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Saturday, July 27, 2013

I don't know what to call my un-breasts!

Right now I'm reading How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. It's a completely delicious book. For some reason Vanity Fair called it "the British version of Bossypants" which is not true nod kind of a stupid thing to say. But for however un-like Bossypants it is, it's great. Case in point: there is a chapter called "I Don't Know What to Call My Breasts!" (The chapter headings have this swoopy 70's sex ed pamphlet font that I'm swooning over.)

In this section, she goes through the list of terms for breasts and dismisses each for this or that reason. Here are a couple I like:

"'Breasts' are bad news. Much like vaginas, breasts exist to be examined by doctors and get cancer..." Ah, so true. To bad it's not called titty cancer. That would be so much more manageable, wouldn't it? Which leads into:

"'Tits' seems nicely down to earth for day-to-day use -- "Give me a Kit-Kat, I've just banged my tit on the door" -- but struggles to make a satisfactory transition to nighttime use, where it seems a little brusque." Only a Brit would worry about seeming brusque while referring to an erogenous zone.

Of course, she's totally right. There's no great word for the mammaries. Jugs, tatas, bazongas...there's no right way to go. Someone I went to school with was once discouraged from using the word 'breasts' in a poetry class, and was offered the phrase 'forward lumps' instead. (???)

So. If we've got no proper name for these, um, forward lumps, then there's sure as hell no good term for the sacks of saline I've got sewn into my chest. "Foobs" (fake boobs) is popular in the BC world, but it lacks a certain....sophistication, maybe? Boobs are funny, not smart or sexy. Foobs are funny in a painful way, like bad magicians or anything Ricky Gervais has ever made.

I suppose you could continue the portmanteau method, ending up with freasts, fatas, and fits. Fits (Fitz?) makes me think of a large German man.

I propose something new and original. Something with the melodious beauty of "cellar door." Something that communicates a rebirth. Something with a hint of sadness. Something with a silent "b."

Get busy, you wordsmiths.