Jan Ivarsson TransEdit jan.ivarsson at TRANSEDIT.ST
Sat Nov 9 11:09:54 UTC 2002

James McDonald, A Dictionary of Obscenity, Taboo and Euphemism, (Sphere Books Ltd, Penguin, 1988) has the following on MERKIN:
"_A pubic wig_.
These items still exist, although they are not so much in demand as they were in previous centuries. They were especially popular when the usual treatment for venereal disease involved shaving off the pubic hair.
The word is a variation of _Malkin_. Though it is now little used, is was a common female name for over a thousand years.
Although the word is not as well known as it once was, it is far from obsolete. In the film _Dr Strangelove_ the name of the president of the USA was chosen with some care; he was called _Merkin Muffley_."
----- Original Message -----
From: <RonButters at AOL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, November 09, 2002 3:50 AM
Subject: MERKIN in the OED

> I checked the OED online entry for MERKIN today for an exercise in my History
> of English class and was puzzled as to why the definition that is given is
> 'artificial vagina'. The cites--from the delightful 1660 want-ad ("Lost in
> Covent Garden, One Merkin") to the entry from the 1970s clearly indicate that
> a MERKIN is hair, not simulated flesh.
> Did they even have blow-up dolls in the 17th century?
> I wonder how this happened--or am I missing something?

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