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Question for Linguists

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Flanders, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Flanders


    Oct 30, 2002
    Reno, NV
    So I was at the bar last night, and a friend of mine asked me what is the opposite of phallic (as in phallic symbol). I don't know why he asked, but this guy is a little bit strange. Anybody know? The closest we could get was 'vulvic' :smug:
  2. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Given that statement, I would say 'manual'... :eek: :p
  3. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Clitoric? :eyebrow:

    I asked my brother who took three years of Latin and he couldn't think of it off-hand. I have a pretty good knowledge of Linguistics and I couldn't think of what it could be... :meh:
  4. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
  5. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    The answer is vaginal.
  6. _Unregistered_


    Nov 3, 2004
    I would agree.
  7. Beat me to it. Drat.
  8. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    It depends on how you look at it.

    From a merely anatomical perspective, vaginal is correct or at least. I have heard of many cases of bleeding from the penis and vaginally but I honestly have yet to see the word phallus or phallic used in a medical setting at least where I work. Maybe Mike Mulcahy can shed some light on this aspect.

    From a sociolinguistic perspective, vaginal is not correct. He used it in reference to how we use the term phallic symbol. Women tend not to publicly hype up or personify their genitals the way that men do. They tend not to judge themselves based upon the size of their genitals. Perhaps it has to do with how male genitalia are more prominent and females' are hidden (and thus adding to the mysteriousness?). That said, there is no opposite of phallic symbol that I can think of when we look at it from this perspective. There is no vaginal symbol.

    And for what it's worth, I was kidding when I said clitoric. ;)
  9. Opposite are weird things. The opposite of "uncle" can be aunt, or it can be nephew or neice. The opposite of white can be black, or it can be red (as in wine).

    What do you mean by opposite?

    What about aphallic. Antiphallic. Non phallic.

    "phallic" is normally used in the phrase "phallic symbol". There is no such thing as a vaginal symbol. So how can that be the opposite?

    Perhaps the opposite of "phallic" would be something like "in tune with his feelings" or "mature and developed person not fixated on the penis"....

    But really, it's an unanswerable question, as there is no context to provide background.
  10. Hmmm..I should have read the post above mine first!
  11. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Hmmm, I don't know about that, I've seen art that seems to contain vaginal symbolism (does anyone really want me to link to examples?). It's certainly not as rampant as phallic symbols which are darn near ubiquitous. I would however define it as a female or feminine corollary as opposed to an "opposite" perhaps (as others have suggested above).
  12. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Right. I didn't mean to imply that there isn't such imagery intended or otherwise, out there in art or just in the everyday world. I meant that we don't have a more specific term for it that is in the very same vane as "phallic symbol." If people see a black and white picture of a canoe, an open fault, or a cave (vagina is actually derived from the latin for cave), I don't think vaginal symbol is one of the first terms that would pop into everybody's mind regardless of whether or not that's exactly what they are thinking. Show a steeple, or a tower, or anything vaguely resembling a shaft (not the movie Shaft, wait, there's another prevalent phallic symbol) of some sort and you'll get a bunch of people pointing out it's phallic nature and most likely use that very term.
  13. JTbass


    Jul 2, 2004
    Asutin TX
    well the oposite of the penis is no penis, or the vagina.

    so the oposite of a phallic symbol would be something that reminds us of the absence of a penis, or a vagina.

    and i dont think there is a word for this.

    so should we come up with one? or is there a word already?
  14. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    I think that we owe it to ourselves to come up with a fitting name.

    How does Mike Money sound? :eyebrow: :eek: :D

    Kidding, just kidding... :smug:
  15. Since when is an arse the opposite of phallic? :p Jokes.. :bag:

  16. Only


    Sep 8, 2002
    Warrensburg, MO
    :D :D :D
  17. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000

    this is a freebie just for me to say that you guys freakin' crack me up. It's 4:19 a.m. and I'm about to fall out of my bed from laughing so hard.

    cunning linguists.......tee hee.

    arse=mike money=vagina


    intriguing discussion, by the way.

    FWIW, I take pictures of all phallic symbols I find with my camera phone. there are TONS on my campus, and i see plenty around town as well.
  18. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001

    that's some pretty phallic-obsessive behavoir :eyebrow:

    didn't know you were so into peni (i swear that should be the plural of penis :p )
  19. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    lol. peni.

    I just find it humorous that at a Baptist university there are so many phallic symbols. Literally everywhere.
  20. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    freud would have a field day with you my son :p

    phallic symbols are all in the mind. i don't know what it implies if you see them everywhere.....