Vaginas are the new black (so long as you don’t call them ‘vaginas’)


The New York Times Style section had a cover story (!) this weekend on the term “vajayjay.” For reals.
I’m glad that the lack of non-sexist euphemisms for women’s genitals is being discussed, and I actually find ‘vajayjay’ kinda endearing. Though I’ve also been a fan of ‘vag’ for a while. (For example, when at a male-dominated party a couple of years back, me and all my girlfriends dubbed ourselves “Team Vag” for the ensuing beer pong games.)
So…what’s your favorite vagina-related pet name?

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82 Comments

  1. Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I like “hooha” because it’s silly and random without being mean. Although the last time I used it here I was sneered at for being immature and self-loathing. *rolls eyes*

  2. Kimmy
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m actually perfectly happy with the term vagina as it stands. But perhaps I’m odd.

  3. kissmypineapple
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I like cunt, honestly, but only when referring to it myself. My boyfriend and my pet name is Snoopy. It’s silly.

  4. Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    It discovered it straight from The Vagina Monologues, Monkeybox.
    I don’t use it in conversation really, but I love the word. MONKEYBOX. I really want to use it in the title of something, Monkeybox productions, maybe.

  5. EG
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had a pet name for any of my body parts, honestly. For slang usage, I like “cunt.”

  6. Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I just brought up this conversation at work. Guys said “vajayjay” sounds childish. The 73-year-old “entertainment editor” said she hates Oprah.
    I say call it whatever you want, as long as the name belongs to you.
    Personally, I too enjoy “vag.”

  7. JPlum
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’ve been knownt to use ‘undercarriage’ for the outside bits. As in ‘I’m really not sure about this whole trend of waxing your undercarriage’.
    Girl Parts works nicely for me, as well.

  8. gothchiq
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, I have been recently introduced to the hilarious word “bajingo.” Apparently the corresponding genital euphemism for males is the “dirty how-do-ya-do.” Bwahahahahaa!!!
    Personally, I say “coochie.”

  9. HeatherNumber1
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s a cute word but I still would have preferred, you know, vagina.
    Shonda Rhimes, the creator and executive producer of “Grey’s Anatomy,� who brought the word into full public view, never intended to promote a euphemism or slang term for the female anatomy. Rather, she fought to use vagina in the script.
    “I had written an episode during the second season of ‘Grey’s’ in which we used the word vagina a great many times (perhaps 11),� Ms. Rhimes wrote in an e-mail message. “Now, we’d once used the word penis 17 times in a single episode and no one blinked. But with vagina, the good folks at broadcast standards and practices blinked over and over and over. I think no one is comfortable experiencing the female anatomy out loud — which is a shame considering our anatomy is half the population.�

  10. Miss Laura Mars
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    This blogger said it so much better than I could:
    “But, there’s a little bit of a problem here, I think. Yes, it’s catchy, playful, even F.C.C.-friendly, but, more than anything, it’s avoidant. And it connotes that our vaginas are. . . not so acceptable to us (or anyone else).”
    You can read all of it at
    http://www.everywomanhasaneatingdisorder.blogspot.com/

  11. Glossolalia Black
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    When I was little, I called it a “cookie”.
    I used to not like “pussy” but I grew fonder of it as I got older, and the first time I heard it in an un-ugly fashion.

  12. moriath
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m with the people who prefer to simply call it “vagina.” However when I’m writing (yay erotic fan fic), I’ll alternate between cunt and pussy.

  13. Sarmar
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I like this topic. I used to say vagina all the time, but after I read Inga Muscio’s “Cunt. A Declaration of Independence”, I had my own little declaration, and adopted cunt. Alot of my friends say chocha or gina (pronounced like china).

  14. acranom
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    “The reduplication in “jay-jayâ€? is childlike, he said, like “pee pee or doo doo,â€? and that “cleans upâ€? the word.
    As Joel McHale, the host of “The Soup,� put it: “It’s not derogatory. It’s not ‘You’re being such a vajayjay right now.’ It’s kind of a sweet thing.�
    “Vajayjay,â€? he said, “is like your good buddy.â€?”
    I’m just not sure how I feel about that. I don’t mind slang words, but when it comes to the vagina I think I prefer names that command respect or show strength. There’s a time for humor or silliness, don’t get me wrong. I just think that adult women speaking about their (adult) vaginas shouldn’t be reduced to using a nickname because it seems “nicer” to those who are uncomfortable with the term vagina. If they want to use it for comic effect or because there’s a note of absurdity to it, fine. But in serious, honest discussions I’m all for serious, honest language.

