I am working on the French translation of my novellas (yes, I actually am French, well, half-French while the rest is Sicilian and Irish) when I realized that I don't quite have the vocabulary for certain words.

We spoke some French at home, but never those words. I went to French Montessori in the early years, then died of boredom in an English-speaking convent school (no, really. This is not a persona thing).

Knowing there were gaps in my language skills, I studied French, in later years, at the Alliance Francaise. Lived in Quebec, worked in Switzerland, Belgium, and France. But still those words never really crossed my path.

So here I sit with two novellas of erotica on my desk and I realize I am not current on the lingua franca, so to speak, for pussy, clit, cock, balls, spank, ass, or breasts. The usual suspects. Does my intrepid protagonist shout "Je viens, je viens" when she comes? Does she call her pink parts her "chatte" or is there something more common? I confess I don't know.

Google Translate is always helpful. I sought them out this morning looking for my Naughty Word List as I call it. Here's what we have for pussy:


Vagin is pretty obvious. But in erotica women don't refer to their "vaginas" much. I can see how the French receives this: Oh oh oh Ronald, kiss my vagina. Yes, there. No, there, more to the left my masculine man. There. Yes yes I am arriving! Oh swiftly  now my stud, I am almost at my destination of bliss.

A little more literal and technical than one would want. Having said that, I think it could be fun and it reminds me of a chapter I wrote once while frustrated trying to find new ways to say "had sex". I'll post that another day.

So I think chatte might be it. I know that if I refer to my cats as my chat and pronounce the "t" giggles and sly looks ensue. But this opens up another question for debate:

How many women, really, refer to their vaginas as their pussies? Really? We see it in porn, read it in erotica. But do we really use it? I guess some do. The convent-part of my upbringing means I say "vagina" or just gesture with my eyes when referring to my pink parts. Ok, and I say pink parts. I guess that forbidden nature of it all is what drew me to romance and erotica writing in the first place.

Wouldn't Sister Viola be proud to know where I am today? Actually she might as I do my best to at least keep the grammar correct.

I think people shtup best when there are no dangling participles, don't you?