Friday, May 23

In Search of the Wild Weenus

There are certain words in the English language that intrigue me greatly. I either like the way they sound or their implied meaning. Vertigo is one of my favorite words. Probably something to do with my natural grace **cough cough**. Afghan is a word I refuse to say out loud. It is too silly and is not even English. If I need to refer to one, I point in it's general direction. Certain words even make me laugh out loud when said. The below word is one of them. Have you heard of this word? It sounds strangely like something my brothers would have, if you catch my drift. I used to work with a lady who called me this one day. The word made me laugh in spite of myself. She told me what it meant. I didn't believe her (I swear she was calling me something else), so I do what I always do when I want information. I Google it! Here is a perfect article. Now go call your neighbor a weenus!

By Bruce Watson
Published on September 15, 2006

OF all the strange slang my daughter has brought home from school, none is so weird as ''weenus.''

Like most slang, weenus refers to a part of the human body, but unlike most slang, it is not sexual. What is a weenus? Why do you have two of them but you've never heard of either one? Where did the term come from and why is it a pet word among teenagers who have no more weenuses (weeni?) than anyone else? I decided to do a little research.

Harvard as yet has no Department of Weenus Studies. Nor do Yale, Columbia, or any of our local colleges. To get the official word on weenus, I went where we all go to wallow in things trivial, forgotten, neglected, or just plain made up - the Internet.

Searching for something adolescent on the Internet is a little like wandering through a high school wearing a plaid coat, Bermuda shorts and loafers. And no socks. You instantly feel old, out of place, and as if you just completed an intergalactic voyage in suspended animation. Dodging the ads for Ipods, ignoring my vertigo, I typed in weenus and found myself in Weenus World.

I had thought perhaps my daughter or her friends had made up the word. And like the small-time dinosaur that I am, I had run to the dictionary for proof. Aha! There was no such word! But dictionaries are like, sooooo pre-weenus. Google the word and in 0.08 seconds you have 30,000 hits. It's enough to make your weenus weary, if only you knew what it was.

There's a band called Weenus in El Paso. And an Official Weenus Web site. Weenus simply saturates blogs. And then there are weenus song lyrics, weenus clubs, and several sights in Polish where Weenus somehow relates to astronomy.

I was getting the idea. Regardless of what it might mean in Poland, weenus was an all-purpose laugh getter, one of those cool cognates any teen could drop in a sentence and get an instant and very knowing laugh. Given its sound - a cross between wuss and that male body part it rhymes with - weenus could be all things to all teens. ''Dude, you're such a weenus.'' ''Hey, check out my weenus!'' ''Weenus this!'' Etc. But what did it mean?

Finally, an online urban dictionary gave me the answer, confirming what my daughter had told me. Your weenus, should you decide to accept it, is the loose skin on your elbow.

There. Now you know what a weenus is. Now you can take off your plaid coat and loafers and get back to the business of being old. But wait! Why should we allow teenagers to give their own weird name to this crucial part of our anatomy?

Weenuses of the world, I think we owe the skin on our elbows a little better. This perpetually dry, cracked, and nearly numb skin has been the laughing stock of the body for too long. I'm no doctor, but I believe the ''loose skin on your elbow'' is the only part of the anatomy without a name. That must mean that Gray's Anatomy and millions of doctors since have concluded it isn't a body part at all, just ''loose skin on your elbow.''

If we allow teens to get away with weenus, the next thing you know they'll be naming the skin on your knuckles. And those little hairs that sprout from moles. And the fat rolls around your waist. Sorry, teens, but we elders already named that last one - love handles - and you don't care because you don't have them - yet.

Still, I say we Ban the Weenus! Weenus may still draw a laugh every time. It may still mean something but not loose skin. Not on my elbow! Not in my dictionary! Not with my daughter! I say let the kids have weenus envy. I have skin on my elbow and I'm proud of what used to be called a weenus.


Tanya said...

You truly are a weenus!!! It sounds like a word you would've taught my boys when they were little along with booger, butt, hinder, etc.

I just love looking at Spencer's pictures. He's such a doll, and it makes me miss him!

Faith Johnson said...

Leave it to to you Sheri to share these silly things with us. Tanya is right you truly are the queen of the weenuses!!! You were big on the bogger!! Oh how you made Colin laugh. Faith

Sheri said...

Tanya-you are right about that! I loved making your boys giggle when they were little.

I am the queen of something...I just haven't figured it out yet!

Pictures coming soon...