  15. Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Splendora. It’s a town in Texas, but that seemed such a waste for such a pretty word.

  16. nerdalert
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    My mom calls it her “cave,” my boyfriend calls mine my “lady bits,” and I usually say vag or va-china.

  17. Gopher
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I think ‘pussy’ sounds more emphatic, however, I’ve read “Cunt: A Declaration of Independance,” and became more interested in the word ‘cunt.’ However, I liked the word cunt previously from “The Vagina Monologues.” Personally, I didnt like Ingas book, as it seemed anti-choice.

  18. Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I like saying vagina because it freaks people out. But vag would probably be my favorite slang term.
    As for the Grey’s Anatomy episode, I understand why Rhimes would be pissed off. I am now, too, that I know the story. But before reading the article, I didn’t get the big deal about them not using “vagina.” For those who haven’t seen it, the context of the scene is an intern (George) helping his female resident (Bailey) while she’s in labor. While he’s holding her back, he’s watching intently in the mirror and making comments as the baby is crowning. Bailey is annoyed by it and in a highly irate voice yells “Hey! STOP STARING AT MY VAJAYJAY.”
    Personally, I can see how in that kind of high stress situation, a woman, even a doctor, would not be particularly likely to say “vagina.” She’s in pain, pissed off, trying to communicate her message in the most concise possible way and purposely trying to shock him. Doesn’t the slang kind of make more sense?

  19. Jem
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I like cunt and pussy because it’s claiming words meant as insults. When I said cunt in front of my older sisters, this wide-eyed dead silence that followed was awesome! They didn’t know it can be used in ways other than to demean, and now they use it freely themselves.
    I’ve used twat and snatch in the same way, but I am ignorant of the history behind the last two, and don’t know if they have other connotations.
    When I am feeling especially self-high, I like to use power box, which is probably also from V-Monologues.
    Chocha and cosa are used a lot in my culture, but I don’t like cosa because it means “thing” – as in “that thing” – an unmentionable, something to be avoided and not discussed by its name, something shameful.

  20. fatsweatybetty
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    evil olive – I love it!
    I also like “vagina” but my problem with it is that it only refers to a specific part and using it to refer to a woman’s entire nether regions is inaccurate. When I am talking about the whole area I tend to say “lady parts” but write “pussy” or “cunt” (props to Inga Muscio, who I just met yesterday).
    Seriously though, I may have to adopt the term Splendora.

  21. Shinobi
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    When my cousin was young she was having some vagina related issues. I’m not entirely sure what exactly was going on but she basically summed it up saying “my Vagina is on the outside.” I never really got what she was saying, and I didn’t really want to pry too much into her private part issues.
    She seemed really upset about it though, so we were joking around to make her feel better and started calling it her “Vagernal.” (vagina + external)
    We all had a good laugh, and I always find myself wanting to use that word. (And then realizing that no one else knows what a vagernal is.)

  22. esibley
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I love ‘poonani’!!!

  23. florafloraflora
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I usually use pussy or coochie. Lady-bits or lady-parts works too. The only word I can’t stand is vagina–it sounds cold, medical and creepy to me.
    When I’m thinking in Portuguese (my other native language) I use the standard Portuguese slang word, but I’m not going to type that here because I’ve dealt with enough American guys’ Carnaval fantasies already–I don’t want to give them a glossary too.
    Vajayjay sounds dumb and prissy to me.

  24. gwyllion
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    i refer to my own as a vagina or cunt but i use the term ‘padoodle-doo’ when referring to my doggie’s! (best doggie in the WHOLE WORLD!!!)

  25. Breeder
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    When talking about my 3 month old daughter’s vagina, I use the term ‘ frissy’, but in most other situations I use proper terminology. I would be more inclined to use slang terms but most of my friends are guys and I want them to know that not everyone says pussy or ( my least favorite word ever, I remember it being used in grade school when asshole boys would make fun of my friends and me) coochie.

