Other Names for Your Period

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"My Personal Bloody Mary."
"My Personal Bloody Mary."Photo: Edgardo Contreras/Corbis

The Crimson Wave. That time of the month. Bloody murder. We have constructed many a new name to describe the monthly shedding of our menstrual walls in order to not offend the easily offended. As we slip tampons into the prohibitively small pockets of our skinny jeans (why? why are they so small?? why????), and are still having to sneakily float the idea of period sex with Tinder losers, Ida Tin, founder of period-tracking app Clue, says that enough is enough and we must begin to drop the stigma surrounding our monthly cycles.

Clue took a global survey recently in conjunction with the International Women’s Health Coalition that discovered that women in 190 countries have thousands of euphemisms for their periods, from the obvious to the obscure:

In the U.S., women commonly refer to it as a visit from Aunt Flo, that time of the month, their monthly friend, or, as coined by Cher in “Clueless,” [surfing] the Crimson wave. The Swedish may say, “Lingonveckan,” which means “lingonberry week” and the German say “Erdbeerwoche,” which means “strawberry week.” Some French say, “Les Anglais ont debarqué,” which means “the English have landed” – an ode to the bloody battles of yore.

Tin hopes that we can begin to start telling it like it is. “For you to understand your body and take care of your body you have to first not be ashamed of this part of your life,” she told the Washington Post. “Without cycles there would be no humans on this planet, it’s that fundamental. That taboo is left over from the dark ages.”

While we are generally in agreement that we should be able to say and do whatever it is we like — call your period the “regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina” for all we care — isn’t it more fun to keep everyone but our female friends guessing? If others can’t figure out the following new naming protocols for our periods, isn’t that on them, not us? Men: Start studying.

• My Bloody Valentine

• Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, I’m Bleeding Out of My Vagina, Nothing I Can Do

• The Visitor

• Dumbass Ghost Who Fell in Paint

• Chacha Doing the ChaCha

• Juice Press

• The BLT, Hold the BL (Add the BL If You’re Getting Me a BLT) (But Please Do  Not Combine These) (Unless You’re Into It)

• Mad Max: Fury Road

• Tomato Gunk

• Trotsky Time

• Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

• The Red Wedding

• A Bunch of Stuff Goin On In My Underoos

• The Republican Party