Americans rarely use the word “penis” in conversation. We say pecker or prick, willie or wang. Or whopper, wiener, wiggle stick, wrinkle beast, wobbly warhead, even wife’s worst enemy. “We, as humans, love to play with language, and mixing taboo language with clever wordplay to get coinages is a really common endeavor simply because it gets such a great reaction in others,” slang lexicographer Grand Barrett says. As a result, we’re always creating new slang for “penis,” and a lot of it can be traced back to these 11 words.
11 c. Sword
An instrument of death and destruction. A symbol of power and strength. A protector. An avenger. A slayer. The mighty sword is the ultimate symbol of masculinity. So, of course, it became one of the earliest slang terms for the penis, although a flaccid penis does not necessarily benefit from the comparison. Suddenly, swordplay is much less impressive.
More derivations: arrow, lance, warder, pike, ramrod, bazooka, gun, pistol, dagger, cutlass
While it’s possible that “cock” developed its sexual affiliation from its second meaning, “spout,” it’s more likely that it came from similarities to the wobbly red bits on a rooster’s neck. Just as a man’s penis reacts to arousal, an angry or excited cock’s wattles fill with blood, swell and brighten. Additionally, when a rooster crows, he arches his neck and tips his head back. Sound familiar? “Cock” eventually became so associated with the penis that the word “rooster” was created in the late 18th century to replace it.
Modern derivations: pillicock, peacock, cockroach, cockaroony, doodle
“Tail” has been used to refer to both male and female genitals since the 14th century, but “penis,” the Latin word for “tail,” was not introduced to the English language until 1676. And it wasn’t until 1965 that “schwanz,” the German word for “tail,” was assimilated. The usage creates an entirely new meaning to the phrase “tail wagging the dog.”
Modern derivations: bobtail, tickle-tail, pee pee, peep, peeper, pee wee, pee nee, peanut, pencil
Before its induction into the dick-tionary, “doodle” was used to denote a simpleton. In the late 18th century, this became associated with a man who thinks not with his “big brain” but with his small one. Of course, “doodle” could also be a distant cousin of “cock,” born from a rooster’s crow—cockadoodle-doo. Either way, the word is at its best from the lips of Rainn Wilson in Juno, “This is one doodle that can’t be undid, home skillet.”
More derivations: doodad, doohicky, loodle, whangdoodle, wang
While Richards everywhere have borne the modern weight of the penis-name burden, they aren’t alone. In fact, “Roger” was the first in a long line of names applied to the penis. “Thomas” was second, introduced in 1811, followed by “Dick,” “Peter” and “Willie.” In general, these poor gentlemen are simply victims of having a common name. But let’s be honest, all Richards who choose to go by Dick are asking for it.
More derivations: Pete, Pepe, Rudy, Willer, Stanley, Johnson
The 19th century was a time of discretion and delicacy, not description. Americans were prone to replacing distastefully specific words with more general and thus less offensive ones. “Breasts” was replaced with “bosom,” a word that referred to a woman’s entire midsection. “Legs” was replaced with “limbs.” And “penis” was replaced with “dingus,” a word derived from Dutch dinges that simply means “thing.”
More derivations: dinkus, dink, winky, winkus, tinky, stinky winky, winky wonkers, konk konk
It is said that “dong” first became associated with the penis after the publication of Edward Lear’s poem “The Dong with a Luminous Nose.” As the story goes, a one-eyed creature referred to as The Dong attempts to find himself a lady using a long, red lamplike probe. Tragically, light-up noses are not great lady-finders, and all his searching is in vain. Good thing he has his flesh light to keep him company.
More derivations: dangle, dingle, dingle dangle, ding ding, ding dong, dingleberry
Wienerwursts, literally “sausages of Vienna,” became familiar in the United States in the late 19th century. But the word “wiener” was not created until the “-wurst” was dropped in 1905. The wiener was not commonly associated with the penis until five years later. This means it took more than a decade for the most phallic food in history to be officially associated with the penis. How disappointing.