  26. afishnamedpig
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Embarrassing childhood memory:
    In the fourth grade we had to listen to a talk about our bodies and such. Apparently, I believed that the woman giving the talk was saying “bagina” instead of vagina. So I continued to use that word until one of my friends laughed at me until I cried.
    I have since reclaimed “bagina.” But in reality, I stick to vagina. I like to refer to both male and female genitalia by their formal names.

  27. afishnamedpig
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Embarrassing childhood memory:
    In the fourth grade we had to listen to a talk about our bodies and such. Apparently, I believed that the woman giving the talk was saying “bagina” instead of vagina. So I continued to use that word until one of my friends laughed at me until I cried.
    I have since reclaimed “bagina.” But in reality, I stick to vagina. I like to refer to both male and female genitalia by their formal names.

  28. ShelbyWoo
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    In general, I use “vagina,” but I use “hoo-hoo” when I am being less than serious. I use “vajayjay” sometimes with my husband because it makes him giggle. I got “hoo-hoo” from a friend’s little girl, but, while it’s cute, it bothers me that parents don’t teach their children the proper names (probably because my parents taught us the proper names – my mom also hates it when pregnant women say to small children “There’s a baby in my tummy!”). I’ll never understand why it seems to embarrass people to hear the word vagina, especially from a little girl.
    gwyllion: I use “hoo-hoo” for my dog, but I may switch to “bagina” ‘cuz that’s just too funny.

  29. Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    “It’s not derogatory. It’s not ‘You’re being such a vajayjay right now.’”
    that cracked me up. you’re being such a vajayjay right now.
    but you know i think he’s right, and it tracks as not derogatory because it comes from women, you know? it doesn’t have this long sordid history like pussy or cunt – it’s like it’s more organically non-derogatory, and not something complex that we have to try to “reclaim.”
    so, while i’m all for normalizing the word vagina (and i think the root of vajayjay’s coming about speaks to that need!), i think this is a pretty good (and fun, admit it!) step forward.

  30. Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I usually refer to it as “nethers” or “whosey-whatsits” accompanied by a wave of the hand. If I’m being serious, it’s vagina or genitalia, though.

  31. Q
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    My favorite is Twat.
    Runner up is “vagine” pronounced ala Borat.

  32. lil
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    “Minky” is my absolute favourite, although when I was 6 my sister and I, for lack of any nicer name than front bottom decided to call it a flower, which I also use.
    I’m all for finding nicer pet names – most of my male friends are musicians and the names they use are horrid and sound weirdly violent.
    Pink parts works well as a unisex term, as in “we bumped pink parts”

  33. Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I like your story, Shinobi. “Vagernal” makes me think of a diary about vaginas – vagina journal thing. Since I’m a writer, that’s particularly appealing to me.
    I usually just use vag. Succinct. I like the soft “g.” It’s fun to say, especially when you stretch it out a bit.

  34. gwyllion
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    i’m sorry i have to post again.
    i just remembered a conversation i had with a friend of mine a few years ago who took a swim aerobics class with a very earthy, old-flowerchild-person, who wore tatty old shorts in the pool in lieu of a bathing suit.
    My friend had a conversation with her as she perched splay-legged on the side of the pool. My friend’s comment was an exasperated “her shorts were so baggy – it was hard to concentrate on what she was saying with her lunch-meat just all hanging out”
    i laughed until i peed myself!

  35. Lucretia
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    i don’t like it at all. I think it sounds cute and like something a child would say. Do we really need to infantalize women further? It seems to me like a way to reduce the power of women’s sexuality by hiding it under cute names.

  36. Laurie Anne
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for ladyparts, or vag, or even cunt, it all depends on the usage :)

  37. Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I like cunt myself. Here is the original definition of cunt:
    (UK, US, slang) The female genitalia, especially the vulva.
    BTW, I posted on my blog about “vajayjay” and how many people either love the word or hate it. I hate to break it to you ladies, but I have a bad feeling that vajayjay will be sullied, just like other words to describe the female anatomy.
    Jessica, et. al., please pray that I will be wrong this time.

  38. corydalus
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Funniest I ever heard is “love taco.” We actually use “girl parts.”
    I have tried to work a riff on the word “cooties” in there somewhere but The Lovely Wife merely threatens to slug me.

  39. CDiddy
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I hate that I have to use different terminology in different company. I’ll never use a term like “vajayjay” because it sounds childish. I’m not a child, and I remember trying to convince people of that for years. My last boyfriend called me his “girl” until I told him the next time would be the last. If I’m talking about my vagina, I probably am not worried about offending people.
    ps: I think my favorite terms are twat and pussy.

