affection too in attaching ""twee and mimsie" names to parts. After all they have to be used and attended to on a daily basis, so why not make it fun, un-threatening or just part of family bonding ?

I remember hearing a well known, young female media doctor being very snooty and amused on a radio call in about women who called their daughters' bits "sixpences" etc, I think she was genuinely surprised,

All the pregnant teenage girls I worked with over the past thirty years called their sexual organs many things, but not many phrases were "twee and mimsie" wink

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:29

Not armchair ponderings about sex abuse I am afraid. Clear conclusions drawn from lever arch files of interview transcripts and watching the DvDs of interviews.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:26:37

Crashdoll - what do you think 'three bottoms' means? How would you have questioned that 4 year old, in a way that couldn't be later challenged as influencing a child? Wouldn't it just have been easier if that child could have used a word with a clearly accepted definition, not some slang known only to her immediate family?

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 20:27:58

softly funny that isn't it.
spero hypocritical then ur comments just get silly....

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 20:28:52

I would have asked her to point to pictures. I think your victim blaming is horrible.

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 20:30:34


i am uncomfortable with your descriptions and anecdotes of specific cases you've witnessed

are you still employed within CP?

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:30:46

I would be genuinely interested to know when I have been hypocritical. My daughter knows the word anus. At home we call it a 'bum'. What is hypocritical about that?

I don't say all slang is bad and stupid. Not if the child also is taught the right' words.

But if all that is used is 'down below' or 'foo foo' etc, then I think that is both bad and stupid, for all the reasons I have offered.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:31:55

I haven't used any details that cold possibly identify any proceedings. But if you are uncomfortable with my postings, I can PM you my name and chambers and you can make a complaint about me to the Bar Council.

You do realise that you're all arguing the same point?

It seems to me that you all teach your dcs the correct anatomical names but choose to use nn in everyday language.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:35:11

You can't ask a 4 year old to point to pictures. There is a clear risk of influencing the child or getting a very unreliable response.

If you think I am victim blaming, so be it. I disagree with you very strongly. There is no 'blame' that can possibly attach to a little child finding an interview process very upsetting and stressful.

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 20:37:01

You are effectively blaming her family for not teaching her the correct names at the age of 4.

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 20:37:07

i don't want to know who/what you are/were

but you are talking about RL people whom you have no personal contact with, this sits very uncomfortably with me

i would hate to think of any professional using my very personal details to prove a point on an anonymous internet forum

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 20:38:38

so if you learn your child the correct term first .. you can then call it a flower, twinkle... is there a spiro list of acceptable words confused

so sad that this harmless thread got turned in to a child abuse case sad

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:39:11

I think it is a pity a 4 year old can't say 'vagina' or 'penis'. I am not blaming anyone. I just think it is a shame because it did have a negative impact on this case.

I have not used any identifying details of any case and nor would I. I repeat, if you are seriously concerned , then you are free to complain about me and I will give you my details.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:41:56

When my daughter has asked questions I have explained things in a matter of fact way, using words which have a widely accepted and understood definition. If my daughter wants to talk about 'flowers' or 'fannies' that's fine by me. So long as she can communicate clearly with a doctor or anyone else as and when needed.

Robbabank Sun 07-Apr-13 20:48:58

Nicknames - fine, do whatever you want to of course, but they don't work for me. Mimsie/minnie/tuppence (christ! on that one, makes me think of a slot machine fgs!) I just can't do it. Why rename? We have 3 DDs in the house. Eldest is 5 and she knows where her anus, vulva and labia are, and has heard about vagina (because I was asked how my last baby was born) but it's situational, we don't sit around discussing it all the time and they seem to be able to gauge things appropriately themselves. They aren't running around playgrounds and supermarkets screaming about their vulvas, because we don't make a big deal of it. It only comes up in the bathroom when washing/weeing/pooing etc and if asked, we tell them the correct words for things but it is perfectly appropriate for my daughters to know the names of their body parts, and they can know that they are private and personal, without having to give them special names. If they want to, then fine, that is just part of how they speak about themselves, but I'm not going to force that on them. They are interested in their bodys and if they ask we don't have a full scale biology lesson about it, and we don't go into clinical detail, but the words are not ugly or disgusting to me and my DH or my children. They are the proper names for these body parts and you can't compare it really to 'tummy' and stomach etc, or say that we are going all 'tibia and 'femur' about it, because there is no universally accepted 'other' word for vulva/penis like there is for leg/tibia etc. Genitals is a good compromise I think.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 20:52:51

