Monday, November 06, 2006

Sexual euphemisms. Funny.


The lengths (ooo-err) we go to just to avoid using the words 'having sex.' It's really quite ridiculous. But the rich history behind some of these expressions is genuinely quite staggering. I've been researching like mad. And you know what else? Some of these are actually accurate.

1. Slap and tickle
The origins of this are somewhat unclear. However it is thought to have come into common usage in 18th century brothels where fetishist gentlemen would go to get roughed around by gin-sozzled, gap-toothed street walkers brandishing a cat o'nine tails and a smile. Well, most of a smile. You know the type of wench, the ones Jack the Ripper used fillet of an evening when there was nothing on telly.
Anyway, the phrase slap and tickle describes the typically repressed Victorian practice of the gentleman getting a stinging slap or two across the face or buttocks from the harlot and then, to mollify him after the blows, strapped to the bed to have his feet ticked by a circus dwarf with a feather duster. Then the whole thing began again. Hence: slap and tickle although by now it just means plain old sex, i.e without the thrashings by stinking wenches of the night.

2. How's your father
Believed to have originated as a sexual euphemism because of puritanical Daddies who sought to protect their daughters' purity of body at all costs. Instead of sidling up to a young maiden and using a bawdy corner-boy approach like "how's yer belly fer a lodger luv?" it was considered much more discreet to use an opening gambit like "How's your father?"
Inquiring about the father was code speak for "does your father hide under your skirt with a shotgun and an air of unmistakable menace, or is it likely we can get it on behind this convenient bus shelter?" This both covertly signalled the intentions of the male and preserved the modesty of the young lady, although she would often giggle and even colour slightly about the cheeks. Her reply might then have been: "He is well but if you come near me with that thing he'll chop it off and feed it to the dogs," or, more satisfactorily, "He's very well but we can still have a tumble because the Archers is on the radio to keep him busy and besides, the old fucker's deaf as a beetle."

3. Bit of Tiffin
I'm going to write a hyperbole-riddled epic poem some day the first line of which shall exclaim mightily: "Oh Carry On films, thou wert the genteel porn of my feckless youth..."
I haven't got beyond there yet but it might turn out to be fun you'd never know.
Anyhoo, back in 80s Ireland a pair of tits on the telly that weren't Cannon and Ball was a rare and many splendoured thing. Carry On movies were only too willing to provide and with double-entendres being a staple joke for about 30 years along with Oooooh Matron-type scenarios, its sexual dictionary, in the final reckoning, was a fair corpus of work.
It was Sid James that first coined the 'bit of tiffin' line in Carry On Up the Khyber. This was somewhat appropriate as the expression originated in India it is believed. Afternoon tiffin over there was apparently a word for one's daily cup of tea and a snack but it somehow made the linguistic leap from being an innocent beverage and carmelised biscuit to a jolly good seeing to by a grinning and cackling James. Actually, Cadbury's have a chocolate bar called Tiffin as well but it has never evolved to becoming a pick-up bar. Geddit? Geddit? Pick-up bar??? Haha hahahaha. Sorry.

4. Making Whoopie
Bit of a Yankee one is this, not often used on these fair isles but the interesting story behind its inception means it's a must have for this list.
Those familiar with Roman habits will know that a number of behaviours that are major social no-nos today, were once the norm in those times. For instance, farting, belching, and, bless my sainted aunt! taking a whizz or a dump at the feasting table were all considered quite normal, as were fondling the serving girls and ravishing them upon the table in between courses. Then of course, there were the vomitoriums where the sated Romans would go to have a good puke to make more room, and then return to the feast to continue stuffing themselves greedily.
Sexually, of course, the Romans were famed for similarly unusual practices. Old scrolls discovered by Greco-Roman scholars show how it was customary for Roman men, as a sign of sexual satisfaction, to release a tremendous trumpeting fart shortly after climax with his wife - totally in keeping with their non-aversion to all bodily functions no matter the time or place. In time however, the male, unable to summon up a PARRRP of required quality at the required time, took to furtively using an improvised wind cushion that he would secret under the mattress. The deed done, he would simply roll over and apply some pressure to the mattress, whereupon a stupendous raspberry would issue forth from under the bedclothes, satisfying the lady that all was well.
This practice would evolve into the modern schoolboy prank we know well now, appropriately known as the whoopie cushion.

5. Getting your leg over
The pervading notion that this one comes from the physical act of the male throwing his leg over the female as he positions himself for missionary coitus is a convenient but inaccurate one.
The real story originates from the Crusades when the returning Knights made it back home to their wives with body and soul intact, and not to put to fine a point on it after years off fighting battles, a bad dose of the blueball.
Sadly, these battle-scarred heroes were often without one or two of the limbs they were born with, having suffered incidental or medical amputations in the course of the day job fighting infidels or whatever. Upon their return to the missus, the makeshift prosthetic - commonly known as a wooden leg - would have to be unstrapped before doing the deed and in time all the husband had to do, to signal to his wife that he wished to have sex, was unstrap the old falsey and fling it over her and on to the floor at the other side of the bed. And off they'd go.
But you'd never know it from watching Excalibur.

22 moos and woofs:

Nikhil said...

hahaha. Nice.
Especially the "how's your daddy" one.

Terence McDanger said...

Cheers dude. I can't believe this is one of my most-read posts (anything with 'sex' in the title, eh?) and it's only getting its first comment now.

English Mum said...

Heh. Where do you get all this stuff? Oh and how's the Carry On poem coming along? I'm waiting...

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