The euphemisms news reporters use when a sports figure injures his penis and testicles

In a recent high-stakes basketball match between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warrior player Draymond Green kicked Thunder player Steven Adams directly in the penis and testicles.

This meant that the sports press had write about penises and testicles more than they are accustomed to, and many chose not to use the correct words, opting instead for a euphemism, most commonly "groin." But there's a long tail of genitalia in sporting euphemisms for the old meat-n-two-veg, and on Five Thirty-Eight, Kyle Wagner helpfully tallies their popularity, from "below the belt" all the way to "nether region" and beyond.

In 96 articles, totaling a little more than 50,000 words, "groin" was used 148 times across headlines, body and photo captions. Of course, in sports, groin injuries can mean something very different from your basic knee to the crotch. So at best, this creates unnecessary ambiguity in order to demur from coarser language. The next most frequently used was some form of "below the belt" with 17 appearances, followed by "nuts" with 15, "low blow" with 14, a few variations of "private parts" totaling 12, "between the legs" with 10 and "balls" with nine. "Other" variations appeared 71 times, though this number is heavily skewed by a single Yahoo article that used 30 non-standard variations. This category includes a wide range of phrases — "nads" and "cobblers" and "Adams's apples" alongside recitations of Green's own softening quote, in which he repeatedly referred to the penis area as "down there."

But the taxonomy of dong euphemism goes beyond basic totals. ESPN, for instance, is almost uniformly "groin" and "groin area," while CBS clusters around "below the belt" and "low blow" and SB Nation is heavy on "between the legs." Deadspin carries both "dick" and "balls," frequently daisying the two as a complex noun.

The Many Ways The Media Gets Around Saying [Groin]
[Kyle Wagner]

(via Skepchick)