The Abusua (Clan)
Anatomy & Physiology in the 1930's according to Mary Dwyer
as transcribed & annotated by son, Dr. William C. Dwyer, M.D.
Jack, Joan, Diane/Tooge and I were all taught Mother's Irish (?) terms for bodily parts and functions. None of us could ever figure out where they came from.
(Shades of Katie Gallagher)
"A) Donors = Breasts. All of us have had a terrible time with this. Imagine "blood donors." Think of the problems with people who contribute to a worthy cause. Even the term, "donate," causes problems.
B) Humdiatus = Derriere. Commonly referred to as butt or ass. Neither term was ever used in our house. We were often asked to "get off our humdiatus" and clean our room or we could not listen to (Yes, pre-TV) "Let's Pretend" on Saturday morning. Mrs. Lovett, across the street, had a HUGE humdiatus..Now that I think of it, she also had massive donors, which centered her gravity so she didn't fall over backward on her humdiatus.
C) Pinkie = The Male Organ. It may be referred to as "prick," a term also used for men who went to Princeton University or "dong" as used in the term "donkey dong," which is a pork loin or "cock" which has some strange connection to the male chicken or "dingie"(not related a small boat.) I remember the formal dance when Jack caught his pinkie in his zipper. I had to operate, because none of the guys would touch it. That was before anyone seemed to be gay. It used to mean happy. Jack cursed at me for hurting him, so I told everyone what happened.
1) Winkie = Urination. The passage of urine, Micturition, Communicate with Nature, Piss, Pee, Leak. Mom was happy with this term because no one else knew what we had to do, so we had a family secret code and it avoided confusion over the use of the term "pee pee." See below.
2) Gruntie = Defecation. To defecate, poop, crap, dump, empty one's bowels. We also referred to it as "number two" as opposed to "number one." See "winkie" above. If we needed to go to the bathroom, it was important to specify which was to occur, so the urgency and need for plumbing was known. Boys could easily do winkie anywhere because they had a pinkie.
This list of definitions is incomplete, because Tooge and I can't think of any others. It seems that Jack and Joan would rather die than join in this effort. It is also incomplete by virtue of the fact that many modern words, such as sex, horney or the "F" word, which is necessary for social intercourse (whatever that means.) were not used in our home. There were no words in our house with the same meanings. Also, some parts of the human anatomy did not exist. I do remember both Dad and Mom using the word, "shit," sometime in the early forties.
I don't recall if use of the word, "sex," was a venial or mortal sin. There was no word for reproduction or the act of (new word) screwing. As far as I knew, girls had nothing below the waist and I remember hiding under the school fire escape in order to confirm this.
My first inkling that I had any brains at all was when I won a vocabulary contest. This was quite remarkable in view of the fact that I didn't know the meaning of most words. I mean the ones others used.
I'm trying to get this all down before I forget ....
? What was I doing? ....."
PS by Weblep.
The author's childhood environment did not affect permanent damage. Eventually, he went on to graduate from the University of Colorado Medical School and had a distinguished career as an anaesthesiologist. Also, the author and his lovely wife have six beautiful children, now adults. He must have learned a great deal upon leaving home.