More derivations: wienie, wee, weeter, wee wee, weedle, wenis, sausage
German and Yiddish — both Germanic languages — share many of the same words. For example, “putz” and “schmuck” roughly translate to “ornament or decoration” in both languages. However, Jews used “schmuck” and “putz” to refer to a penis, and Germans used them to denote jewelry or Christ’s manger in a Nativity scene. Despite the inevitable miscommunications the holiday season may bring, Jews and Germans agree that there’s nothing like a good “putz” to put everyone in a festive mood.
More derivations: wantz, schmeck, schmeckel
While the exact origination of “junk” is unclear, there are theories that claim “junk” was a common word for male genitalia in gay culture in the early ’80s. During that time, “junk” was usually associated with being kicked. Since then, “junk” has ameliorated; it has lost some of its potency. Today, “junk” is commonplace. It could mean anything from male or female genitalia to worthless stuff.
More derivations: package, lunch box, picnic basket
2009 Disco Stick
Although Lady Gaga’s homemade euphemism confused audiences at first, the infamous hook “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick” would carry “LoveGame” into top-ten charts in more than ten countries. Gaga cleared up any confusion on the words’ meaning in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying, “It’s another of my very thoughtful metaphors for a cock.” Barrett attributes creations like this to young people’s propensity to be “a hell of a lot more fun, which leads to lots more wordplay and goofing with language just for the heck of it.”
More derivations: meat stick, blow stick, jolly stick
Even More Derivations
schlong, little finger, widgy, ting ting, tilly, hoo hoo, hoozee, mushroom, turkey, cookie, carrot, pudding, beans, tallywacker, goober, bug, buggy, flubbly, paddle wackle, hose, sprinkler, doohinger, baloney pony, trouser snake, uterus unicorn
Before A Penis Was A Penis: Sex Slang Throughout History
What word did people use for “vagina” in 1714? Or for “testicles” in 1300? Along with the rest of language, sex terminology has been evolving since humans started talking. Lest you assume that the vestiges of modern-day sex talk have been lost in the annals of time, the world’s foremost slang lexicographer is here to say it ain’t so. And, he should know; he can tell you exactly what a vagina was called in 1714.
Jonathon Green has dedicated his life to studying slang. His book, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, chronicles the march of English-language slang through the past five centuries — an epic Urban Dictionary for the ages that covers 10.3 million words (with citations) and has understandably solidified Green’s role as slang lexicography’s finest.
Now, Green and TimeGlider have graced us with interactive online charts that break out perhaps the most fascinating genre of Green’s research: sex slang. Humans have been “bumping uglies” since our cave days, but we certainly didn’t call it that back then. So, which period in history lays claim to the most inventive terms for genitalia and sex?
For even more linguistic amazingness, explore the charts that track the evolution of slang for intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, orgasm, bodily fluids, and contraception. In honor of this week’s #tbt, why not sprinkle some seriously old-timey diction into your sexting? While the effect would be most dramatic if you delivered your message by horse (or raven), your iPhone will do just fine. And, if your partner asks if you’d like to “navigate the windward passage,” just be sure to consult Green’s chart before you agree. It may be safer to stick with the word “fuck” — thatone’s been around since the 1500s, and still means the same exact thing.
101 Funny Slang Names for the Male Penis
26. Heat Seeking Moisture Missile
If this doesn’t make you rethink everything about your own penis . . .
27. Frank n’ Beans
It’s a weird mental image if you think about it too hard.
28. Fuck Puppet
Right to the point!
You’ve made this joke. Don’t lie.
30. Energizer Bunny
That ad campaign has been around for a long time. So has this nickname.
31. Disco Stick
This feels dated until you realize disco is still a thing in Europe. No, really.
You just chuckled, didn’t you? Welcome to your future. It’s all dad jokes from here.
If you have eight members, you need to see a doctor. Or a publicist.
34. Clam Hammer
It even helps produce pearl necklaces.
35. Cave Hunter
It’s not the funniest name on the list, but it still feels appropriate.
36. Blue Veined Aristocrat
The little guy only has to be an aristocrat in public. Behind closed doors is another story.
37. Atomic Turtle
We’re honestly not sure why it’s atomic, but it feels right.
38. Action Jackson
Try not to conflate this with a Disney Channel show you watched as a young child.
39. Mutton Dagger
There seems to be a recurring theme of objects that pierce and meat.
