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Communists in the funhouse, fire in the sky!

March 26, 2010

Feministe linked to this piece, plugging a new book on the history of menstruation and giving, as a taster, a list of period-euphemisms from around the world. I am more than a little annoyed that other languages appear to have much more hilarious slang than English does: “I’m with Chico”? “Communists in the funhouse”? Pure, unadulterated genius.

The continuing squeamishness of western culture concerning the Red Peril isn’t a good thing – it’s bizarre that companies can advertise incontinence pads and erectile dysfunction pills on national TV but still make the fluid in tampon ads blue and can’t say the word ‘vagina’ – but I have to say that the need to talk about periods without saying the M-word, the P-word, the V-word or the B-word has led to a rather wonderful flowering of linguistic creativity, which, as an English student, I can’t help but appreciate.

Internationalisms aside, some awesome ones have been coined. Surfing the crimson tide, visiting Aunt Flo, the thin red line (but is yours tipped with steel?), the redcoats are coming, the painters are in, poppies in Flanders, or the Red Knight is requesting lodging. One friend who had to go through several prescriptions to get the thing under control has been known to call it My Chemical Romance. Another friend christened it Ivan the Terrible (where it passes, nothing grows, apparently.)

Anyone have any fun ones to share?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul Skinner permalink
    March 27, 2010 12:34 am

    “It’s high tide”
    “I’m closed for maintenance”
    “I’ve fallen to the communists”

    All from the wonderful writers of The IT Crowd.

  2. wickedday permalink
    March 27, 2010 2:36 pm

    Also contributed: Demon of Khorne (Warhammer 40K deity, whose followers’ battlecry is “Blood for the blood god!”) and “I’m hosting the Labour Party conference.”

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