Generation Language Gap

I was laughing about the innuendo in an ad for “protection”–it was for insurance, but sure sounded to me like something else! My adult son didn’t get it at all, and I had to explain. “Mom,” he insisted, “I’ve never heard any guy use the word ‘protection’ for that.” Which led to other words. Rubber? “Nope, only older women say that.” (I refrained from hitting him; I am what he meant by “older women”.) So what do twenty-somethings call it? “It’s a condom, Mom,” he said patronizingly, as if he thought I didn’t know the real word. I decided at that point I didn’t want to pursue the discussion about other sex words. It just seemed too “ick” to discuss cock and pussy with one’s son.

So, are you a millennial, or parent to one? Have close friends in that age group? What sex words do they really use? It would be interesting to see how the language in young-adult or new-adult novels (frequently written by women well past that age) compares to the reality of young people today. How well are authors doing their research to be realistic in dialogue?

BTW, in my grandfather’s day, “rubbers” were galoshes, those things men pulled on over their good shoes on rainy days to keep them from getting wet.


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