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Thread: penis vs it

  1. #1
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    Default penis vs it

    I've seen people saying "penis" even in official situations in lots of movies or in reality. In Korea, in official or public situations, we say "genital organ" or "it", or a cute expression "chili" for that of babies as it looks similar to penis.
    I think it's a cultural difference. We may think saying "penis" directly in many situations would be kind of embarrasing due to confucianism or morals, so I'd like to know what attitude native speakers have when saying it.
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    Last edited by keannu; 04-Mar-2013 at 04:04.

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    Default Re: penis vs it

    Penis is the formal and the scientific word. People often try to find some euphemism or evasion along the lines you mentioned. But if the circumstances demand that you use the name of the organ, penis is the word you can use without giving offence.

    I recently overheard a conversation between two women, in which one advised the other to consult someone else. The indignant reply was: "Why? Because he has a penis?" Had she used any other word, she would undoubtedly have offended some people.

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    Default Re: penis vs it

    I'm asking this question as it's related to my voca-book. Okay, I've mistook "penis" for a bad offensive word so far, so I guess such an offensive word in the woman's case would have been "dick" or something, right?

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    Default Re: penis vs it

    Yes, that is one of many potentially offensive alternatives she could have chosen.

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    Default Re: penis vs it

    A footnote, Keannu:

    I like "I've mistook". It's jocular, a little bit of fun. But in case you didn't mean it that way, you should know that the correct form is "I've mistaken."

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