40. Yogurt Slinger
An all-time classic. It’s funny. It’s gross. It has everything.
41. Meat Scepter
Remember gents, mushroom stamps are a form of harassment.
42. Wedding Wrecker
Oofa. This might be a little too true.
43. Spam Javelin
Another meat piercer. Cool.
44. Tuna Torpedo
The theme reigns.
45. Dora the Explorer
It’s a joke that had to be made. But at what expense?!
46. Vagina Miner
Is this a real occupation???
47. Jurassic Pork
You’ll never watch those movies the same way again.
48. Tiny Tim
Hopefully, this doesn’t imply your Tiny Tim needs a crutch. Although, he probably has a nasty cough.
49. The Bone Ranger
50. Woody Womb Pecker
At some point, you’re going to have to come to terms with your fear of children.
51. Ass Opener
You might not believe it, but this is actually a very old nickname. It stems from the 1890s.
52. Ass Wedge
This is also from the 1890s. It’s hard to say which is better.
Does this make implications about Bayonetta?
54. Beard Splitter
Great. Now we’re associating vaginas with dwarves or some shit.
55. Best Leg of Three
This is just truth.
56. Brat Getter
Well, go get ‘em.
57. Bum Tickler
It’s ok if you giggled. It’s the right response.
58. Bush Whacker
This does not mean you should attach a hair trimmer to your penis. Put it down!
59. Creamy Hunter
60. Customs Officer
This is my new favorite.
61. Dr. Johnson
Let’s be real. The little guy has earned a title of respect.
62. Eye Opener
Sometimes it’s also an eye closer.
63. Father Confessor
If he can elicit cries to God, then this sounds about right.
Yes, it’s a pun. You know you like it.
65. Lance of Love
An oldie but a goodie.
66. Leather Stretcher
Try not to associate this one with .
67. Life Preserver
If someone is drowning, don’t throw them your penis.
68. The Heimlich
The next time someone shouts “Giver her the Heimlich!” You know what to do.
69. Love Dart
It’s important to practice your aim.
This makes an odd amount of sense.
71. Master of Ceremonies
He’s good at it too.
72. Meat Skewer
This one isn’t trying too hard, is it?
What does this make the milkman’s daughter?
He does like to burrow into a hole.
This got meta when Pee-Wee Herman got in trouble for showing his Pee-Wee.
You shouldn’t be pitching a tent right now . . .
78. Silent Flute
Well, sometimes sound comes out.
79. Skin Flute
But it’s not always melodic.
If you tell this lie enough times it might actually work.
Maybe purplecap would be better, but that’s not a pun.
Forget aristocracy! He’s royalty.
When the snake becomes the charmer . . .
He really is. After all that abuse you’ve put him through, it’s the only right word.
85. Baby Fetcher
You’re still flinching? You know where babies come from, right?
If the female counterpart is called an axe wound, then this one has to be on the list.
You can use it during the day too. It’s ok.
There might never have been a truer name for a man’s junk.
89. Gospel Pipe
You just want to believe this one.
I took this too literally once. I’m still dizzy.
91. Family Organ
Get it? Eh?
92. Crown Jewels
Also known as the family jewels.
93. Ham Bone
I’ll never understand why the male member is associated with pork.
94. Old Boy
This is actually the most British thing ever said.
He is vital to foreign relations.
96. Organ Grinder
97. Bald-Headed Sailor
We probably don’t relate to the baldness of our penises enough.
98. One-Eyed Rattlesnake
Thankfully he’s not venomous.
99. Tonsil Tickler
Only on a good day.
It might imply a small penis, but the oral connotation is worth it.
101. The Fantastic Four
This name can be adapted to many forms: the furious five, the salacious six, the dirty dozen. The idea is that you’re implying the length of your penis in the joke. The key is to never use the same phrase twice. You want to keep people guessing.
