Friday, March 27, 2009

Knickers to panties!

What's in a name? A lot if you are a beautician it seems. I telephoned my local beauty salon yesterday to make an appointment to have my armpits waxed. Have you spotted my terrible error yet? I used the term 'armpits' when I should have used the more discreet word 'underarms'.

Let's face it 'armpits' is a word that positively reeks of BO and conjures up unpleasant images of, oh saints preserve us, hair! Underarms on the hand is a nice word, euphemistically dealing with the offending body area and majoring on the arms element and avoiding the less tasteful term 'pit'. Pits are nasty, pits aren't nice, pits aren't fragrant. They are dark, damp,smelly, unpredictable places where no one particularly wants to venture and if they do they need to wear a helmet. No one wants that under their, er, arms.

The truth is fussy, prissy euphemisms like 'underarms' get on my nerves. One of the most annoying has to be 'panties' Don't get me started on panties. No, actually do, I fancy a rant. Why has panties become the dainty person's word for knickers? Does the 'ies' ending make panties a less threatening word, redolent of diminutives and gentle words like babies rather than full of vulgar, hard consonants like the dreaded 'k' word. Annoyingly, panties has become the word of choice for any person too fastidiously prim to bring themselves to say knickers or for any potentially embarrassing situation. So we 'slip off our panties' at the doctors and can buy 'Panty Liners' not 'Knicker Pads'.

Anthea Turner has panties, she colour codes them in her panty organiser - nuff said! Knickers though are the bohemians of the underwear world, practising free love in your knicker drawer as they wrap themselves sensually around your tights. Knickers know how to live, they don't mess with colour coding and they're not frightened to be big and out there with capacious gussets (another no no word, perhaps the reason that thongs caught on. They may disappear up your bottom but at least they don't have a gusset or at least not one you'd notice)

No, I will not be bowed into using irritating diminutives for my undergarments by the squeamish. It's knickers all the way for me and panties to anyone who tries to stop me!

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