I’m finishing up a research paper on a Titian painting, and I would like to find a word a little more mellifluous than “crotch.” I know I’ve come across a great synonym before (perhaps even an art history term), but can’t come up with it for the life of me.
And, no, groin won’t cut it either. And, yes, I have consulted m-w.com and thesaurus.com. Any suggestions? Your help will be greatly appreciated.
The context, for anyone who’s interested: it’s for a discussion of the Venus Pudica (“Modest Venus”) theme that shows up regularly in good ol’ Tiziano’s oeuvre, and depicts the goddess butt-nekkid but covering her breasts with one arm and her CROTCH with the other. Uggh, the word just doesn’t sound pretty.
I’m looking for a word meaning “crotch.” The works I’m referring to have no genitalia to speak of, so that won’t work either.
Cal: thanks for the hot tip, but as I stated in the OP I’ve already exhausted my paper and on-line thesauri. They were no help, and mostly offered synonyms for various angles and roofing terms(!). But maybe mine aren’t up to snuff. Ditto on the wordy euphemisms; they won’t fly for a senior research paper.
The whole paper’s written, but I’m just looking to replace this one word. Thanks for the suggestions so far! Please keep 'em coming.
OK, you’re not looking for synonyms for genitalia, I gather, or anything “cute”. That leaves out Chaucerian terms like “belle chose” or “quondam”.
I still like “loins” myself. direct, yet not salacious. “genitals” and “pudendum” sound official enough to be serious, and are often used for the region, rather than the organs. “Sex” , as in “covering her sex” is also used. How about “pubes”?
I’m willing to bet that if you use ‘pussy,’ your research paper on Venus pudica will not only be the first to ever have done so, but will also be the most talked-about paper at your school. I’d do it for the sake of novelty. Imagine your professor’s reaction.
Seriously, though, please post the sentence (and perhaps the one before and the one after) and we’ll come up with something better than ‘pelvis’
peepthis, I don’t understand your statement “The works I’m referring to have no genitalia to speak of.” Are you implying that this Venus is built like a Barbie doll? I’m sure that’s not the intent of the artist, so it would be appropriate to say that she is covering her genitalia. Or you could just say she is covering her sex; I’ve seen that word used in this context by modest writers.
Being an artist myself, first look at this:
crotch "krach\ noun [prob. alter. of 1crutch] (1573)
1 : a pole with a forked end used esp. as a prop
2 : an angle formed by the parting of two legs, branches, or members
crotched "kracht\ adjective
It is likely that while visiting Rome from 1545-46, where by his own account he was “learning from the marvelous ancient stones,” Titian viewed the famous Venus de’ Medici. This celebrated statue is a seminal example of the Venus Pudica (literally, Modest Venus), which garnered wide acclaim at the time, and is in fact one of the most copied sculptures of all time. The pose is almost identical to the Venus with a Mirror, depicting a naked Venus covering her breasts and crotch with her arms.
Go here and scroll halfway down to see a sketch of the Venus de’Medici
Go here to see the Venus with a Mirror (although it’s called Venus at her Toilet on this site)
The Venus with a Mirror, now in the Nat’l Gallery in DC, is the topic of my paper. Hope this helps you help me!
Re: Venus’ genitalia – Of course she, of all people, is not asexual in this image. It’s just that genitalia sounds as coldly medical as crotch sounds gratingly guttural. Jingo, I’m with you; I’d just as soon use “poontang” and be done with it.
how about “depicting a nude Venus, covering herself modestly.”
I think that “nude” might sound a bit more artistic (artsy-fartsy?) than “naked”, but you’re able to “write around” the problem. It seems that you needed a word for “hoo-hoo” because you had used the word “breasts”. Eliminating this word from the sentence eliminated the need for a more appealing term.