Robbabank - well said. These are not ugly or disgusting words, and I think it is a shame some people treat them as if they are.

My daughter has never run about shouting about her 'vulva' either. Se generally asks questions when I am on the loo or she is in the bath. We have a quick discussion and then she talks about something else.

lottie7141 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:58:38


countrykitten Sun 07-Apr-13 20:58:59

Good God - foo foo, frou frou, fanjo even (yes MNetters I hate that one too) and all the rest of the twee hideeous names? WTF are we teaching our daughters? It is pretty sad and shows how squeamish and embarrassed we are about our bodies and how we merrily pass this on to our daughters.

I have even encountered a doctor who asked me how things were 'down there'. I was embarrassed for her and have refused to see her ever since.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 07-Apr-13 20:59:32


countrykitten Sun 07-Apr-13 21:00:33

And why is it seen as disgusting if a little girl says the word vulva or vagina? One weird poster said that she 'didn't agree with it' which made me laugh!

dragonflymama Sun 07-Apr-13 21:01:11

Girlie bum in our house!

countrykitten Sun 07-Apr-13 21:04:32

Girlie bum? That is just horrible dragonfly. As is front bottom - really....?

countrykitten Sun 07-Apr-13 21:05:34

In fact girlie bum is one of the worst things I have ever heard.

Fanjounchained Sun 07-Apr-13 21:12:03

ohdobuckup - but there is also fun and affection too in attaching ""twee and mimsie" names to parts. After all they have to be used and attended to on a daily basis, so why not make it fun, un-threatening or just part of family bonding ?

Exactly! This thread has turned into something that I shouldn't have I think...I see people mention peeing and pooing...should we not be pulling them up for this and demanding that their children use the correcting terms and refer to urinating and defecating ? My children know the correct names and also use their "pet" names for their penis or vulva. They both see Mum and Dad's "bits" on a regular basis when we're in the bath or using the loo. Don't know why everything has to be turned into a bloody biology lesson or become so clinical....

countrykitten Sun 07-Apr-13 21:14:13

But even the twee types amongst you must still be appalled by girlie bum? I will never get it out of my head now. sad

WafflyVersatile Sun 07-Apr-13 21:18:19

Front bottom!

Fanjounchained Sun 07-Apr-13 21:18:57

lol at "twee types"....Girlie bum ? Not my personal choice but not the most offensive thing I've heard either....

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sun 07-Apr-13 21:21:38

spero. Has a single poster suggested NOT teaching a child the correct term? I think you are mistaken if you think that. confused

I also don't get your opinion that because a lot of us use nicknames for our genitalia then we won't be teaching our children to 'respect and look after their bodies'. What a bizarre thing to think.

You are reading things that are not there and making very odd (almost offensive) assumptions about other posters.

countrykitten Sun 07-Apr-13 21:21:58

Girlie bum is WRONG on so many levels.

Leaves thread to go and lie down in darkened room

WorraLiberty Sun 07-Apr-13 21:23:36

In our house a penis is called a 'who who dilly – wiener – willy – winky –yogurt slinger.'

And a vagina is called a 'coochie coo - fairy - bald man in a boat - tampon tunnel'.

shopalot Sun 07-Apr-13 21:24:37

We say bits but my sister calls it "Mrs Tiggy winkle" which I am afraid to say is catching on with my children.......!

