Sex ed and language

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Tue May 25 16:54:26 UTC 2010

Did 8th grade students really used ALL of these words?  I suspect that one or two of the boys who were especially well read or had a wide circle of friends were having her on by offering words they'd picked up on the internet or whereever, but which were not the primary words used in their family or among their friends.  My impression is that "boobs" is the only vernacular word used by women; that "rack" and "hooters" have recently become fashionable among men; "melons" and "knockers", however, I would almost call literary -- there is or was a pulp-paper skin magazine called "Juggs", which maybe keeps that word in use.  Similarly with the other categories.

As a 69 year old retired librarian, I am perhaps not well informed as to current usage on the streets.

I dare say that the bit about allowing the students to use their own vernacular in this class come from the thought that there's no point in teaching about penises when the students only know mommy-talk words like "thingy" or "wee-wee".   But this can't be the only time that the students have known cock and prick, too.  (I noticed with surprise that prick wasn't on the list.)  I wonder why it was a crisis only at this school, with this teacher.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:25 am
Subject: Re: Sex ed and language

> On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 11:20:38AM -0400, Laurence Horn wrote:
> > At 1:01 AM -0400 5/25/10, Victor Steinbok wrote:
> >>  A case of a teacher getting in trouble with the school for taking
> the
> >> language out of its shell. The teacher ultimately wins the case against
> >> the school. Some interesting comments from VC readers.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> There is a link to the case glossary as well. Even for my sheltered
> life
> >> it appears to be rather limited.
> >>
> > Limited perhaps--but "tricycle"?
> Yes, that was the one item on the list I hadn't heard of.
> Jesse Sheidlower
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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