Soundings

Naming of parts

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7061.887a (Published 05 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:887
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh

    A little girl, aged 3, came to tea at our house. I offered her orange juice. “No thanks,” she said brightly. “It gives me a sore minnie.” She peered into her knickers to show me. “Look, just there.”

    I envied that child, who refers to her external genitalia as freely and accurately as to her fingers or toes. When I was her age I was taught that I had a nothing, an absence of willy, or, if there was no way of avoiding reference to the unmentionable, a thingy. At the age of 12 I found …

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