How did we miss this one? (the "whizzinator")

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Apr 24 14:30:49 UTC 2005

 From today's cover story in the NYT Magazine, "Absolutely, Power
Corrupts" by Michael (_Moneyball_) Lewis, on the overemphasis on home
run hitting in the minor leagues and the concomitant abuse of
anabolic steroids, which in turn leads to new and better schemes for
evading the "putatively rigorous drug testing" in the minors, we have
this observation (p. 48):

"In 2003, players were going off into a separate room to fill a cup
with urine; that was a joke.  Last year, the testers followed the
players into the bathroom; steroid users were said to fill false
penises--whizzinators, they called them--with clean urine and stick
the down their pants."

So I googled "whizzinator" and, lo and behold, 3760 hits.  While
clearly the source is the trademarked product sold under that name
(cf. it appears to have already
undergone our favorite formation processes from earlier this spring:
so-called genericide.  (Clearly, the use cited by Lewis involves a
common noun and not the specific product marketed here as an "easy to
conceal, easy to use urinating device with a very realistic
prosthetic penis.* It has been extensively tested and proven to work
under real-life conditions!")  So this item is already cozily
ensconced in the lexicon and I've missed the whole process.  I can
blame it on our local Stop and Shop for their failure to stock
whizzinators in the false appendages aisle.


*P.S.  According to another site, it comes--oops, false
advertising...better make that "it is marketed"--in "white, tan,
latino, brown and black".  Presumably you can tell the Latino version
by the accent, or the code-switching.

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