RinkyDinkyDoo Sun 07-Apr-13 21:25:36

My brother and SIL told their DD it was a "flower". i always sniggered if someone got a bunch of flowers for a special occasion

Flisspaps Sun 07-Apr-13 21:28:47

Bits. Both male and female.

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 21:31:36

I was talking about wat you said about the link between teenage pregnancies and using the correct terminology. Also, what if a Chidren has speech and language problems o does not have the maturity to describe what they mean. In cases where very young children are involved you are going to have difficulties ecause of teir age and eves of understanding, not becuse tey did not use t right terminology. It's hard for adults of abuse to speak to professionals, and to be crss examined by a judge, I can imagine it would be terrifying for a young child, who might possibly forget ey points and clam up under stress

pigletmania Sun 07-Apr-13 21:34:09

Sorry typing on I pad keeps leaving things out

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 21:42:34

I thought a lot of posters had been clear they found the words 'vulva' and 'vagina' ugly, clinical or disgusting and I didn't get the impression they were ever using those words with their children.

If that is the wrong assumption, I am sorry. Like I have said, I have no problem with people using whatever family language they like, as long as they are not avoiding certain words. That is certainly what I do, hence the anus/bum distinction.

I do think there is a link between our odd Benny Hill type attitudes to sex - all snigger, ooo its a bit disgusting, lets not talk about it - and the sad attitudes quite a lot of teenagers have about sex. Of all the European counties, our statistics are very poor re underage sex/teenage pregnancy. We are on a par with North America which as the same unhealthy prudish attitudte - in my view.

I accept that is just 'armchair ponderings' because it is not something I have studied in any great detail - just read a few articles, watched a few documentaries. So take it with as much a pinch of salt as you want.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Apr-13 21:44:26

Report spero all you like. I have rechecked her posts and there is nothing in then that would make the victim identifiable. She has been plenty discreet while trying to make you understand the seriousness of this.
She also did not say it was the parents fault that abuse happened, she said the trial couldn't go forward because the little girl didn't have the language to talk about what had happened.

Please listen, it's fine to have pet names but at least sometimes you need to use the proper words in front of and in discussion with your children. So that if the worst happens they can adequately describe what they need to describe.

We have willies and fannies in our house. I think they are quite straightforward, unconfusing non-medical terms. I can't imagine any confusion if a child said 'Uncle Tony touched my fanny'

I hate 'bits', especially if it's just used for girls' genitalia - I grew up with no name for my genitals and 'bits' doesn't seem much of an improvement on that.

It's good for DC to know the anatomical names for their genitals for all the reasons discussed above but they are just that - anatomical names - and I don't think it's realistic, especially when they reach school age and discuss things in the playground for them to continue using those terms on a day to day basis, hence, we need a friendly, unconfusing, everyday equivalent to willy for a girl's vulva/vagina - I can't think of a better candidate than fanny.

Incidentally, I have referred to my fanny to both doctors and midwives without confusion or embarrassment.

Shagmundfreud Sun 07-Apr-13 21:58:32


Or ninky nanky noo.

Or minnie.

Or wanny.

BarredfromhavingStella Sun 07-Apr-13 22:12:01

Tuppence (is that how you spell it???)

TiggyD Sun 07-Apr-13 22:13:27

" but my sister calls it "Mrs Tiggy winkle""

Grrr angry

BarredfromhavingStella Sun 07-Apr-13 22:14:11

Fanny now just makes me think of the iron bru advert grin

My five year old calls hers a 'doo da' wink

I've heard: noo noo, fairy, minnie, floo.

Spero Sun 07-Apr-13 23:03:29

This is quite interesting on why we use euphemisms

Its pretty long but I think I am correct in summing up that the authors say we use euphemisms about things which embarrass us or we find shameful and we want to keep secret. They agree with what George Orwell said - 'if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought'

Which is partly why I object so vehemently to 'noo noo' .

JudgeJodie Sun 07-Apr-13 23:30:08


Growing up my DM had my sister and me calls ours our 'split' ! How utterly fucking disgusting, thanks mum!

