Where does banjo string come from?
The anatomical frenulum, from the Latin for “little bridle,” dates back to the 1700s. Although its origins are murky, the penile sense of banjo string may have begun in the vulgar British comic magazine, Viz.
Viz started in 1979 and featured an array of characters, one of whom was the sweary Roger Mellie. In 1997, a special book was released with the comic, Roger’s Profanisaurus—a profanity thesaurus.
In this profanisaurus, banjo was defined as “on the penis, that thin ridge of skin connecting the roll-neck to the bobby’s helmet.” Bobby is British slang for a police officer, and the traditional UK cop wears a hat with a very penis-head shape to it.
Because the frenulum is a thin, string-like strip of flesh, it was a natural progression for banjo to evolve into banjo string.
Who uses banjo string?
Interestingly enough, men don’t seem to be too aware of their banjo strings. That is, until the fateful day theirs snaps.
Snapping your banjo string https://t.co/UC9vEKbco9
— Wassolo (@Bitccolo) January 6, 2019
Banjo strings have something of a reputation for tearing, which is extremely painful and bloody. The UK National Health Service even has a page dedicated to this, where it warns that the banjo string—yes, the NHS also refers to the frenulum as the banjo string—is “tight” and can “tear, usually during sexual intercourse.”
Hi @DoctorChristian Ive noticed a small tear in my banjo string will this heal naturally or will it completely snap when I'm bucking? TIA
— Ak.. (@Bigak) September 17, 2017
Aside from medical advice, banjo string is most often used by men who are going through—or joking about going through, we hope—the trauma of breaking it…
I broke my Banjo String
— Tchis 🤷🏻♂️ (@TannerJChisholm) November 18, 2018
…or those looking for a way to describe something as “tight” or “taut”.
Tyson and the Clintons were or r tighter than a Banjo String.
— Mark Goddard (@Goobinator02) November 19, 2018
This is not meant to be a formal definition of banjo string like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of banjo string that will help our users expand their word mastery.