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35 classy slang terms for naughty bits from the past 600 years
Your vulgar vocabulary can now span centuries
Prudes, you have been warned.
Prudes, you have been warned. R. BLOCK/Corbis
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exicographer and slang expert Jonathon Green has been producing a series of timelines based on his comprehensive historical dictionary of slang, Green's Dictionary of Slang. He recently added timelines for vagina and penis. (If you don't see any words on the timelines, zoom out using the bar on the right.) They show that metaphors based on weapons and food have always been popular and that vulgarity is nothing new. There is a great deal of human creativity on display in this domain, especially when it comes to the most polite terms. Here are 35 of the classiest-sounding slang terms for vagina and penis from the past 600 years.

VAGINA

1. Belle-chose (1386)

2. Altar of Venus (1584)

3. Netherlands (1591)

4. Placket-lace (1593)

5. Phoenix nest (1618)

6. Nature's treasury (1635)

7. Contrapunctum (1653)

8. Privy-counsel (1664)

9. Aphrodisiacal tennis court (1665)

10. Lady's low toupee (1721)

11. Mount Pleasant (1748)

12. Petticoat lane (1790)

13. Venerable monosyllable (1796)

14. Fancy article (1822)

15. Mrs. Fubbs' parlor (1823)

16. Antipodes (1832)

17. Thatched cottage (1835)

18. Cyprian fountain (1846)

19. Road to a christening (1903)

PENIS

20. Maypole (1621)

21. Pioneer of nature (1653)

22. Master John Goodfellow (1653)

23. Generating tool (1653)

24. Evesdropper (1653)

25. Cyprian scepter (1653)

26. Don Cypriano (1653)

27. Matrimonial peacemaker (1708)

28. Gentleman usher (1719)

29. Rule of three (1720) — this refers to the whole genital area

30. Silent flute (1720)

31. Arbor vitae (1732)

32. Impudence (1783)

33. Staff of life (1836)

34. Mr. Peaslin (1883)

35. Credentials (1895)

Arika Okrent is editor-at-large at TheWeek.com and a frequent contributor to Mental Floss. She is the author of In the Land of Invented Languages, a history of the attempt to build a better language. She holds a doctorate in linguistics and a first-level certification in Klingon.

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