That made me wee a little bit laughing.

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 08:09:26

I agree spero but if it makes me feel comfortable referring to my vulva in another way so be it. I have sometimes said to the doctor that I had an itch down below, she knew exactly what I meant and examined it, there was no confusion. Surely it's up to the person to use what makes them feel comfortable. When dd is a bit older I will go through the correct anatomical names. At te moment we use what we use as tat is what dd is used to and can say and understand (dd6 has asd, devlopmental and speech and Lang delay). It's up to te parents to take cues from their child and take it from there

TheBigJessie Mon 08-Apr-13 10:32:46

I can't believe the way people in this thread have reacted to being told the fucking truth. Words are for communicating. If you, or your child use unusual vocabulary, you will have more difficulty communicating.

What do you think words are for?!

OxfordBags Mon 08-Apr-13 10:49:16

Certainly not for discussing ghastly unmentionables in one's underpants, it would seem, BigJessie.

Scholes34 Mon 08-Apr-13 10:58:49

Haven't ever really encountered a problem with this until Saturday night when watching Casualty - otherwise known as The Worst Case Scenario Show - with DS1 (14) and DS2(12). The programme prompted the need for me to explain what femal genital mutilation is to DS1.

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 10:59:41

I don't have a problem communicating TBJ. I don't see how it's any odes business how they refer to their genitalia it's up to the person nobody else. If you want to use the anatomical word use it but if I want to refer to it as something else tats my proactive. What about boys calling their penis willy do you have a problem with that! We all know what a willy is

TheBigJessie Mon 08-Apr-13 11:12:16

Precisely. We all know what a willy is. A little boy with a pain "in [my] willy" can access help easily.

A little girl with a pain in private family term can't. Get it?

Kaekae Mon 08-Apr-13 11:25:42

I had this problem, it needed addressing when my son kept referring to DDs as willy. hmm So we call it "flower" now. I don't care about it sounding "twee" I called it a flower or minnie when little. Vulva is not one I am keen on...liking Wilma though!!grin

countrykitten Mon 08-Apr-13 11:29:30

pigletmania did you really have to say 'down below' to your doctor? Was this because you are embarrassed? I find this really sad. sad

fromparistoberlin Mon 08-Apr-13 11:32:32


248 posts on this? SWEET JESUS

I really hope OP is real and some some dirty old pead......

dondon33 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:32:55

My sisters and I used 'fairy' when small and explaining something or speaking about it. Later I used 'Foof' and still do sometimes smile
The only time I use the correct terms is if speaking to the GP etc I don't like the word Vagina - the word just annoys me.

I have all boys so told them girls have a fairy and my sisters use it with their daughters too. Although they all knew/know the correct names.

DorcasDelIcatessen Mon 08-Apr-13 11:33:00

Widgy. Covers both sexes.

countrykitten Mon 08-Apr-13 11:36:18

fromparis that would be 'paed' I think.

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 11:47:57

Yes I did, don't know why your sad county because I'm not. This is quite common, yes I feel more comfortable saying it. The doctr knew what I meant. Willy or winkle is not a proper anatomical word but tat seems to be more accepted than than female equivalents double standards

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 11:48:52

I do,admit that some ofte alternatives in here are a bit hmm.

countrykitten Mon 08-Apr-13 11:54:17

I find it sad because you are 'more comfortable' saying 'down below' than saying vulva or vagina. I don't understand why you are so embarrassed and ashamed of your own body that you cannot even name it to a medical professional! Don't you think that's sad?

I am pretty damn sure that my DH would not use the word 'willy' if he went to our GP. So no double standards here.

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 12:15:10

No not really country different strokes for different folks. I doesn't mean I don't know them and I feel ashamed, you would not bat an eye if a man told te doctor his willy or todger hurt. It seems as if it's fine for men to use alternatives but not women!

countrykitten Mon 08-Apr-13 12:33:41

My DH would not say 'willy' to his doctor as he is an adult with an understanding of what his penis is and what it's called.

