25 Synonyms for 'Pussy Riot,' for news presenters who'd really rather not say 'pussy' on-air


What I imagine Wolf Blitzer's facial expression was the first time he read the words "Pussy Riot" off the teleprompter.


Pussy Riot. Image: Denis Bochkarev

The outlaw Russian activist organization Pussy Riot reportedly chose their name as a clever troll: one of the group's members said she thought it'd be a way to provide a little fun for English-speakers who followed their story. And she was right. Every time I see CNN's Wolf Blitzer say "Pussy Riot," or hear a dry NPR anchor's voice intone those two words, I think I'm going to die laughing. Pussy Riot finally managed to do what generations of feminists before them could not: they normalized the word "pussy."

But I asked Twitter to help me come up with some more "polite" synonyms for news anchors who still wince when they have to say the p-word on-air. Here's the list, some of which are my own, some of which others must take blame for.

• Vagina Riot
• Cuntastrophe
• Cooter Commotion
• Ladybits Rampage
• Vajayjay Melee
• Birth Canal Brouhaha
• Hoo-hah Kerfuffle
• Beefdrape Diatribe
• Frontbottom Fracas
• Labial Lawlessness
• Rosebud Rumble
• Bearded Clam Shenanigans
• Muffin scufflin'
• Cooch Confrontation
• Down There Donnybrook
• Labia Fray-bia
• Front-butt Fiasco
• Munch Bunch
• Apocalips
• Violencia del Vulva
• Meat-Curtain Mayhem
• Nookie Disagreement
• Honeypot havoc
• Fanny Free-for-all
• Tumult Near Mons Pubis (*also a great title for a post-apocalypic sci-fi erotic novel)

(Thanks, everyone: @joshgondelman, @Beschizza, @scottpierce_au, @orelhoes, @arfisk, @bonniegrrl, @KingDouyeAlfred, @KellySGerner, @birdsnfrogs, @cuadcosgrove, @capnmarrrrk, @beebigelow, @iD4RO, @BarrSteve, @emraeoh, @jesusdiaz, @ginalou, @janice_e, @gwynskid, @laurasbadideas, @nieljacoby, @proeat, @gargreguan, @dkesserich, @lekevbo, @queerveganrun)

Notable Replies

  1. says:

    Coochy Coup.

  2. Also: Vagoo To-Do, Twat Spat, Gash Clash, Fanny Furor, Pudendumonia/Punaanimonia, and Vagitation.

  3. Klezmer band, Labia Menorah.

  4. Funny jokes can be tasteless. Quite a lot of what Pussy Riot does is intentionally tasteless and offensive. That's the point in a way and that's what makes what they do great. You seem to have missed the point. Pussy Riot are punk in the true spirit of the term, and tastelessness is one of punks main weapons.

    Looking at the thanks list in the original article, I infer that a goodly chunk (fnuur, that sounds rude too) of the contributors are of the gender that you think this is hateful off, as is the author and a number of the commenters. I may be wrong, this is the internet after all, and boys may be girls and vice versa.

    But in my opinion the best on the original list, "Fanny Free-for-all" is an unbelievably funny phrase (I appreciate that it may confuse some Americans not aware of the variation in meaning in the UK, but that only adds to the humour. I assume it was from a UK contributor).

    I see this list as a form of applause for Pussy Riots actions and bravery, and the only people who should be offended are the people who hate them and what they stand for and who are the real targets of this article.

    Enough seriousness, bring on the clowns, and remember - "God Save the Queen, she ain't no human being!"

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