In Which the Pubic Wig Is Discussed

So on Flag Day (June 14), I went to makeameme.org 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 Dictionary.com“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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