found! (fun with euphemisms)

Found this on reddit:

From a Psychology of Women textbook, it’s a list of euphemisms for menstruation. The list includes these euphemisms (commentary in italics is all mine):

Bunny time (Australia) I don’t get this one.
Monthlies (Australia)
Mary is visiting (Belgium)
I have my moon (Canada) I love this, but I’m picturing carrying around a little handheld moon in my pocket.
Blowjob time (England) It’s funny cause it’s true.Blobbing (England) What? I don’t even . . . what?!Lingonberry days (Finland) Hahahaha! . . . I will never look at lingonberry jam the same.Japanese week (Germany) Because of the red dot on the Japanese flag? This just seems wrong.Monthly tax (Germany) I like this one.Cranberry woman (Germany)
Casual leave (India)
Out of doors (India)
Aunty Mary (Ireland)
Jam Rag (Ireland) very unpleasant visual.Cookies (Mexico) How did cookies and menstruation even get associated? I’m confused.Little Miss Strawberry (Japan)
Ketchup (Japan)
The tomato soup overcooked (Netherlands) Why do so many reference food?!? Stop it!
Mrs. Noodles (New Zealand)
Doing time (Nigeria) As in prison time? Like punishment?I have the red label in the old typewriter (Portugal)
Aunt Bertha (Scotland) People hate their aunts, I swear — Aunt Mary, Bertha, and Flo came for a visit and everyone got angry.
My aunt parked her red porsche outside (South Africa)
Granny came in a red Ferrarri (South Africa)
Wearing the red beret (Vietnam) I wonder if this is related to the uniforms of invading armies in any way.
The curse (United States) This makes me think of the Salem Witch Trials.The plague (United States) This makes me think of the Black Death and those crazy bird masks.Aunt Flow (United States)
Riding the cotton pony (United States) This makes me think of a Native American warrior riding a paint  pony.On the red (United States) I’ve always heard it ‘on the rag’.Shark Week (United States) This is almost as funny as ‘vampire’s teabag’ to me.

source: Museum of Menstruation & Women’s Health.

Euphemisms fascinate me. I tend to be exceedingly polite in public situations, but kind of sailor-y in my private speech. I use euphemisms for a lot of stuff actually — I have my “monthlies,” or it’s “that time.” I enjoy “intimate relations” with my husband, or we “do the hippity-dippity.” My nylons are too tight and my “area hurts.” I banged my thumb and yelled, “Jeezy cow on a butter cracker!” or, “Scheiße!” (less euphemism, more translation).

The funny thing is, I generally just use these substitutions in real life. The swearing substitutions I use a little bit on the internet (which is actually kind of weird, come to think of it). It’s interesting to me, though, that I often try to obscure the more controversial parts of my personality in real life. It’s a losing proposition, really, because there will always be someone who’s upset at something you do, so your best bet is to just be someone you’re comfortable with and proud of. I’m still trying to figure out the line — when is a euphemism perpetuating and promoting the idea that something is so shameful it cannot be referred to in direct terms and when is it just being polite or showing basic manners?

For instance, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the human body or breastfeeding. I think moms who breastfeed are awesome and more power to them, and the human body is beautiful and fascinating, flaws and all. But I still don’t like to see a woman breastfeeding in public — I’m not talking about the discreet, polite, shawl-over-the-babies head breastfeeding; that’s fine. I’m talking about a woman popping out her boob right in the middle of a restaurant/ mall/ park, latching the baby on and breastfeeding with her boobs exposed in full view of everyone.

And I can’t even really verbalize or explain why, other than I think it’s rude. I think it’s rude for someone (male or female) to walk shirtless into a sit-down dining establishment. I think it’s rude to wear heavy perfume in public areas. I think it’s rude to swear in public areas. I don’t think any of these things are, in and of themselves, inherently wrong. I don’t think it’s wrong to go shirtless say, on the beach. I don’t think it’s wrong to wear heavy perfume if you enjoy the smell and are planning on staying home all day so as not to trigger allergy attacks in strangers. I don’t think it’s wrong to swear.

I just think sometimes an action appropriate for one situation is not appropriate for another, and sometimes people get this weird idea that their rights are being infringed on if they’re asked to conform (nicely) to a harmless social nicety.

At the same time, this view makes me uncomfortable, because it’s the rabble-rousers, it’s the people who said, “Why shouldn’t I wear pants instead of skirts?” or, “Why do I have to wear a corset?” that set us on the path leading to me being able to wear jeans and enjoy freedom of movement.

So just because I personally feel uncomfortable with a strange woman flashing her boobage in the park, or overhearing a stranger in a bathroom stall yammer on about their yeast infection — does that mean I have the right to silence them? If they feel comfortable airing their most private information in public, who am I to say no? Maybe these people are, in some incomprehensible way, setting the path for the freedoms of tomorrow. I really can’t see how, but it’s feasible, right? Right?


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