  40. fremontmama
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I alternate between vagina, yoni, and bukiluki. Bukiluki I picked up from Ayun Halliday’s book The Big Rumpus. Both bukiluki and yoni are all encompassing for the female genitalia (at least I know for sure yoni is, and I just assume for bukiluki). So, I like to use those terms mostly, especially with my daughter. Vagina, while the technical term, since it is derived from the Latin meaning literally a sheath, I kind of shy away from it politically b/c the definition implies it is meant to hold something. I want my yoni to stand on its own! Oh, and I like cunt too b/c of Eve Ensler and Inga Muscio. In the bedroom, my husband and I call mine Vancouver as a pet name.

  41. Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm…
    Cunt, pussy and twat are all favourites. I also like jiggly-bits. As in “my jiggly bits are so bleeding chafed right now!”… mostly because of the shocked/amused/confused looks I get…
    Sometimes I’ll refer to them as my genitals.
    I hate “queef, fanny (UK usage), froo-froo, and all those sorts of words. Too floury. And this “vajayjay” thing just sounds too similar… too cutesy.

  42. Peepers
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Hee! “Vancouver.”
    I embrace almost all of the terms in different contexts. “Vagina” is nicely specific (and sometimes one needs to be specific). My fave — the one that has the best snicker value to me — is O’Keeffes.

  43. Jetgirl
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I am Swedish but grew up in Italy. My mom would always call it “mufsan” which I never cared for, but Italians call it “figa.” I know it has fairly vulgar connotations there, but I like using it here. Besides, it makes eating Fig Newtons seem daring, somehow.

  44. Jetgirl
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I am Swedish but grew up in Italy. My mom would always call it “mufsan” which I never cared for, but Italians call it “figa.” I know it has fairly vulgar connotations there, but I like using it here. Besides, it makes eating Fig Newtons seem daring, somehow.

  45. Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    my dance troupe squandered a whole rehearsal talking about what words our moms used with us to talk about our vaginas, and what words we were going to use with our kids. “front bottom”, “weepy”, “peeper”, “orgit”… tons of others.
    i call mine Senorita. she takes a siesta every four weeks or so.

  46. alecksander
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    my mom used to call it a “tikawaddely” when she was little, my grandma still talks about that. personally i use any term pretty much, but “vagina” is especially good for people who don’t tolerate “dirty” words–it’s completely scientific and still shocking.

  47. thatabbygrrl
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I use “na na” (from the Foxy Brown album ‘Ill Na Na’), usually when I’m referring to things hanging out of clothes. As in ‘Britney, put your na na away, honey!’
    I also use “bidness”, usually when discussing unpleasant things coming into contact with the vagina. As in “I was at the beach and got sand all up in my bidness” or “at the club last night, that guy was trying to put his hands actually inside my bidness, can you believe?”

  48. bubblewrapgenie
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I use “chocha” in everyday conversation. Someone told me it’s Puerto Rican slang, but I don’t actually know the truth about the root of it. (enlighten me?)
    As for myself, I like to call her “Lola” in my head. Yep, she was a showgirl. Hehe.

  49. Kris McN
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    “Cooch” or “Veeger” (though with my kids I use “vagina” and will continue to do so until they’re older). The first Star Trek movie takes on a whole new meaning when you use Veeger.

  50. lbacher
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    After seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 2, I couldn’t help but call my vagina Kraken. When tentacle thing burst out of the water and Jack Sparrow jumped into it’s toothy mouth, all I could think of was “GIANT VAGINA!” Just like Starship Troopers.
    “If you’re lucky later, my Kraken will take down your pirate ship.”
    Ok, so that’s a more extreme slang term. I’m a fan of the straight-forward vagina, sometimes cunt. I hate coocher and pussy.
    For sex, my boyfriend and I fuck or have sex or “play Scrabble.” The latter can lead to interesting conversations. We’re in a long distance relationship so I sometimes have a Facebook status of “Lindsay is wanting to play Scrabble badly right now.” My well intentioned friends bring over a Scrabble board and offer to play, and well, I’m a Divinity school student so they’re not big on the premarital sex so telling how I’m sexually frustrated isn’t quite as appealing for them.

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