Anyway 'down there' is not even a name is it? It's like it's too vile to be even given a name so it's just an amorphous region that we don't mention in polite company.

If you are not ashamed can you explain why you can't use the correct term with your doctor? I an genuinely interested as to what else would prevent you saying the words other than shame/embarrassment.

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 12:41:00

It depends sometimes I have used the correct term to the doctor sometimes not depends how I'm feeling.

fromparistoberlin Mon 08-Apr-13 12:41:20

thanks for that countrykitten

as most "paed" decryers are seen to be thick I deliberately misspelt.....

HotCrossPun Mon 08-Apr-13 12:45:18

I HATE the word fanny being used by kids. Maybe because up here its regularly used as a derogatory term, but I just think its horrible.

StuntGirl Mon 08-Apr-13 12:47:36

I think the issue piglet is that the slang words used for male genitalia seem to be quite common across the board, they are genuine slang words which mean penis. The ones for female genitalia are not, they are much more individual to the family with a not easily understood meaning.

For example: "My willy/todger/meat and two veg/etc hurts" is understandable. While not being anatomically correct they are actual slang words which mean penis.


"My flower/foof/mrs tiggy winkle/fairy/noo noo/twinkle/etc hurts" is not understandable. They are also often words which actually describe or mean something else entirely, or worse are utterly meaningless.

ChairmanWow Mon 08-Apr-13 12:48:58

However it's been spelt I agree with you paris. I just can't see a generation of girls damaged because their genitals weren't referred to issuing the correct anatomical terms. I certainly wasn't and I'm definitely not ashamed of my vagina. It's served me well!

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 14:10:44

I am now going to use the term Ghastly Unmentionables, as that seems pretty clear.

OxfordBags Mon 08-Apr-13 14:12:59

How can you not have to use the correct term to a Doctor if that's the body part you need to discuss?! Genuine question.

All the posters pointing out that there are recognised casual words for penis, but none for vagina are spot-on. If there were some, I wouldn't have a problem about them being used. I use willy and balls to my DS, because they are what the majority of other little boys will have them referred to, and which anyone can recognise when those terms are used, and they're not terms that suggest that the parts referred to are somehow icky, vague, indistinct, embarrassing, etc.

Seems to me like terminology for female genitals that's outside the correct terminology falls into either the whole madonna or whore thang: either offensive and crude sexual words or silly, mimsy, ashamed names that work to not make it even seem like a real part of the body.

seriouscakeeater Mon 08-Apr-13 14:16:59

Wow believe people are actually feeling ' sad' about anonmous people and what they call there fanjo, fanny,foof,flower,vagina. Who actually gives a shit!? Each to there own .....

seriouscakeeater Mon 08-Apr-13 14:19:09

Meat and two veg isn't understandable by all either.... Stop being a hypocrite spero.

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 14:39:10

I have never used the term 'meat and two veg' as I consider it bloody awful.

Again, please do tell me how I am being a hypocrite as I really can't see it. But I am eager to learn.

It is 'sad' if people can't use certain words with their doctor. I don't much like the words 'moist' or 'gusset' but if it was important that somebody understood the moistness of my gusset at a particular time, I wouldn't hesitate to use the words best suited to be understood.

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 14:41:47

Agree with Oxfordbags - I guess 'fanny' is the closest thing we have to 'willy' BUT it means something completely different to someone from the USA.

However I would be much more embarrassed going to my doctor and saying 'fanny' rather than vagina/vulva.

Yes, each to their own but all I think most people are saying is don't deprive your daughters of knowledge of the 'proper' words by drowning them in mimsy and foo foos.

seriouscakeeater Mon 08-Apr-13 14:44:11

actually sorry spero it was stuntgirl that said that.

Having said that not liking the word gusset is bizarre! Its a part of knickers, tights.....I feel 'sad' for you sad

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 14:45:25

I am grateful for your pity. It will help me get through the long, lonely days avoiding the word 'gusset'. Into which I put my vulva.

