When Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. Bailey uttered the words, “Stop looking at my va-jay-jay,” a new synonym for “vagina” was hurled into mainstream vocabulary. Then Oprah started saying it on her show; and, well, we all know what happens after that. Interestingly, the term was born of political necessity, as the Grey’s producers worried that 11 mentions of vagina in one episode was genitalia overkill; and so the cheeky synonym made its TV debut.
Va-jay-jay wasn’t the first. And it won’t be the last. We may just stick with the nice, simple vag. But bottom line: It's yours. Own it. Name it. And decide who's allowed to grab it.
Here’s a hall-of-fame look at some of the most popular pet names:
VA-JEEN: You may sound French if you use the word, but no more so than when you say you’re shopping at Tar-jay.
COOCH: How we got from endearing baby gaggle--coochie coochie coo—to the vagina is a mystery. Then again, remember where babies come from….
HER SEX: Thank you Fifty Shades of Grey. Not.
PUSSY: There are all sorts of etymology theories here: from Old Norse “pusse,” meaning, a pocket or pouch, to the notion of a “soft, warm, furry thing. (These days, not always so furry.) It also refers to really scared people. This could explain ‘fraidy cat.
LADY BITS: From the Victorian, meaning repressed
Hillary Quinn is a national lifestyle writer, whose work has appeared in many magazines, newspapers, and websites, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, and Brides.