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8 Everyday Words With X-Rated Origins

"Hey, that plant there is kind of shaped like my balls," is something that you're really not allowed to say in polite society. It wasn't always that way, though.

As it turns out, many of the words you use every day were invented by people who had wieners, balls and asses on the brain. Yes, we're serious. For example:

#8.
Hysteria

What It Means Now:

An over emotional reaction, chaos, a Def Leppard album.

The Dirty History:

The term comes from the Greek "Hystera," which means womb or ovary, which also gives us the term hysterectomy. Modern examples of hysteria are mostly riot related, but back in the Victorian era, it was considered a nervous condition for females, caused by their lady-parts. Which, like riots, was stopped with fucking fire hoses.

That image shows the so-called "water massage" that was used to treat the condition. For women who didn't like being shot in the crotch with a jet of high-pressure water, the doctor could use his fingers to create the same mysterious effect, which they referred to as "hysterical paroxysm" before someone explained to them what an orgasm was.

#7.
Orchid

What It Means Now:

A type of flower.

The Dirty History:

At some point in history a botanist was looking at what is widely considered to be the most beautiful flower in existence when he noticed that the roots sort of looked like balls.

It's unknown if he held the flower next to his crotch, pointed and laughed, but the observation stuck, and the plant was named for a ball-joke.

The term orchid comes from the Greek, orkhis, which means testicle. This etymology of orchid makes the White Stripes lyrics, "You took a white orchid and turned it blue" make much, more sense.

#6.
Seminar

What It Means Now:

A group of experts speaking to a usually bored audience, or a certain kind of intensive college course.

The Dirty History:

Seminar comes from the Latin term, "Seminis" which means semen. This is used figuratively because it is a spawning ground for ideas, although it can definitely be taken literally, according to this porno we saw one time.


Nope. You're thinking of "seamen." It's the other kind.

Likewise if you ever hear some important person referring to a "seminal" moment or idea, same thing. It's the ejaculation that gave birth to something new.

OK, we admit it also means "seed" but the word comes from Old French. If it's the French we're talking about, which do you think they were referring to?

#5.
Venus Flytrap

What It Means Now:

A carnivorous plant that eats flies.

The Dirty History:

The botanists that named it saw the flytrap and realized it looked like a vagina, which is why they added Venus (The Greek goddess of love and sex) to its name.

OK, on one hand, you can kind of see it. The plant is oval-shaped, has hair-like cilia, has a pink interior, and secretes mucilage, which is like plant lube, we guess.

Then, you add in the fact that it probably has mashed-up bugs in it, and has huge spiky fucking teeth, and we have to wonder if this dude didn't have some woman issues in his life.

Actually, the idea of a carnivorous snatch is not unique. Tales of fanged vaginas are so common in different cultures that they have a term for it (Vagina Dentata). They even made a movie about it.

So between the orchid thing and this, we're thinking the botanists need to get out more. What else did those people name after their genitals?

#4.
Avocado

What It Means Now:

It's a fruit from Central and South America, and the main ingredient in guacamole.

The Dirty History:

Sure enough, the word for Avocado comes from the Nahuatl (The language of the Aztecs) "ahuacatl" which means testicle, because of its shape. OK, they were clearly stretching at this point.

By the way, the avocado was also introduced to America as the "Alligator pear," but the other name stuck so apparently at the time, balls were more popular than alligators. This is apparently not true now because there are no ads with Michael Jordan drinking "Testicalaide," which would have probably made the slogan "Is it in you?" far less popular.

Guacamole also derives from this origin, with its original definition in Nahuatl being "Avocado sauce." We're sure they were referring to the fruit this time, but we're also sure our next trip to Chipotle will involve imagining a money shot that looks like it came out of Ghostbusters.

#3.
Mastodon

What It Means Now:

It's an ancestor of the elephant, like the wooly mammoth, except for one difference, and the reason for its sexy name

The Dirty History:

The difference? The tusks. The term "Mastodon" is Greek for "Nipple-tooth," which is a reference to the tit-like protrusions on the end of the tusks, and the ultimate example of nipples getting hard in the cold.

It really says something about the guy who coined that term. When faced with the enormous skeleton of this strange and wondrous beast, he actually took time to notice the very tip of the tusk looked a little like a titty and proceeded to name the entire creature after it.

On a completely unrelated note, Mastodon fossils have been found throughout Europe and the Americas, especially at Kentucky's Big Bone Lick State Park, which is presumably several miles away from Anal Sex Valley National Park.

#2.
Manatee

What It Means Now:

A seal's fat cousin from the Caribbean.

The Dirty History:

The term "manatee" comes not only from the Spanish "manos" which alludes to the manatees' flippers looking like hands (of fate), but also, it comes from the term, "Manati," a Carib word for boobs.


Get a load of those manatees.

This most likely is a result of the mermaid legends and their association with manatees. After centuries of searching for mermaids to fuck, ancient sailors, like many men today, realized they had to lower their standards, and simply referred to the manatees as mermaids, who as legend has it, have great tits.

#1.
Fundamental

What It Means Now:

Basic, or pertaining to, the foundation.

The Dirty History:

Fundamental refers to the Latin, "Fundamentum," which meant ass, which is the body's foundation, since both the basement and the ass is where many people store their unwanted possessions (i.e. "Junk in the trunk"). Or something like that.

Fortunately, this is not well known, as the "Reading is Fundamental" organization would have to explain to children that their slogan does not mean that reading is for assholes.

Avoid sounding like an idiot any longer by reading about 9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think or find out about 10 Words and Phrases You Won't Believe Shakespeare Invented.



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