etymology

Recent posts

Your Period: Interesting Facts and Word Origins

Random facts interest me (it’s part of why I adore the magazine Mental Floss), so a list of 68 facts about menstruation is totally up my alley. I especially appreciate that the list includes citation for all of the facts given. While not all women have periods (and not all women have vaginas), the eighth fact on the list is that women who live in modern industrialized places will have, on average, 450 menstrual cycles in her life time – which I would have never guessed. And, women in prehistoric times only had around 50 periods (this is courtesy of Vaginas: An Owner’s Manual). Those who know me well, know that I love hearing about the origins of words. Continue Reading →

Etymology Of Sex Words: Erection

Etymology is the study of word origins and what better words to study than the sexy ones? While on a walk through Melbourne with my husband, we saw a plaque commemorating the completion of the Trades Hall in 1924. I know I should have been reflective, awed even, at the labor struggles that brought this plaque to bear, but all I did was giggle that it said “erection” in big, chiseled letters. Embarrassing, yes, but it made me wonder about the origins of the word “erection” and how it can describe both a building and a specific type of male enthusiasm. It comes from the Latin erectus, which means “upright,” like the early upright human-ancestor Homo erectus (I remember the muffled giggling in my physical anthropology courses when this genus/species was introduced). Continue Reading →