OxfordBags Mon 08-Apr-13 14:53:17

I feel more sad for people who don't know the difference between 'their' and 'there'.

Mumcentreplus Mon 08-Apr-13 14:59:08

I have taught my DDs from a very young age what the true and accurate words are for their genitalia...but they prefer to use and for a boy it's his bulls-eye ! hmm

StuntGirl Mon 08-Apr-13 15:02:44

I went to see an (American) band this week and had them sign my vinyl after the gig. The guitarist, for some unknown reason, wrote "I <3 fanny!" on it before signing it. I did snigger at that, I wonder if he knows the term means something different over here.

seriouscakeeater Mon 08-Apr-13 15:18:29

grin lmao And here goes the spelling/grammar bee. Soooooo predictable of you oxford! grin

tethersend Mon 08-Apr-13 15:23:16

Too soon to suggest 'Thatcher'?

<lightens mood>

OxfordBags Mon 08-Apr-13 15:45:17

I'd rather be predictable than mimsy and scared to call my vulva a vulva!

Tethersend, I think I love you! But... Wouldn't calling it a Thatcher teach girls to hate their genitals?

seriouscakeeater Mon 08-Apr-13 16:10:02

I don't think anybody is scared though...why do you all ways make sweeping outlandish accusations if you don't agree with people and then back read through posts to check spelling and grammar? confused I think you need to lighten up....

I definitely wasn't brought up to hate my vulva just because it wasn't ground in to me that I must be atomically correct at all times from being new born...I love my vulva! (its actually very pretty!) yawn yet another goady oxfordbags-ism.

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 16:33:44

Exactly seriouscake who cares what you call your genitals. I agree it's silly there is no universal prase for vilva lie teir is penis

BottledWaterandFags Mon 08-Apr-13 16:38:06

Monty My nan used to call it 'Mary' as well! It was fine until I was about 8 and a lady called Mary who had very wiry, messy brown hair moved in next door. I'm giggling even thinking about it now and I could never look at Mary (next door Mary not my fanny) without thinking 'you look like a fanny' over and over in my head.

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 16:57:32

I am going to call my Lady Parts 'Thatchers' Unmentionables' as I feel I have now covered all bases.

joolsangel Mon 08-Apr-13 16:57:42

my D calls her bits la la.

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 16:58:04

I am very much looking forward to my next cervical smear test.

lydiajones Mon 08-Apr-13 17:01:55

I would just use girl's bits or girlie bits and would avoid flower or fairy!!

pigletmania Mon 08-Apr-13 17:51:22

I like thatchers unmentionables I shall call them that grin. Just for te record I do book a cervical smear with the receptionist not a Fanjo or fru fru smear grin

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 17:57:48

I am SO booking a fru fru smear.

Lets see if we can get 'Thatcher's Unmentionables' into general usage. I am starting now.

NUFC69 Mon 08-Apr-13 18:06:47

My sister, who gives parenting classes, says that it is important that children are given the proper words for parts of their bodies - apparently if they do paedophiles are more likely to avoid them. Sorry if this information has been posted before, but I have only read the first couple of pages plus this page.

OxfordBags Mon 08-Apr-13 18:08:59

Thatcher's Unmentionables HAS to become the slang name! What more fitting tribute could there be for such a massive cu... You get my drift wink

I've got my Thatcher's Unmentionables smear on Thursday. Do you dare me to book in using that? grin

OxfordBags Mon 08-Apr-13 18:39:06

DO IT!!!

Spero Mon 08-Apr-13 18:46:36

My gusset has ridden right up my TMs reading this thread

lostinindia Mon 08-Apr-13 18:57:33

Penis and Crotch here. I would be very embarrassed if my Dd or Ds said Vulva or Vagina in front of my 80yr old parents and ILs . In front of anyone else Id be fine her saying it, but for the moment its crotch which is correct and not cutsie.

Too soon I think OxfordBags. I'm not that brave.

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