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I had my first boy seven months ago.

And to be honest, I still don’t really know what to call his privates. Like when I’m calling the doctor to discuss a rash, I get all pathetic and nervous and sort of mumble as I try to describe that area.

So I asked the only other male in my house.

“Honey, what’s the conversational term for that?” I pointed to Chase.

“The penis?”

“No. I’m all clear on the penis. Just below. How do you refer to that part?”

“His scrotum. Or his testicles.”

“Hmm… That’s it? I was hoping for another option. Those words are just – I don’t know – awkward.”

So I asked my dad. He’s the perfect person because somehow the guy who has shopped at L.L. Bean for the past 50 years has actually heard of jeggings and even knows what they are. This guy is clearly up on his vocabulary.

“What should I call this part?” I asked as my dad was changing Chase.

“His junk,” my dad responded.

I should have known a guy that loyal to L.L. Bean couldn’t be trusted with such a delicate matter.

So I asked my babysitter.

She voted for “the jewels.”

Yes, because that would be a normal conversation to have with one’s doctor. “So my 7 month old son has a rash on his jewels and the Desitin isn’t working. Any other suggestions?”

Can’t someone help a mother out?!

By the way – don’t look up “scrotum” on Wikipedia in hopes of finding other synonyms. Because you will be subjected to a very close encounter with the jewels.

76 Responses to boys are different from girls

  • Elizabeth says:

    Ah, yes. Delicate, indeed. Well, my almost-three year old asked me what it was called recently. After too many seconds of silence, I gave in to “scrotum.” So it’s out there now.

    Get some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. It works wonders on the junk, too.

  • Mandy says:

    Oh Jeez! I always do what people tell me not too and now I think I threw up in my mouth a little when I clicked on the link! Yikes!

  • Alecia says:

    It’s funny you bring this up now because I am 5 months pregnant and will find out the sex next week. A few weeks back I had a dream I had a little boy and I was changing his diaper and cleaning that area you are referring to. I have since told a few people about the dream when they ask if I have some sort of premonition about if I am having a girl or boy and I find myself using different words to each person. To my raunchy sister in-law, I used “junk” but to my mom I used penis and to other people, “boy parts.” I hear my husband refer to my daughter’s area as “girlie parts” so I thought that boy parts was appropriate.

    I am interested to see what others come up with!

  • Michelle says:

    Ok, for my sons I went with the rather lame and vague “diaper area”. And I used the same term for my daughter. When they were actually old enough, I did teach them the proper terms, cringing the entire time.

  • Amy says:

    hahaha I’m a sucker for punishment as well and clicked on the link. But throwing up in my mouth I did not do.

    Instead laughter burst forth as I instantly felt sorry for the dude whose ‘junk’ is all shrunk and ended up being the model for scrotum on wikipedia! hahaha Looks like he just got out of the pool.

  • Elissa says:

    I have a 7 month old son and we say penis and balls at our house. I agree that penis sounds fine but all the other technical terms are a bit icky. For my daughter we have always said girl parts or diaper area but at a friend’s suggestion have just started saying flower – seemed wrong to have a word for the boy parts but not girl parts and I am definitely not going to be teaching a 2 year old about her vagina, clitoris, and labia. Although after typing those I am thinking maybe scrotum doesn’t sound all that bad.

  • Heather says:

    I think when dealing with the doctor, the best thing to do is be straight forward and call them penis and testicles.

    Around the house we refer to penises as ‘willies’ but dont change the name of testicles. I wonder why!?

  • Mom on the Verge says:

    Balls. Right? Still, with the doctor, you’re better off using scrotum. Believe me, he’s cool with it. πŸ˜‰

  • Littlej says:

    Have 3 year old son and had nooooo experience with little boys in my life. I learned on the fly. What I have learned is that whatever term you decide to call ‘it/them’ he will use- 100% guaranteed. So, if you want tour 3 year old to say to his preschool teacher, “My jewels/junk/balls are itchy today.” then you should use one of those. Otherwise, I’d stick with scrotum or ‘boy parts’. I do, however, know a Mom who calls her son’s “his package”. The joys of boys πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  • Jean says:

    YOU COULD GO ALL DEFINITION ON YOUR DOC AND GIVE HIM THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTION: (You could even use ‘shroud’ or ‘garment’ if you want to sound poetic…;) )

    scrotum (ˈskrΙ™ΚŠtΙ™m) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

    β€” n , pl -ta , -tums
    the pouch of skin containing the testes in most mammals

    [C16: from Latin]

  • johanna says:

    Triple Paste is the most expensive thing ever but THEE best thing ever for “little boy parts” and “its” rashes!
    And I’m so impressed with your dads knowledge of jeggings πŸ™‚

  • Lisa says:

    My son has had to have 2 surgeries “down there” and yes that was our go to technical term when people would ask why/where he had surgery. We have also used pee-pee and bird a few times around the house but that still doesn’t solve your dilemma on what to call all of the other business.

  • Jami says:

    My niece when trying to refer to parts on their male dog used “tweeter and nards”. I think that’s the funniest ever!

  • Susan says:

    Give up acidic drinks to help the rash… no OJ, etc… until one year old. Read that online and it changed my daughters bottom for the better!

