It's time I came clean about my love of the word "clitoris." Now, I know what you're thinking - those of you who knew me in high school knew that I cringed and squealed with dismay at the mere suggestion of the word.
But the time has come for me to [metaphorically] embrace "clitoris." And I think you should too.
Let's look at the etymology of the word, shall we?
It was formed in 1615, from the Greek kleitoris, a diminutive, but the exact sense is uncertain. Probably from the Greek kleiein "to sheathe," also "to shut," in reference to its being covered by the labia minora. The related noun form kleis has a second meaning of "a key, a latch or hook (to close a door)." Wooden pegs were the original keys; a connection also revealed in L. clovis "nail" and claudere "to shut". Some medical sources give a supposed Greek verb kleitoriazein "to touch or titillate lasciviously, to tickle," or "to be inclined (toward pleasure)" (German slang der Kitzler "clitoris," literally, "the tickler"), related to Greek kleitys, a variant of klitys "side of a hill," related to klinein "to slope," from the same root as climax. But many sources take kleitoris literally as Greek "little hill." The It. anatomist Mateo Renaldo Colombo (1516-1559), professor at Padua, claimed to have discovered it (De re anatomica, 1559, p. 243). He called it amor Veneris, vel dulcedo "the love or sweetness of Venus." It had been known to women since much earlier, of course. Slang abbreviation clit first attested 1960s.
Fascinating! I can't believe I was so resistance to it for so long!
Clitoris! Clitoris Clitoris!
I'm going to start using it as a greeting. From now on, when you see me, instead of saying "Hello!" try saying "Clitoris!" or perhaps instead of "Hi!" a simple "Clit!"
Next entry I'll tackle the etymological history of the term "blow job."