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merkin

[mur-kuh n]
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noun
  1. false hair for the female pudenda.
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Origin of merkin

First recorded in 1610–20; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for merkin

merkin

noun
  1. an artificial hairpiece for the pudendum; a pubic wig
  2. obsolete the pudendum itself
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Word Origin

C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for merkin

n.

"female pudenda," 1530s, apparently a variant of malkin in its sense of "mop." Meaning "artificial vagina or 'counterfeit hair for a woman's privy parts' " is attested from 1610s. According to "The Oxford Companion to the Body," the custom of wearing merkins dates from mid-15c., was associated with prostitutes, and was to disguise a want of pubic hair, shaved off either to exterminate body lice or evidence of venereal disease.

This put a strange Whim in his Head; which was, to get the hairy circle of [a prostitute's] Merkin .... This he dry'd well, and comb'd out, and then return'd to the Cardinall, telling him, he had brought St. Peter's Beard. [Alexander Smith, "A Complete History of the Lives and Robberies of the most notorious Highwaymen," 1714]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper