Thursday, February 22, 2007


Such a great word, really, but not one that is often heard in public. But now scrotum joins the ranks of many other august terms as a rallying cry by some (not all) of the Protectors of Young Minds - school librarians.

Scrotum appears in this years Newbery Award childrens book. The NY Times tells the story, and that the 10-year old boy in the book hears someone say that his dog was bit by a rattlesnake on the scrotum (ouch!). A number of school librarians have pulled the book off the library shelves because scrotum, I guess, is a word children should not know. Is there a better word for a scotum than scrotum?

I have to say here that I like the word scrotum. It's a great word, a fun word. I imagine a scene from a movie in which Mel Gibson ( I think he has one) and a horde of blue-and-white face-painted men in skirts brandishing swords and battle axes and clubs are charging across a windy plain, holding high a banner with a curvy "W"-shaped icon, and screaming, in a Welsh or Scottish brogue "SCROTUM - SCROTUM; FOR THE HONOR OF SCROTUM." Or something like that.....

So what's the problem here? Don't all kids know the words "penis" and "vagina?" Shouldn't they? So why ignore scrotum?

One school librarian quoted by the NY Times had this to say: “I don’t want to start an issue about censorship, but you won’t find men’s genitalia in quality literature.” Well, maybe she should worry more about sticking her nose where it doesn't belong.

So I say, why pick on scrotum, it's a nice word, a fun word, a playful word - and it's a real body part, too. Don't be afraid of scrotum, use the word proudly and often, fight back against the anti-scrotumers of the world. Scrotums of the world - unite!


  1. Here! Here!
    You are right, it is a great and fun word. Epiglottis is another one that comes to mind.

    Is the plural of scrotum scrota or scroti??? (Would there even be a reason to use the plural of scrotum in a sentence???
    Thanks for making my day, Paul!
    I declare you King of the Proscrotumni!

  2. Let's see: On the Broadway stage we were able to see "The Puppetry of the Penis", "The Vagina Monologues" and "Urinetown". Perhaps "Censorship of the Scrotum" could be next.