Red Flag

You know what, there are few things that make me cringe as a woman. I’ve happily shat on a midwife, peed on a thousand motorway verges, had a dozen internal scans, fanny farted like an exploding hot air balloon and publicly whipped out an engorged tit and none of it has bothered me. Yet there is one thing, one phrase, that makes me want to curl into a ball and weep into my own gussetry and that’s ‘panty liner’.

Panty liner. Oh Jesus, my fingers are cringing just typing it. It’s just such a hateable phrase, one that makes me creep so much that I can’t physically say it out loud. Honest to fuck, my tongue actually refuses to work when presented with those two words. Thank Christ you can buy these things off a shelf because if I had to go to a counter and ask for them I’d resort instead to stuffing my kickers with folded tea towels.

It’s word ‘panty’ isn’t it? That word alone makes me think of cheap satin and lurid lace and, worse, creepy old men fingering gussets in the darkest corner of M&S while their wives have nipped into the bank. I seriously think that the only people who like the word ‘panty’ are those who burgle washing lines. Oh, and Alan Partridge.

In fact I can’t ever imagine a woman coming up with ‘panty’.  It has to be a man who invented the word. You see, I’ve never met a woman who didn’t look like she fancied a good scrub after being subjected to the term, so how the word became the name of a product exclusively for women is beyond me. Please, etymologists, tell me that this word had a less creepy birth than the one I am currently thinking of, where a boardroom of advertising men – Mad Men-stylee – snigger over stained crotches.

So it’s about time that we reclaimed the panty liner and gave it a name that didn’t make women sick up into their mouths every month. I’ve come up with a few, just in case you’re wondering:

Flap hammock

Cavernly crash pad

Gusset hugger

Foof sloop

Blood guard

Slash basket

Minge mat

Conjugal flack jacket

Bean bag

Knicker sticker

Vag badge

And you know what? I’d happily ask anyone for a packet of these. The words, “Can I have a bumper pack of minge mats please?” would trip off my tongue way easier than anything involving the words ‘panty’ and ‘liner’. In fact I’d take great joy in stocking up on flap hammocks if it meant I could say the words out loud in Tesco.

So, girls, let’s turn the crimson tide and give these products names that don’t make periods sound like a perv’s dream. As much as the words ‘panty’ and ‘liner’ can’t physically leave my body, the contents of my uterus bloody well can so it’s time to give me what I want and that’s anything but a rummaging Alan Partridge.

So what do you think about the term ‘panty liner’? Do you like it or hate it? And what names do you have for them? Do tell in the comment box below, kraken-lovers…


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22 Responses to Red Flag

  1. Lucy says:

    It’s American, innit. They don’t have the word “knickers” – which is a real shame because it’s a great word and my daughter thinks it’s hillarious to yell it at top volume in the supermarket – and instead use the word “panties” for all women’s undercarriage garments. I didn’t actually know this until I watched the film “Mannequin” when I was 14 and then worked it out.
    By extension then, it’s probably an American invention brought over here.
    Still foul though. And it always amuses me that the people who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the name for them would be the sort that would run cringing from the idea of my mooncup, even though it’s a far nicer word.

    • The Kraken says:

      Thank you Lucy. Mooncups! Now that’s another blogpost altogether.

      • Lucy says:

        Bloody (ha!) love ‘em. Best thing I have ever ever ever ever ever bought for myself. I could never go back.
        And what finally tipped me into buying one was when Tampax started becoming “lightly scented”, at which point I thought “fuck this gravy train and stupid marketing shit,” and went and bought one.

        • The Kraken says:

          Ooooh, and does the mooncup do a good job of moppage?

          • Lucy says:

            Gods yes. Am still using my pre-birth one, and have no leakage whatsoever. It’s been so easy since I had it that I can completely forget my period for hours, and I never have to worry about carrying enough tampax (and then extracting the ones that have fallen apart in my bag six weeks later) ever again. Love it love it love it.
            And, thinking about it, it’s not moppage. It’s a little pot that you empty out when needed. No soaking required.

          • The Kraken says:

            It’s sloppage, not moppage! And it never leaks? I don’t know if my undercarriage could cope with one. I’m very close to erecting the Thames flood barrier in my netherparts.

          • Lucy says:

            For me it never leaks. But I have heard some tell of it doing so for others in the honeymoon(cup) period (ha!), when you’re getting used to flow and how much your body produces at different times – all part of learning how to use a new thing, and discovering exactly how much liquid is involved, and how frequent to empty and so on. Getting in touch with your own body and all that.
            It’s not for the fainthearted who are afraid of fiddling with their own flaps though – my sister ran screaming from the room when I showed her mine.

  2. Flap hammock had me rolling on the floor in laughter!

  3. The Knicker Napkiness says:

    Damn, that was a waste of good Arabica *fetches wipes to clean coffee off the monitor*

    Give me a packet of Tena any day, I need them when I piss myself at laughing at such foul terms for my arse coverage and blood moppage.

  4. Minge mat and flap hammock are my favourites!
    I hate those adverts. But I do feel sorry for the Tena lady, because she is the same one who not only goes to sleep on a laxative but she wakes up and has Imodium . Notice how men never get the squits on TV adverts?

  5. “Knicker sticker” is AWESOME.

    Glad to see discussion of the mooncup upthread! I am an advocate of Lunapads [other brands are available!] myself. Decided I was sick of spending a ridiculous amount of money on non-biodegradable ironed bleached lady-wadding, and got myself a few Lunapads. THEY’RE GREAT. I will never ever ever go back to store-bought “ladies requisites” (as my quite-old-fashioned dad calls them).

  6. joanne says:

    Minge Mat made me lol. That is what I shall call them from this day forward.

  7. Cassie says:

    First thing, I love your blog. I stumbled across it a few weeks back and I am totally in love with it. Secondly, I’m an american. I would have to say that panties is pretty much a term we use to death. Panties is just a shortened version of underpants (because of the obvious). Depending on where here you are from they can be referred to as something else such as drawers, bloomers, etc.

    • The Kraken says:

      Thank you for loving my witterings. And thank Gawd I don’t live in the US because, as much as I love the country, such wide use of the word ‘panty’ would finish me off.

  8. Sarah Miles says:

    Vag badge makes me think they’re going to start printing pictures on them, like delicate flowers or paisley pink swirls (bleugh) or for the teens it would be slapping a photo of One Direction on your foof to stem the tide.

    Gusset hugger also conjures up some unwanted images….dirty old men trying to feel up your whoopsie on a crowded tube train.

    I’ll go with minge mat. Although must be careful not to mistake it for a mouse mat…

  9. Carmen says:

    I had to stop reading half way down your list of alternative names and wipe the laughter tears away. I’ve never used the word panty to describe my underwear and write PL when I note them on a shopping list. Now I have plenty of alternatives….. and they’ll be entertaining if someone finds my shopping list!

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