    (and if you aren’t giving juice then please ignore my advice… ; )

  • Beth Casey says:

    As the mother of two boys I also avoided the term penis & testicles. On their own, my sons have come up with two delicate options: bagpipes and tenders, using it in a sentence, “that was sooo funny he acted like he was going to get kicked in the tenders/bagpipes”. Those two options seem to sound a touch more pleasant than Nuts or Balls.

  • Allison T. says:

    My husband is the one who does the baths for the kids and when Brian was around 1, I overheard, “Okay, now stand up so I can wash your undercarriage.” Um, is this a car wash? Did we pay for the Super Deluxe wash? Definitely call your pediatrician and reference the rash on Chase’s undercarriage. You might get the number of a good mechanic out of the deal.

  • Heather says:

    Yeesh, I know what you mean. I just say it really quickly!
    If you need a good diaper rash “recipe” let me know and I’ll e-mail it to you. I thought my dr. was nuts at first, but it worked.

  • steph says:

    I always went with “privates,” to describe the entire downstairs region. However, when I needed to be more specific I went with Testicles as it was the only thing that didn’t make me choke with laughter. Desitin always worked, but you may need a little time sans diaper.

  • CSY says:

    I have 2 boys of my own, 3 brothers, 2 stepsons and 1 husband (sounds like a bad Christmas song, huh) and they’ve ALL called them something different. If I had a question for the doc, I just said “his stuff”…the amazing thing? The doc KNEW what ‘stuff’ I was talking about!

  • Erica says:

    just put nystantin on it and don’t call the doctor πŸ™‚ Stuff works also if you don’t want to just play doctor on your own.

  • My older boy calls them pepe (think french accents like pay-pay) and we all use jiblets. In a doctor setting though, we use penis and testicles. But around the house, three boys (including my husband) they are always using new ones. Package. G-unit. Salami. gummies. You get the idea. The older they get, the more immature and creative it becomes. πŸ™‚


  • Littlej says:

    I am laughing our loud thinking of the term “undercarriage”. That is priceless. Civilized and completely hilarious. Perfection!

  • Maureen says:

    Wow. Reading these stresses me out. Really making me not as excited as I was about 5 minutes ago about the prospect of having a little boy someday. I think “sack” gets the point across. But it kind of makes me want to throw up at the same time.

  • Nancy Walton says:

    Ever since the twins were born, I’ve been waiting for you to tackle this particular subject, Kelcey. I knew it was coming and today, just 10 days before Christmas, you delivered Mrs. Claus! Thank you for not disappointing. P.S. Is this why they say “good things come in small packages?”

  • Kim says:

    I vote for penis and testicles… My three year old daughter will not call it a penis, but instead says “Daddy has a peanut”!!!! My husband, not so happy with that…

  • In all seriousness we call it ‘the whoo-ha’ and by the way girls have a ‘wee wha’.

    Oh they KNOW the real names. Penis. Vagina. etc. But are all more comfortable calling it names that sound like Dr. Suess made them up. After all he IS a doctor right?

  • christina says:

    Oh man, this is awesome. I too think Undercarriage is the winner.

    Our boys had hernia surgery at 2 months old. Their surgeon referred to the testicles as “nuggets”. So we’re playing around with that term. Although it could cause some confusion with chicken nuggets for lunch.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed every suggestion. As you know, my son’s favorite word is “penis”, so we’ve not even gotten to what’s under it yet. But please don’t do balls or nuts–too playful, too foody.

  • jj says:

    I have been a quiet lurker for months…absolutely love your website. But today i had to write. Between your post and these comments i am literally crying with laughter! Thank you all…you made my night πŸ™‚

  • Miss Behavin says:

    OMG…I am cracking up over here, you guys. Like, really cracking up – snorting and the whole bit. I needed a good laugh tonight and these comments are hilarious. I do have to say, though, that my husband taught our 3-year-old to call his parts “willie” and “balls.” I had no idea, actually, until one day when I asked Corbin, “Where is your willie at?” and he grabbed his junk and said, “Right here…by my balls!” Lord, have mercy. Good luck!

  • meaghan says:

    While I taught my boys (age 7 & 5) “penis” and “testicles”, the have adopted “weenie” instead of penis, but still use the word testicles. I think it sounds funny to them. I struggled with my daughter’s business (age 2) and wound up teaching her “vajayjay”, which she has shortened to her “jayjay”. I have to wonder about the people who hear us in public bathrooms (she’s potty training) when she says, “Mommy, I can wipe my jayjay, ok?”.

  • Aleesha says:

    We use “doodle” and “balls” for my 18mo, not looking forward to when he can start to talk about them.
    We also use vajayjay for my 4 yo daughter, taught her vagina once and it just sounded so wrong. We may soon have a problem tho as she shortens it to jayjay and my sister-in-law just got a new job at a shop called JayJays. :S

  • Kerri says:

    I’ve used the proper words for the kids & medical staff. The scrotum is different from the testicles! So the rash really would be on the scrotum & perhaps perinium area (yup, males have one too!). When my kids were little I’d say “scrotum” like a bull-frog & they thought it was the funniest thing ever! We also have driven through a place called “Scugog” it is amusing to say like a bull frog too!

