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What Were You Taught to Call Your Private Parts?

Week of June 16, 2004



Jimmy Thebeau
Musician, the Schwag/Founder, Schwagstock
"Uh, 'weiner' was one of the first ones, and then, getting older, you work your way up to 'dick,' 'pecker' and 'cock.' Or 'ding-a-ling.' Chuck Berry had that 'ding-a-ling' song, and I thought that was hilarious, going through puberty. I seem to remember being three years old and my parents saying something about my 'wee-wee,' maybe it was stuck in a zipper, but the memory is sort of smoky and hazy now that I'm 36."

Rochelle Hernandez
Noodle-Strainer, Crazy Bowls & Wraps
"I actually don't know what my mother used, but I started calling it just 'coochie.' With girls it's coochie, and the boy's private part is 'cooter.' And it's funny because some people call a coochie 'cooter' and I'm like, 'No, it's not! Boys have cooters, girls have coochies.' That's what I think."

Charles "Casey" Sutton
Managing Partner, Z3 Folk Art
"My friends and I said 'gonads,' and I told my boys to say 'wanker' because it's silly, but my parents never discussed any of it with us at all. In fact, I'm not quite sure how they had us because we were convinced they didn't have private parts. Occasionally they would have an operation or something. It was either a 'woman thing' or a 'man thing' -- make what you want of that. We never discussed sex or bodily functions."

Joann Reed
Designer, Acme Auto Air Freshener Co.
"I'm going to be very honest. I wasn't taught, but I always called my breasts 'titties,' and I called my bra a 'massiere.' And 'down there,' well, you know, in the neighborhood we used to refer to it as 'the monkey... that monkey.' The boy's part, actually I never heard 'penis,' so we would just say, 'dick -- his dick,' and nowadays, 'the strap.'"

Barbara McDonald
"There was no reference made to them, whatsoever, at any time [can't stop laughing]. It was as if they didn't exist."

Gus "Gussie Blue Eyes" Torregrossa
Owner, Gus's Fashions & Shoes
"When we were kids growing up in Little Italy, downtown here, the Italian version of the front part was 'mingya' and the rear end was 'gooloo,' sometimes 'bebedoo.' If it's a 'bebedoo,' it's a big one, but if it's a little one, you gotta say 'little bededoo,' see? And that was the biggest sex education I ever had, right there, baby. I thought it was a mortal sin to say them words when I was growing up, you know what I mean?"