Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Lesson 30: Things 'down below' and other annoying euphemisms

Euphemisms for the sake of preserving modesty get right on my nerves. 

I am a fan of calling a spade a spade. 

The world of the newborn baby is full of these pointless alternative words and phrases, and I have listed a few of my 'favourites' observed during recent home visits from the midwife and health visitor.

Down below
'And how is everything' *lowers voice* 'down below?' they ask. 

Below where? Oh. You mean down there (equally annoying). 

What is wrong with vagina. Is that so offensive? 

Vagina vagina vagina

I would find it quite refreshing to simply be asked 'how's your vagina doing?' It's clearly not a time for shyness, given that a baby just emerged from down there (*sneers*). 

Ones and Twos
Actually this goes for all toilet related euphemisms. 'Are you managing to go to the toilet?' *completes checklist in maternity notes* 'Ones and twos?

Ones and twos?! FFS. What happened to wees and poos? Yes I'm managing to wee and poo, thanks for asking. 

Granted, it might be slightly unnerving if the midwife pottered in and asked 'have you done a shit and how's the vagina?' but at least we'd all know where we stand. Of course I wouldn't really expect her to say shit, but we could at least find a middle ground. We talk openly about poo with our potty-training youngsters for god's sake, and I am not a child. 

This one isn't a euphemism, but rather the annoying habit that health professionals have of abbreviating the growing foetus and/or new child simply to 'baby.' I recognise that this is in no way offensive, but god how it annoys me.

'Shall we check baby's heartbeat?'
'How is baby feeding?'
'Make sure baby gets a full mouthful of breast.'

It's THE baby. Please bring back use of the definite article. Or better, once said 'baby' arrives he or she usually has an actual name. Baby indeed. 

'Baby' (grrr) 
Over to you...
Are there any other commonly used euphemisms you can think of to add to this list of annoyances? 

The Unmumsy Mum


  1. You are so right, why try to be shy about it, chances are she's seen exactly what you've got "down there" when she helped deliver baby.

  2. Yes! So true. Definitely not a time for modesty. Thanks for reading :-)

  3. I'd like health visitors, midwifes ect to stop referring to me as 'mum'... 'How's mum doing?' 'mum' would be doing a lot better if you spoke to me like an intelligent adult!! Grrrr!

  4. Love it! 'have you done a shit and how's the vagina?'!!
    My health visitor had to check me *down there* as I had stitches, and she said, 'ooh god. It looks like you've been kicked by a horse!'

  5. Ahhh we have had SO many conversations about "baby" Both sitting here laughing.

  6. Ah yes, doctors who tell me, "Hey dad, could you stand over here?" What? I'm not your dad. You're old enough to be *my* dad.

    I reckon it's an attempt to sound friendly without the risk of getting your name wrong. To be fair, you may be one of 40 parents they're seeing this week.

  7. Midwife asked me how my "tail end" was. After 3hrs broken sleep I genuinely had no clue what the fuck she was talking about!

  8. That so true. 'Baby' really annoys me as does 'how's mum doing?!'

  9. Not a euphanism but "do you want me to check your stitches?" is a favourite question. Yes I'd bloody love you to stare at my bruised and bleeding vagina, just do it!