Most medical terms sound hyper-enlightened and mystifying, but are actually based on Latin and Greek words that just meant… the thing that they referred to. What woman is going to let a “student of women” near their vagina, let alone PAY them for it? But that’s what “gynecologist” meant literally in Greek. If you look at word origins, they’re surprisingly simple. Like, run-around-with-a-bucket-on-your-head simple.
Of course, doctors use these words because they sound intimidating and expensive. You wouldn’t entrust your physical wellbeing to someone you were certain put a bucket on their head for fun, would you? We’d probably find it harder to shell out our arms and legs for items on a medical bill like “Putting in a Heart Tube Thingy.” But it get’s a bit out of hand. Let’s take it down a notch.
We might want to rethink some of the words related to pregnancy, so it doesn’t seem so much like awfulancy. Here are some suggestions that don’t seem to demand a monocle or lab coat to say.
Fertilize → Energize
Medical definition: to cause to develop a new individual by introducing male reproductive material.
As romantic as the metaphor of a burly plowman planting a seed in a field might be for some, any word that’s also printed on a bag of dung in home improvement stores doesn’t seem fitting for the dawn of pregnancy. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather say my wife’s egg had been energized, and my lawn had been fertilized.
Embryo → Expected
Medical-ish definition: an unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development.
A baby will begin in a woman’s belly with horrible names such as a zygote (when the egg first devides because it was just “energized,” in Greek it meant “yoke”) and then it becomes a blastocyst (shorty after it went happy-go-spermy, in Latin “sprout pouch”), but both these words sound like alien livestock or exploding zits. And then there’s “fetus.” Yay. Is there an ointment for the impression that word gives? The baby is what we’re expecting, so “expected” seems better.
Gestation → Bun Baking
Medical definition: the process of carrying in the womb between conception and birth.
Who doesn’t love the smell of baking bread goods? Even a gluten bigot’s nostrils tend to flare with delight. Gestation once applied to horseback riding as exercise, from the Latin “a carrying,” but now sounds like it really should be reserved for stomach parasites and science-fiction creatures.
Amniocentesis → Water Testing
Medical definition: the sampling of amniotic fluid to screen for developmental abnormalities in a fetus.
A lot of us want to make sure everything is okay. A lot of us would also like to not have to say or type a 13-character word to describe how we’re doing this. And for it not to sound like something we’d do keep a pool from turning into a green swamp. Just sayin’.
Linea Negra → Happy Highway
Medical definition: A dark centimeter-thick line appearing vertically on the abdomen in about three quarters of pregnancies.
While this word sort of sounds pretty, it readily translates to “black line.” Which you won’t find most women jumping up and down about, excitedly fast-clapping their hands to tell their friends, “I finally got a black line on my body! Weeeeeee!” Nope. Let’s go with happy highway.
Engorgement → Ripening
Medical definition: congestion with blood, as in “engorgement of the breast”.
Even if a woman’s boobs start to feel like an all-you-can-eat buffet with no customers, it just doesn’t sound right. Fruits and melons are a much more pleasant food-associated concept for boobs. Better than engorgement, which also happens to describe a hemorrhoid. More on that later.
Secretions → Whoopsies
Medical definition: A process by which substances are discharged from a cell, gland, or organ.
Vaginal mucus. Urinary leakage. They can’t be helped. It’s part of the process. But no one wants anything about a woman to ever sound like a dripping sack or bad plumbing. Do they? Don’t answer that, if you do. You’re a weirdo. Keep it to your weirdo self.
Dropped → Lowriding
Medical definition: a baby changing positions in station the uterus before labor.
Seriously? Rock-a-bye Baby’s disturbing lyrics aren’t bad enough? Let’s just all agree to keep the word “baby” away from the word “drop”, people! Lowriding is kinda cool, and definitely better than saying “the baby has dropped.”
Sadly, we’re probably stuck with all of these clunky, ancient medical words. There are so many more, too.
It’s really too bad. The average person doesn’t write the word hemorrhoid or diarrhea often at all, but they will spend an average of 2% of their lives trying to figure out how to spell them. Why can’t they just be roids and buttpiss?
Pregnancy is it’s own challenge and doesn’t need all the bovem mauris (that’s “bullsh*t” in Latin).
Also see: Childbirth Terms Can Make You Want to Puke
Because sometimes miracles are gross sounding.
Also see: Sex Terms Can Be a Total Turnoff
Sex-related terms can often be a choice between clinical and pornographic.
Follow us on Facebook. We make up words all the time in Facebooklandia.
More on Words
That’s “more on” and not “moron” words. Okay, maybe a little of both.