Request Challenge 1: P-----s
That's how I hear the word "panties."
There are combinations of phonemes that are obviously gross. Mung. Bubo. Those are horrible words. Even if "bubo" actually meant "attractive man who makes delicious brownies and lives in the money tree in my backyard," it would still be an ugly word. Ditto for the word I hate more than any other word, which is a word my grandmother used to use, and which was really completely secret outside my immediate family until I told it to a class of seventh graders to drive home a poetry lesson on Gertrude Stein and the importance of sound in poetry.
What I won't do for the children.
My point is that "panties" doesn't quite fall into that category. The "ies" suffix on the end of anything makes my butt clench a little, but I can say "floaties" or "boobies" without much of a problem. "Panties" is horrible on another level because it has nothing but embarrassing connotations. It's horrible in the way that fifth grade sex-ed is horrible, when your teacher is trying extraordinarily hard to be chipper and upbeat and honest about how blood is one day going to exit your vagina of its own accord, and she opens a pad and slaps it right on her knee, on top of her stretch pants, and says "Look! You just stick it right in your panties!"
But for real, that's the first thing I think of. Mrs. P and maxi wings fluttering on her thigh.
And then there's the diminutive sense to the word which seems gross to me. Men don't wear "panties." They, in fact wear "boxers." For Christ's sake. Women get the word "panties" for their underwear, but men get the word for a man who beats another man to pulp? If men get "boxers," I'm going to start calling mine "assassins," or "ninjas" or something.
I've got to do laundry--I'm down to my last pair of Lizzy Bordens.
I don't call my bras "shirties," so I'm not calling anything "panties." Can we just agree on saying "underwear" and call it a day? And work on finding me a bubo to marry?