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August 24, 2006 at 3:06 pm (Craps, Useless Information)

Punani (also punany) is a slang term for vagina or vulva. Its origins are sometimes attributed to Caribbean patois, possibly from the Tamil pundai. Some contend that it is derived from pudenda, a Latin synonym for genitalia from pudēre, meaning “to cause shame”, and thus referring to something of which one should be ashamed. Punani may be the origin of pun pun, a slang word for vagina or women in the Jamaican culture.

Others have suggested that punani may be related to poontang, a vulgar word for sex, women, or the vagina, whose etymology is also disputed. The abbreviated poon is also in common usage. Poontang is often believed to derive from the French putain, meaning “whore”, and came into common english usage during the Vietnam War. Some believe that it may have come from one of the West African languages, perhaps Limba puntu or Bantu mu ntanga, or perhaps the South African pundu, from Xhosa impundu. The OED’s earliest citation of poontang is in Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel (1929), a novel set in the American South. There may be a relationship to the term puta, which also is vulgar slang in the Spanish, Portuguese and Filipino languages for whore.

Another possible etymology is from the Modern Hawaiian word punani, meaning “beautiful flower,” from Old Hawaiian pua (blossom) and nani (glorious, splendid, heavenly, beautiful).

1 Comment

  1. yumsup said,

    aiyoh, the chinese named it chow chi bye !!

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