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Picking nits: Psst! Don’t use ‘fanny’ in a headline!

May 25, 2008 | Picking nits,Words

Unless you want all the folks who speak British English to spit their coffee because, umm, fanny doesn’t mean buttocks to them. It means :::whisper::: female genitalia.


So imagine non-American-English speakers reading this headline on the front page of The Wall Street Journal the other day.

Modest Proposal: A Vermont Town Bucks Nakedness, Skinny-Dipping Spurs An Outbreak of Nudity; The Fanny-Pack Man

A man with a fanny-pack, no less.

Fanny issues might not be discussed much in, oh, The Economist, but they are discussed elsewhere.

But, hey. I bet one of the new bosses (you know, the ones from Australia?) might have an idea why using fanny in any context while trying to be serious might have the Brits laughing their arses off at the daft wanks, er, Yanks, who thought it was a good idea at the time.

Just sayin’.

Posted by Becky @ 12:50 am  

7 Responses to “Picking nits: Psst! Don’t use ‘fanny’ in a headline!”

  1. Sunshine Says:

    Have you been working out? Your fanny looks really skinny in those jeans….


  2. Jodie M Says:

    Haha, very true Becky. I’m Australian and that headline would definitely raise a few eyebrows here! :)

  3. Alisa Says:

    my grandmother was named Fanny….Fanny Ruth, she went by Ruth..when I was a kid I didn’t know why, but maybe she knew what it really meant!

  4. Manager Mom Says:

    I actually think a fanny pack is an international tragedy, no matter WHAT you call it or how you try to rationalize it’s “convenient.”

    Just Say No To Fanny Packs.

  5. Linda Says:

    years ago, we would apparently say “sweet Fanny Adams” to mean “not much” – I suppose that’s still better than “f*** all.”


  6. Karl Says:

    Yeah, I discovered this the hard way, living in England for three years. I told a good British friend that I was going to smack her on her “fanny.” You can imagine the shock and dismay on everyone’s faces in the room…except for my wife and I, who hadn’t a clue.

  7. lumpyheadsmom Says:

    I had no idea. I always thought the phrase “my Aunt Fanny” came from across the pond, but I guess not? Maybe it came from Alisa’s family.

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