  • Momma Goose says:

    So funny!!! I love that Rhiannon’s comment is written in haiku. Very classy! πŸ™‚

    I was somewhat bothered to learn recently that my grandmother refers to the penis as a “gadget.” Not so much bothered by the word itself…I guess I’m just surprised that this grandmother is aware that gadgets exist. Welp, guess that explains how she got the four kids…

  • Jenny says:

    This is really hilarious! I can’t stop crying from laughter! I always read your blog but usually skip the comments-but today was a must. Had to check out what people were saying! We say pee-pee to describe the whole area…he hasn’t really differentiated the different parts yet! Thank goodness!! I say when talking to the doc, to use the correct terminology…I would be embarrased to call them anything else!

  • Lu says:

    I call it my son’s “area”. It’s awkward too. He calls it his “gooey geyser”. I don’t want to talk about it. I blame Dora. Best of luck.

  • Jessica says:

    I confess that I, too, have never been sure what part was the scrotum, so I’m thankful Becky cleared that up for me. You never know what you’re going to learn on a blog!

  • Holly says:

    I’ll never forget the first time I saw my son’s “scrotum” in the ultrasound. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. One of 3 girls, I really knew nothing about boys and am learning as I go along. We call it his “willy” and you’d be surprised how much the little bugger plays with it (he’s 6 now) when he’s getting his PJs on. A different breed.

  • mary carousso says:

    I think “peeps” is innocuous enough, I use it with my doctor and it seems to work, but otherwise I say “groin area”

  • red pen mama says:

    I’m in exactly the same boat, although my boy is only 2 weeks old. My older daugher, who is 6, asked about “that big part” the other day during a diaper change. I just said, “Those are his balls. His testicles.”

    Then she said, “What are they for?” It seems a little early to explain they help boys make babies…

  • Laura says:

    We have a daughter,4, and a son,2. When our daughter was tiny, my husband started calling it her “regions”. The term stuck and now that’s what they both call their bottoms. The issue of anatomically correct terms has not reared its ugly head yet.
    I agree, Triple Paste is horrifically expensive, but works WONDERS. My dr prescribes silvadine (v. cheap rx!) when it gets too bad, though.

  • Kerri says:

    It isn’t too early to do basic explanations. My kids were very involved in the pregnancies of their siblings. The older ones were involved in the births of their siblings and they have been to other people’s births too. They make good babysitters for the older children of the parents to be as they know lots about birth & even explain things to the children. My 2nd was so excited to be attending a birth on her own birthday! Funny as she stated very clearly when my friend announced she was pregnant that the baby would be born on her birthday!

    Kerri mom to 7 bio, 4 foster and grandma to 1

  • Alex says:

    Everyone knows that the penis is the “meat” and the rest is the “veg”. I think the other technical term for the scrotum/testes is “the stepchildren”.

  • British American says:

    This totally made me laugh. My son is 3 and has just started asking what that part is called. The first time he was bending down, so I could wipe him, so he had ‘quite the view’. I’m like “Ummm, testicles?” So later I asked my husband and he’s like “Ball sack” and I’m like “Yeah, I don’t want our kid running round saying that all the time!” At least “testicles” is harder for a 3 year old to say.

    This afternoon my son asked again and I told him “Testicles” again and he replies: “No. It’s “bits”.” So I guess “bits” it is.

  • Nikosha says:

    AHHH. This is why I keep coming back to read your blog. I am laughing while my sick 3 and 1yr old boys nap and I try to rest for like the two minutes I have. You are so funny that it makes me forget for a moment how sick I am and they are….and how hilarious it is to be a Mom.

  • Becky says:

    These comments are totally cracking me up. I am glad I have a girl, except now I realize I am going to have to figure out what we will call her “junk”.

  • Mandi says:

    I have 2 daughters (ages 10 and 4) and so when I had my son 18 months ago I was baffled about what to refer to his “boy parts” as. I had learned from expereince with my girls that what you call them is what they will call them. So after much debate we decided to call it the “winkie” and leave the rest for when he was older. Well then he developed a rash on his testes and when I called the doctor and was asked to explain.. I was unsure what to call them. so as I hesitated the nurse asked.. “is it on the twig, berries, or both?” Hilarious! anyway- for the rash I swear by Boudreaux’s butt paste.. it works WONDERS!! Good Luck

  • Stacey says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard! As a mom to two (now teenaged) boys, “junk” is the word of choice at our house… even my 6-year-old daughter calls it that. Just for the record, this parenting stuff doesn’t get any easier… it only gets harder… How’s that for some sunshiney news this bright & early morning?

  • Corinne says:

    Okay, so I just read this and laughed my butt off. I’m certain you no longer need suggestions, but I just have to chime in. My only experience is with my dog, and we refer to his stuff as his “kibbles and bits.” I think it could work for humans too. Otherwise, my vote is for “undercarriage.”

  • Mary-Beth says:

    I needed the laugh that the comments provided. Laugh-out loud funny, trying to be professional when co-worker asked question. Manager to choke way through.

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