Question regarding phallic symbols

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Mar 1 02:07:10 UTC 2001

Well, yes, I've encountered "yonic" (from the Sanskrit noun "yoni"),
and it would relate unambiguously to the female genitalia, but its
counterpart SHOULD be not the Greek-derived "phallic" but an
adjective derived from its male counterpart in Sanskrit, "lingam".
Didn't the Greeks have a word for the female counterpart of the


At 6:27 PM -0500 2/28/01, Bob Haas wrote:
>Maybe a "yonic symbol," derived from the Hindu term "yoni"?  I've  never
>heard of this, but it seems like it'd appropriate for what you're looking
>for.  And I hope that it would be politically correct, since it certainly
>isn't derived from any western European languages.  I live in fear (this is
>a fairly serious confession).
>Treading lightly,
>  > From: Brian Pletcher <bpletche at MIDDLEBURY.EDU>
>>  Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 18:05:07 -0500
>>  Subject: Question regarding phallic symbols
>>  Hello everyone, I was recently struck by the idea that there is a word for
>>  phallic images, but not for the opposite, namely the female genital organ.
>>  Is there some obscure word out there for such a thing?  I would think that
>>  it would be useful if a matriarchy ever develops and men can whine about all
>>  the ______ symbols all over the place.  Thanks in advance! (please send
>>  responses to this address, I'm not on the list)
>>  Brian
>>  Middlebury College, Vermont

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