Ten Words That Have Surprisingly Offensive Origins
While the etymology of many words we use today has faded into obscurity, there are some that are more offensive than we can ever imagine. There may be some words you use every day without a thought to their original meanings. Here are ten that it pays to be aware of.
noun | bug·ger | \ˈbə-gər, ˈbu̇-gər\
2. a worthless person
3. a small or annoying thing
eg. “put down my keys and now I can’t find the buggers”
As well as being a noun as described above, Australians tend to use this word as a tamer expletive than some of its four-lettered cousins. However, though many people know its secondary meaning as ‘a sodomite’ or ‘sodomy’, not many know that the word was originally racially charged as well. Bugger comes from Middle English bougre which was derived from Medieval Latin Bulgarus — a literal translation for ‘Bulgarian’. This came by through association with a Bulgarian religious sect called the Bogomils, whose ways were so unorthodox that they were accused of sodomy.
Use instead: Depending on the context in which you’re using the word, you might instead call someone a ‘nuisance’. If you’re use it as an expletive… well, there’s really no reason not to enjoy the four-lettered classics.
adjective | up·pi·ty | \ˈə-pə-tē\
•putting on or marked by airs of superiority, eg. “uppity technicians” “a small uppity country”
The word uppity is commonly used to put down someone who is seen to be acting above their station — putting on airs and speaking out of turn, generally being a nuisance. While the word can be applied to pretty much anyone these days, its origins were in the United States’ racist heyday, during segregation. In this period, Southerners used the term “uppity” to describe black people who didn’t know their place in society. The word doesn’t sound so casual anymore when you consider that people have likely been lynched at one point in history due to being too “uppity”.
Use instead: ‘Arrogant’ and ‘pretentious’ are both great words to knock someone down a peg, without those nasty racist overtones.
noun | \ˈjip\
•cheat, swindler, eg. “Is that all they give you? What a gyp!” “we were very disappointed when the “free weekend in Las Vegas” offer turned out to be a gyp”
“Gyp” or “gypped” has universally come to mean being cheated or swindled, and though there’s no solid evidence for the origin of this slang term, it’s highly likely that it is derived from ‘gypsy’, a derogative term for the Romani people. While many people know little of “gypsies” other than what we see in Disney movies and costume shops, the Romani people have a long history of persecution — including their attempted genocide at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.
Use instead: ‘Swindled’ is an oldie but a goodie, or if you’re feeling ripped off, ‘highway robbery’ is a fun phrase without the racist undertones.
#4 Paddy wagon
noun | pad·dy wagon | \ˈpa-dē-\
•an enclosed motortruck used by police to carry prisoners, eg. “The cooperative family was being escorted into the paddy wagon”
While the racist meaning of paddy wagon is more overt to anyone who stops to think about it, it’s also so ingrained in our lexicon that it’s hard to stop and think in the first place. For those who are blissfully unaware, paddy wagon is the slang term for a police car. And where it came from? “Paddy”, short for “Patrick”, was a pejorative term for any Irishman — a group who have been the butt of many jokes for much of the last century. Whether the term came into use because there were many Irish criminals or because of a large number of Irish policemen, the association is still not the best one to be making. Interestingly enough the similar term ‘meat wagon’ seems to be used by people misinterpreting this phrase as ‘patty wagon’.
Use instead: “Police car” or “police van” should suffice.
noun | hoo·li·gan | \ˈhü-li-gən\
%bull;a usually young man who does noisy and violent things as part of a group or gang, eg. “shouldn’t you hooligans be in school instead of threatening old ladies?”
While the term ‘hooligan’ is fairly dated these days — I can only seem to think of that crotchety old man yelling “you hooligans get off my lawn!” — other forms of the word are still in common usage. ‘Hooliganism’ in particular is one that the media seems keen to trot out as often as they can. But as in the case of ‘paddy wagon’ hooligan originally came from some poor sod’s surname — Houlihan. The name was used for a rowdy fictional Irish family in a popular drinking song, and soon after the word came to be a catchall for anyone displaying rowdy, violent tendencies.
Use instead: ‘Hoodlum’ is a word with a longer, non-racist history. ‘Hoon’ is also a uniquely Australian take on the concept.
noun | Es·ki·mo | \ˈes-kə-ˌmō\
•a member of a group of peoples of northern Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and eastern Siberia
Far from being those cute, fur-wearing, nose-kissing people of the Arctic regions, this is actually an offensive term for the Inuit people. The reason? The word ‘Eskimo’ comes from the Danish loanword ‘ashkimeq,’ literally translated to ‘eaters of raw meat’. Calling an extensive group of different societies by such a gross generalisation is a great way to limit understanding of the entire culture.
