What's in a name?

Why do we name a penis

Not only do we find alternative names for our sexual organs when we are children like banana, pecker, willie or weenie… we seem to name them as adults too.

Men give other men nicknames based on the size/colour/shape of their penis. Some men name their penis. Other men derive titles from their own penis. It seems that, for men, the world revolves around their ‘meneer, their old boy, their mini-me’.

Just like men, women shy away from calling a penis a penis in public… We will refer to it as ‘the dictator, crotch cannons, disco sticks, Cupid’s arrow; a love shaft, Earthworm Jim, knobgoblin, frank and beans…’

Some of the creative names we come up with for the penis are very descriptive of its function: beef bayonet, cave hunter, clam digger, thrill drill, pleasure pump and baby-maker, amongst many others.

I’m not sure we have their permission, but there are many names that relate to animals: atomic turtle, baloney pony, energiser bunny, lap lizard. I have to admit that I understand the snake analogy: bed snake, spitting cobra, big Jake the One-Eyed Snake, the love python… I suppose we could equate the female beaver to the male groin ferret - equally derogatory if you ask me. 

Some names for penises have changed the way I will look at people’s names, books and movie titles for ever: Excalibur, Herman von Longschlongenstein, Ivan the Terrible, Hairy Houdini, Lincoln Log, Little Elvis, Long Dong Silver, Rumpleforeskin, Moby Dick, Prince Everhard of the Netherlands… it never ceases to amaze me how people can always make a sexual connotation.

Even food has its place among the penis names: purple mushroom, sausage, meat stick, mushroom head, mutton, noodle, beef, bratwurst… Does it make me more, or less hungry?

Apart from calling it a tool itself, we also name it after tools: sceptre, rocket, pump-action shotgun, fire hose, flagpole, bazooka, cannon, jackhammer… I thought we were supposed to make love, not war.

Female body parts are not exempted. Fanny, handwarmer, honeypot… these are the only three names that are acceptable when referring to the snatch patch - the rest of the names are nasty and sort of degrading. Yet we use these names in public rather than just calling a vagina by its name. Are we afraid that people will hear us talking about our body parts? Do we think people can’t figure out what we are talking about when we use these pseudonyms?

In their relationship, one on one, I know that couples have names for their vital bits. Perhaps it is to have a private conversation in public, or to talk about it in front of others without anybody catching on… I know that many women distinguish between their partner and his penis. With the consent and blessing of their partner the male organ has a name of its own and is referred to in the third person. Their men love it, I am told.  The Monster, The Boss, Our Favourite, Percy, Peter, John, Johnson, John Thomas and other male names that are entirely non-related to the name of the owner of the penis. For women it is a token of affection, endearment, adoration, respect. For men, it seems to boost the pride and ego, for couples it seems to be a private joke, enhancing a bond…

Ever heard of Action Jackson?  Cock-a-saurus Rex? Dr Feelgood? Captain Winky? Men refer to their own member as Mr Big, Captain Winky, King Dong. Interesting that these names seem to add to the status and prestige of their one-eyed monster: The Blue-Veined Aristocrat, El Presidente, Sergeant Stiffy, Veinous Maximus, Vlad the Impaler, Chief of Staff...

Do we name them with reverie because penises seem to have personalities of their own? Do they have names because they are separate from the man and live independently? Is the penis their boss? Is he the one who makes all the decisions?

With all the titles and prestige we give to penis, I find it peculiar that they also get blamed for poor decisions: “I was thinking with my dick. I behaved like a dick”. Why, if we love penis so much, is an awful person called a Prick?