Superfluous Lexicon #11

Six words that sound dirty but actually revolve around mastication.

Zack S. Westby Zack S. West

When doing research for this article, my friend said that he knew a woman who's last name was Poogatch. Pronounced how it's spelled. Poo-Gatch. I was so disgusted by that name I almost couldn't continue. But, due to my spectacular mental wherewithal, I managed to persevere. On that note, here are six words that sound dirty, but are actually about food.


Let's start with the easy one. I'm sure you know it, because we all learned it virally when the first kid in 4th grade found out about it and had to tell ALL his friends. But let's get it out of the way- mastication is the act of chewing. It is when you put something in your mouth and crush it with the bones that protrude from your gums (or in some cases, fake bones that are temporarily glued to your gums). It's the act of taking freshly cooked picture perfect food and grinding it into a colorless much that our bodies can turn into energy. In all honesty, I think it may be grosser than the word it's confused with.

Example Sentence: Are you kidding me? I would never watch a video of close up mastication.


You may have heard this word on cooking shows, pronounced Uh-MOO-ze BOOCH, because they throw it around like the person who says it the most gets to motorboat Giada DeLaurentis. Really, it's because it makes them sound like douchey french chefs, and that's all any of them want to be. (Also, the person who says it the least has to motorboat Barefoot Contessa, so…) Despite sounding like some act of personal defilement while wearing clown makeup, an Amuse-Bouche is a bite sized taste of an appetizer that chefs feed other chefs to show how good they are. It's the equivalent of dogs sniffing each other's "hors d'oeuvres."

Example Sentence: You bring an Amuse-Bouche to a dinner party? Didn't think to make enough for everyone? You Amuse-Douche.


Let's start off by saying that it's not pronounced Crud-ite, and therefore is not the name of a gang in the new Fallout game. Nor is it pronounced Crew-dite, which sounds like something Dr. House wouldn't diagnose until the last minute because it's clearly what's killing you. No, Croo-di-tay (it's French) is a veggie platter. You've seen them, often barely touched, at dinner parties and art galleries. Someone may sashay over and scold you for shoving your face full of mixed nuts and chocolate when there is a healthy crudite option right there. This is usually said while they shovel fistfulls of ranch dressing into their mouth with a baby carrot spoon. On an aside, this may still qualify as dirty, because vegetables by definition grow in the dirt.

Example Sentence: Also, I've seen some pretty creative and disgusting things done with the items available in your average crudite. Just sayin'.


Wow. What a word. I don't even know what direction to go in. Does it sound like an awful skin condition? Maybe a bodily fluid that's only made from combining other bodily fluids. One way or another, this word belongs on Urban Dictionary, probably multiple times. Really, vichyssoise is just a kind of potato soup. As the wikipedia entry says "Vichyssoise (pronounced /ˌvɪʃiːˈswɑːz/ US dict: vi·shē·swäz′) is a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock." It also says "It is traditionally served cold, but can also be eaten hot." Yeah it can. Puh-POW.

Example Sentence: "…and a side order of vichyssoise." (Okay, that really sounds awful. Worse if you pronounce it Vicky Sauce.)


While not directly related to food, I feel like the uvula sees enough of it to count. It is that little dangly bit at the back of your throat that cartoons have a tendency to play around with a lot, and prostitutes get removed to abate their gag reflex (citation needed). It plays an essential role in allowing humans to be capable of speech, so you can thank it for Martin Luther King Jr. with one hand and blame it for Jerry Fallwell with the other. It also sounds a lot like vulva, which is a dirty word with a dirty definition. I'd post comparison photos to clear up the confusion, but I feel like I'd get in trouble.

Example Sentence: Apparently, the colloquial term for uvula is "hangy ball" which somehow sounds significantly worse.


And finally, we arive at Cockaigne. The G is silent, so it's pronounced Cah-cain. It is the mythical land of plenty from Medieval Europe. Food falls from the sky, everyone is a slut and literally everyone is doing whatever they want whenever they want and enjoying the shit out of it. Actually, turns out this word is a lot dirtier than it sounds. Good going, Cockaigne.

Example Sentence: If you wanna hang out, you've got to take her out to Cockaigne. Everybody goes down in the whole f***ing town, Cockaigne. She don't lie, they all fry, you should try… Cockaigne.


Follow Zack S. West on Twitter @ZSWest, and also he does other stuff that he'll tell you about later.