Use instead: The proper term is Inuit, meaning “the people”. That’s it, unless you know the proper name of each individual nation.
#7 Hip hip hooray!
•an exclamation of congratulations especially in response to a call for ‘Three cheers for’ the person.
The racist origin of this common celebratory cry is controversial, but it potentially stems from the Hep Hep Riots — anti-Semetic riots conducted throughout Germany in the 19th century. The participants in these demonstrations reportedly cheered “hep hep” as they chased Jews from their homes. “Hep hep” was a traditional German call that shepherds would use while herding their sheep, but was given another meaning entirely in 1819 when it was Jews who were hunted under this rallying cry.
Use instead: ‘Hooray’ by itself is completely harmless, or the more old-timey ‘hoorah’.
#8 No Can Do
informal + humorous
•used in speech to say that one cannot do something that he or she has been asked or told to do, eg. “Can you give me a ride to work tomorrow?” “Sorry— no can do. My car is in the shop.”
The game of Chinese Whispers has been renamed in the past few years for its racist connotations, but few know that the common phrase “no can do” is a similar riff on the idea that Chinese people speak broken English. While it has since moved into common parlance, this phrase was originally used as a mimicry of a Chinese person with a heavy accent — and the same is true of ‘long time, no see’.
Use instead: Going back to the origin of the phrase “I can’t” or “I can’t do it” would be your safest option.
#9 Basket case
1. a person who is very nervous, tired, etc., and is not able to think or act normally
2. something (such as a company or a government) that is in very bad condition and close to failure
eg. “I was so worried about losing my job that I was a complete basket case.”
Oddly enough the term basket case is not commonly used by its dictionary meaning today, and seems to now have connotations of someone being crazy (perhaps being mixed up with terms like head case and mental case). As it was originally used, however, a basket case refers to someone who is useless or not functioning well. The reason for this has its origins in WWI, when a ‘basket case’ was someone who had lost all four limbs and therefore had to be carried around in a basket. Not the best mental image and potentially offensive to amputees.
Use instead: ‘Nervous wreck’ or ‘bundle of nerves’ are nicely evocative terms that don’t risk making fun of quadruple amputees.
noun | hys·te·ria | \his-ˈter-ē-ə, -ˈtir-\
1. a state in which your emotions (such as fear) are so strong that you behave in an uncontrolled way
2. a situation in which many people behave or react in an extreme or uncontrolled way because of fear, anger, etc.
eg. “A few of the children began to scream, and soon they were all caught up in the hysteria.”
Hysterical’s modern usage is problematic enough by itself, with the word most often being applied to women — looking at the first dictionary definition, you might be able to tell why that’s an issue. However the connotations behind calling a woman ‘hysterical’ have far-reaching implications beyond even the 2011 film Hysteria.
The term comes from the Greek ‘hysterikos’, meaning ‘of the womb’ or ‘suffering in the womb’. The Greeks believed that the uterus was the direct cause of a number of female ailments, based on the premise that the uterus was essentially its own organism. The womb was said to be so obsessed with creating children that it would wander the body, pressing up against other organs and causing medical havoc unless it was pregnant. Yup.
Use instead: Try ‘overwrought’, ‘frenzied’ or ‘agitated’ if you really have to call someone ‘hysterical’ without resorting to womb-based comparisons.
- SLANG FOR PENIS AND WHERE IT COMES FROM, More, by Rachel Weeks https://www.more.com/lifestyle/love-sex/slang-penis-and-where-it-comes/
- Before A Penis Was A Penis: Sex Slang Throughout History, Refinery29, 25 July 2014, by Hayley MacMillan https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2014/07/71675/sex-slang-history
- Ten Words That Have Surprisingly Offensive Origins, Life Hacker, 11 February 2020, by Hayley Williams, https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/02/ten-words-you-never-knew-were-offensive/
- 101 Funny Slang Names for the Male Penis, Manscaped, 22 January 2019 https://www.manscaped.com/blogs/off-color/101-funny-slang-names-for-the-male-penis