Spice Up Your Sexy Language

There are so many words and phrases for sex out there: boinking, bow chicka wow wow, making love . . . . But, these are all relatively new terms for doing the deed.

Let’s take a look at some old-school terms for sex, and see if we can’t spice up our current lingo for those times when bumping uglies just won’t do.

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Bread and butter

In the 19th-century you might have heard the phrase, bread and butter, to refer to shacking up. This was something said in England when one person was found literally on top of another.

Today, the term bread and butter means something a bit different, especially in the United States. Sure, it can be referred to as a food choice that pairs nicely with a cup of soup, but it can also reference your source of income. As for sex? Not so much.

Join giblets

In the late 1600s, when someone wanted to have sex with another person they might have said, “let’s join giblets.” Funny since a giblet is “a heart of gizzard of a bird,” but who are we to judge?

Well, The Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose (published in 1785) goes a bit further in describing this phrase, saying, “said of a man and woman who cohabit as husband and wife, without being married; also to copulate.”

So, it seems a lot of us are actually joining giblets these days without even knowing it!

Horizontal refreshment

The phrase, horizontal refreshment (which means getting busy while lying down), apparently goes all the way back to the 1800s. No one knows who first said this, but we can assume those in the Victorian era (women with hoop skirts and men sporting top hats) were parched until they got their “horizontal refreshments.”

Today, it seems (logically) that this old-time phrase has evolved into horizontal dancing, horizontal tango, or simply, getting horizontal.

Give someone a green gown

No, this phrase isn’t talking about giving someone a fancy dress, obviously. Actually, to give someone a green gown apparently came about in the 1300s and means “to have sex on a grassy hillside.”A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue defines it as “to tumble her on the grass.” Seems like there weren’t many places to escape to back in the 1300s when you wanted some . . . alone time.

Make feet for children's stockings

This is an odd expression that really makes you wonder. Apparently, in the late 1700s, the phrase, make feet for children’s stockings, meant “to have sex in order to make a baby.” Well, that’s quite the innuendo.

Thankfully, this isn’t a popular saying anymore. Instead, someone might use the more straightforward let’s make a baby, or put a baby in me. At least there’s no confusion about socks or feet.

St. George

Back in the 1800s, St. George (or riding St. George) referred to a woman on top during sex. It supposedly goes back to when St. George was portrayed as “mounting a dragon” in artwork. A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue gives us this definition: “the woman uppermost in the amorous congressthat is the dragon upon St. George.”

Today, St. George is still celebrated (in the bedroom?) every April 23rd in England for killing that dragon.

Shake the sheets

Talking about “the sheets” has always been a dead giveaway for wanting to have sex, like the popular: between the sheets. But, back in the 1500s, the phrase was to shake the sheets.

According to, this expression was a play on a “medieval kind of dance.” Those who wanted a little something-something said, “shake the sheets without music,” alerting the other person that there would be more than just dancing going on.

Boom boom

While we may not know for certain when the expression, boom-boom, came about, it is said to have originated in South East Asia during the war (1960s).

According to, prostitutes might have started using this term with American soldiers due to “limited English language ability.”


We might think the term, nooky, is a modern one, but it’s said to have originated around 1925.

While it’s not entirely clear how the word came to mean sex, it’s believed it started with the Dutch word, neuken, which means “to have intercourse.” And, the expression somehow stuck after all these years.

Basket making

This term dates back to the 1800s and means much more than making a wicker basket. As seen in the Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, the expression basket making was once used to describe two people having sex. According to Mental Floss, it stems from an old technique of making children’s stockings (“knitting the heel is called basket making”), and children are made during intercourse.

These days, this phrase seems to have shifted to basket weave, which is another sex act between two people . . . look it up if you want to know more about that.

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Word of the Day

Mar. 29, 2023

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