thanks mom-101 for reminding me of something in vital need of sharing with my american cohorts:

fanny = front bottom NOT back bottom. (as you can see, this distinction is quite important)

remember this, as mom 101 says, when you find yourself in harvey nicks with some sales person looking disdainfully down her noise at you. and be sure to say in a loud voice, "oh, you think I mean VAGINA." and then, please also say "you can cut the attitude, lady. you only work in shop you know"*

*who said that last part first?


Anonymous said...

Guys have it so lucky.

We just buy our underwear in plastic bags.

Under a sewer drainage pipe from a homeless guy named "Serge".

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine moved from England to the US in about the 4th grade. He was acting out in class and the teacher scolded "Jamal, sit down on your fanny". He just stood there dumbfounded. She commanded "JAMAL, sit.down.on.your.fanny". Again, he stood there. "JJAAAMMMAAALLL...". "But Ma'am" he finally piped up "I'm a bloke"!

I love that story.

Bella Sultane said...

So, I guess 'fanny packs' never caught on in England the way they did here in the early 90's? ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that little bit of nomenclature! Does that apply to all cultures and contexts. I SWEAR a fanny was a unisex term for butt in my hood (well, among the old ladies in the hood.)

I mean--who gets to decide? Huh? Huh? I guess we can let the OED decide but will the old ladies in the hood buy it? I think not!

gingajoy said...

ozma (et al.) yup, language is a slippery thing (no pun intended, HA HA). it just so happens that i have access to the electronic OED, so let's see...

1. = BACKSIDE 3. (orig. and chiefly U.S.).

1928 HECHT & MACARTHUR Front Page II. 115 Parking her fanny in here. 1930 N. COWARD Private Lives I, You'd fallen on your fanny a few moments before. 1937 T. RATTIGAN French without Tears II. i. 44 That's it. Progress. Kit. Progress my fanny. 1946 R. CAMPBELL Talking Bronco 29 Ere you came back to serenade the sentry, Who thanks you with this bayonet in your fanny! 1949 E. POUND Pisan Cantos lxxx. 95 And three small boys on three bicycles Smacked her young fanny in passing. 1953 ‘R. GORDON’ Doctor at Sea i. 16 Move over, Second, and let the Doctor park his fanny. 1959 M. STEEN Woman in Back Seat II. vii. 284 Classy, isn't it [sc. a cardigan]?that little roll round the fanny. 1960 ‘N. SHUTE’ Trustee from Toolroom iv. 82 I'd never be able to think of John and Jo again if we just sat tight on our fannies and did nothing.

2. The female genitals. (Chiefly British English.)

1879 Pearl I. 82 You shan't look at my fanny for nothing. 1889 BARRĂˆRE & LELAND Dict. Slang I. 354/2 Fanny (common), the fem. pud. 1939 JOYCE Finnegans Wake 204 Two lads in scoutsch breeches went through her..before she had a hint of a hair at her fanny to hide or a bossom to tempt a birch canoedler. 1980 E. JONG Fanny I. xv. 120 ‘Madam Fanny,’ says he, obliging me, but with the same ironick Tone. ‘D'ye know what that means in the Vulgar Tongue?’.. ‘It means the Fanny-Fair,..the Divine Monosyllable, the Precious Pudendum, [etc.].’

cool. we get to blame something else on that dirty dirty james joyce.

bella, here is some supplementary info just for you:

fanny pack N. Amer. = bumbag s.v. *BUM n.1 4.

1971 Outdoor Life May 32/3 For the backpacker, there are many new or improved packs, packframes, and knapsacks, plus belt pockets, *fanny packs, and duffelbags. 1988 Dirt Rider Sept. 67/2 A 20-foot rope will roll up small enough to occupy just the end of a fanny pack or the bottom of an enduro jacket pocket.