In Which the Pubic Wig Is Discussed

So on Flag Day (June 14), I went to and typed certain factoids onto the old photo of Francis Bellamy, author of the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.  I posted the image on Reddit, with the heading, “Merkins, when you pledge allegiance to the flag, remember …”

The one and only commenter replied, “A merkin is a pubic wig worn originally by prostitutes to disguise the fact that they were shaved off to rid themselves of lice, not a nationality.”

Thanks for sucking all the humor out of the punchline, professor. Of course I knew what a merkin is — that’s the joke, man.  A person who mindlessly recites a pledge to an animate piece of cloth and thinks himself a patriot is a phony.  Americans who wield faux patriotism like a weapon (“love it or leave it”) are fake twats.  To wit: Merkins.

I regret using the term “twat” in the service of pun-making. Specifically I regret employing any part of the female form as an insult.  Women deserve better. I can do better!

But as long as we’re here, let’s see what the Online Etymology Dictionary has to say about “merkin.”

merkin (n.) Look up merkin at“female pudenda,” 1530s, apparently a variant of malkin in its sense of “mop.” Meaning “artificial vagina or ‘counterfeit hair for a woman’s privy parts’ ” is attested from 1610s. According to “The Oxford Companion to the Body,” the custom of wearing merkins dates from mid-15c., was associated with prostitutes, and was to disguise a want of pubic hair, shaved off either to exterminate body lice or evidence of venereal disease.


Well, I did not realize merkin was kin to malkin.  Makes sense!


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