penis vs it

Status
Not open for further replies.

keannu

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Korean
Home Country
South Korea
Current Location
South Korea
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.
kk209
 
Last edited:

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
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.
 

keannu

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Korean
Home Country
South Korea
Current Location
South Korea
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?
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Yes, that is one of many potentially offensive alternatives she could have chosen.
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
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."
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top