word of the day

You might say I’m a hysterical woman, but today, my wandering womb got the best of me and I decided, to the best of my feeble female capacities, to do something about it. You see, in the middle of looking at a bunch of definitions in early modern dictionaries, I finally got fed up with sexism in language and decided to take action.

Take the word “hysteria”. It comes from the same root as the word “hysterectomy” and is related to a long-held belief, dating back to the time of Plato, that our uteri make us wimminz be crazy. Medieval people literally believed that the womb could wander around the body, causing all sorts of female problems. In one of the definitions I looked at today, the word “mother” has this definition: “Mother. A disease in women when the wombe riseth with paine upwards: sweet smelles are ill for it, but loathsome savors good.” This view continued into the Victorian Era and actually led to the invention of the vibrator, as it was believed genital stimulation could cure hysteria.

Today, I decided we needed a word for when a man’s genitals make HIM crazy. Because we all know it happens.

To remedy this linguistic lack, I propose the following:

Testeria. (n)  An uncontrollable outburst of masculine self aggrandizement, often characterized by stunts intended to prove one’s manhood, or in other words, the size of one’s balls. Bob appeared to have a sudden attack of testeria when he said “Hold my beer and watch this,” and headed for the roof. Related forms: testerical.

Classic example of drug-induced testeria, from the film "Almost Famous."

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4 thoughts on “word of the day

  1. It is a clear linguistic lack. Kudos for your remedy!

    The imbalance in language is pretty awful, and often invisible. Almost every word ever used to mean “woman” has come to be used pejoratively at some point, whereas this is rarely the case with words meaning “man”. There’s a lot of discussion about this in Jane Mills’s Womanwords.

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