Taboo Word Essay

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There are not many taboo words or expressions that offend me, however, I realized that there is a word that I do not like saying and, for some reason, cringe when I hear others say the word. Some people have argued with me that it is not a swear word because it is a medical term, but penis is not a word that I would want children casually throwing around, and therefore I consider it a taboo word. Jay claims that clinical terms seem too formal and do not evoke deeper emotional reactions that slang and obscenity do (2003); however, I argue that we find other ways of letting kids express that they need to use the bathroom without using the medical term, including pee pee or wee wee, and therefore it has some taboo quality to it. This word falls under either the category of taboo word “bodily effluvia/organs” or “sexuality” (Hutchins, 2015). The categories are fuzzy, and in this case, I find that I am more repulsed by a word that…show more content…
This is most likely why people do not consider penis to be a taboo word. The word is not usually used dysphemistically, because it is a medical term. It is not likely that someone would call someone else a penis, but it is likely that a person will be called a dick. As I stated before, the latter does not make me uncomfortable, which is contrary to the typical reaction. Because penis is a formal word, it is not often used idiomatically because it is not considered cool to say the word. Similarly, it is not common that penis would be used either emphatically or cathartically because it is a formal medical term. Ultimately, it is difficult to class why hearing or saying this word makes me uncomfortable. However, I believe that words are like foods – some people do not mind (or like) broccoli (the word dick) and some people hate it, and most people do not mind (or like) strawberries, but there are a select few that absolutely hate it (like how I feel about the word

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