When watching the Westminster Dog Show as they talk about female dogs, giggles from mid-schoolers can become quite annoying. Sometimes, certain words can be okay, but when used out of context, not so much. How do we teach our children to speak eloquently when even proper language is so tricky? Even grown-ups can get befuddled when something sounds bad but isn’t.

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There are words that sound a bit naughty but are entirely benign. Defining them will help as we try to keep from grinning. A line in the sand had to be drawn somewhere, so no multiple-word phrases (spotted dick - British steamed pudding), hyphenates (tease-hole - used in glass blowing) or proper nouns (Fuddrucker’s) are in this list.

  1. Prefix ‘sex’ words - It means six. Get over it. Sexagenarian - someone who is in their sixties, sexfoiled - plants with six leaves, sexangle - a shape with six sides and angles, sextuple - six parts or things, but not sextant - a nautical navigational tool
  2. Fartlek - a form of training at different speeds when distance running
  3. Peniaphobia - a fear of poverty or becoming broke
  4. Bunghole - hole bored into a cask to fill and remove liquid
  5. Pianist - person who plays the piano
  6. Angina - chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart
  7. Kumquat - small citrus fruit native to south-eastern China
  8. Diphthong - sound combining two vowels (coin, loud, side)
  9. Dongle - devise connected to a computer to access broadband or protected software
  10. Uvula - fleshy extension that hangs at the back of the throat
  11. Masticate - to chew
  12. Penal - relating to punishment under the legal system
  13. Titular - formal position or title without any real authority (title only)
  14. Coccyx - Tailbone
  15. Vagitus - newborn baby’s first cry

There are plenty more. Talk amongst yourselves with confidence. HR will not need to be contacted for this conversation.

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