Origin of "dick" as slang for your wang?

Can anyone tell me how/when dick came to be slang for penis?

Yes, this is the stuff that occurs to my coworkers on a slow Friday…

Like you never named yours, niblet

No proof, but I suspect it came from “Dick” = “short for Richard” = Common Name for a guy, the same way both “john” and “Jakes” ended up as slang for the toilet.

Dearie, mine’s named “Lisa”. And my vibrator’s name is “Bouncy Bouncy Joy Joy”.

Do you know why/how ‘Dick’ become short for Richard?

Just a WAG, but maybe it progressed Richard -> Rich -> Rick -> Dick.

As for the OP, the names Peter and Johnson are also slang terms for penis. It seems like naming your unit is just a pretty common thing.

I was mildly surprised that putz is also slang for penis.

Also? AFAIK, that was the original meaning.

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:


From Sexual Slang, by Alan Richter, Ph.D.

Dick means “thick” in German.

Well that certainly makes “Thick Richard”, the name of a band that used to be around here, even funnier.

Reaching way back to my high school German, I remember the title of one of the dialogs we learned: Wir putzen das Auto. ‘We’re washing the car.’ From here:

Babelfish says putzen means ‘deseam’, and putz means ‘finery’.

I thought putz was Yiddish for penis.

It is. So are schmuck, shvantz, and shlong.

Schmuck has evolved into a milder term for a fool, used almost exclusively instead of the literal meaning. Putz has acquired a sense of a stronger idiot, and that is crowding out the older literal meaning. Shvantz also is said to have a figurative meaning, although I’ve never heard it used that way. Shlong seems only to mean penis, though, without other connotations.

“Derrick”? And it just somehow lost half a syllable?

Jesus, don’t turn to that guy for etymology again. I’m flabbergasted by the way people seem to feel so free to invent completely random explanations for words and advance them as etymologies.

My Jewish friend once told me that schmuck was Yiddish for foreskin and it’s slang meaning, that of a jerk or fool, arose because the foreskin is completely useless (to a Jewish person). Someone better versed in Yiddish is welcome to correct me on this.

Wikipedia agrees with you, if that’s worth anything.

And in the future, Schwartz will also mean penis.

Funny how a john is a bathroom, and a johnson is a penis.

Is it true that a dork is a whale’s penis?