Here are six words/terms I could do without, to put it mildly. I originally thought of using the title “Do You Use These Words? Ten Reasons that I’m Coming Over to Your House to Kill You,” but thought better of it. With that said: I am not kidding around, here. These should be expunged from the English language immediately.
1. Panties This word is base. It is foul. It is a crass slap in the face to one half of the human race. Men wear pants, and the ladies? Oh, the ladies wear little, teeny-tiny pants, or panties. I have a theory that the original etymological evolution of the word looked something like this: Pants > Teensy pants > pantsies > panties.
Possible Replacements: underpants, underwear, skivvies
2. Pantyhose I don’t think you can make any decent compound word with “panty” in it. Let’s try: pantyfoot, pantyman, pantytalk. Nope! That said, I think it’s too late to go with the shortened version “hose” at this point, because the panty is strongly implied.
Possible replacements: nylons, tights, lady leg-covers
3. PAP Smear I realize that medical folks are not the most poetic or emotional of people, but could they—just this once—please come up with a euphemism for this procedure that isn’t so precisely descriptive? I mean – smear? Really? We’re fine with saying “rectal exam” instead of “anal poke-around.” Let’s get the smear business changed, and PRONTO. This term has ruined cream cheese for me.
4. Transvaginal mesh Does anyone want to join me in a class action suit against the law firms that introduced us to this very unpleasant mental image? Each time I hear it, I am forced to picture a diaphragm/kitchen colander and think about the implications for…er…drainage.
Possible replacements: Well, it sounds like it didn’t work the way it was supposed to, and I’m too terrified to find out what transvaginal mesh actually is… so, can we just stop saying it, altogether? From this time forward, the ads could say “Have you or a loved one suffered damage from hmm hmmhmm hmmm?
5. Hubby (and all of it’s derivatives, like “hubs” and “the hub”) Come OFF it, already. This should have gone out with The Newlywed Game. What’s next? Red-faced, giggly references to “making whoopie”?
Possible replacements: my husband, Mike, Dan, JimBob
6. Crampons The name for this rugged piece of outdoor gear, worn by such brawny, broad-shouldered mountain-climbing men as Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, was clearly not vetted by any woman before it was allowed to slip unnoticed into the lexicon. Why would you choose this perfectly-horrid combination of cramp and tampon? Whywhywhy? You can’t just mix words willy-nilly without doing any cross-checking. Do you hear me, pantyman?
Possible replacements: “Ice Cleats”? Or how about “Climb Clackers”? Good lord, even “Ice boot Strap-Ons” sounds better than the alternative – getting your cramp on. Think about it.
What else am I missing? I know there must be more…