Why are girly bits referred to as "beavers"?

Just a stupid, random question…

I mean is it some perceived resemblence between girls’ pubic hair and a beaver’s fur? Or is it some other visual resemblence that I’m just not seeing?


And the only reason I am responding to this is so I can bring up one of early TV’s classic double-entendres:

“Ward, I think you were a little too hard on The Beaver last night!”

(Not to mention the Beav’s name: Beaver Cleaver)

Kurt Vonnegut put forth an alternate theory in his masterpiece Breakfast of Champions, but since I don’t have it near me and don’t remember all the details, I’ll let somebody else explain it.

Vonnegut reported that it was a code word originated by cops and firemen (who often encounted people in vasious state of dress) to alert each other that a nearby woman was exposing her bits, so, if anyone was interested in checking it out…

(to serve, protect, and ogle)

In Victorian England, groups of boys would follow bearded men and shout “Beaver!” in allusion to his facial hair. How the hours must have flown by.

Actually, Vonnegut attributed it to news photographers, who would use it to “yell to other newsmen and friendly policemen and firemen and so on, to let them know what could be seen, in case they wanted to see it.”

The sad thing is, just north of Pittsburgh, there’s a town called Beaver which is on the Beaver River. Let the double-entendre’s begin!


And there is a famous sex therapist named Daniel Beaver. Met him once.

And thus I am compelled to throw this thread even further off course by mentioning that Evanston, Wyoming once had a drive-up package store named “Beaver Liquors”.

Sorry, I’ll shut up now.

Actually, yelling “beaver” when one spotted a guy with a beard wasn’t Victorian but rather was a game popular in England around 1922.

The first appearance of “beaver” to mean a woman’s pubic hair is from 1927.

It seems to have entered the popular vocabulary around the 1960’s in the US.

Make your own “wood” joke here.

Don’t forget Beaver College (now Arcadia U.).

More details about samclems point at


beaver - O.E. beofor (earlier bebr), from P.Gmc. *bebruz, from I.E. *bhebhrus, reduplication of base *bhru- “brown” (see bear (n.)). Gynecological sense (“female genitals, especially with a display of pubic hair”) is 1920s British slang, transfered from early 1900s meaning “a bearded man,” from the appearance of split beaver pelts.

From: http://www.geocities.com/etymonline/b2etym.htm

whoops, simulpost. Great minds think alike. Fools seldom differ.

…which had to change their name because too many porn filters were blocking their web page. (Right?)

Always willing to jump in with pointless information, I’ll mention that my boss is named John Beaver. When I think about his school years, he has my profoundest sympathy.

That’s what I heard. Apparently, most of the “nanny”-type programs that schools use on their computers (to keep the kids out of porn sites) have the word “beaver” on their blacklists. As a result, lots of high school kids looking for colleges couldn’t get to Beaver College’s website, so enrollment was way down.

Eventually, the folks at B.C. gave up and changed the name of the place.

On a related, but otherwise mundane and pointless, note, I direct your attention to Oregon State University, whose mascot is the beaver. Perhaps you might even like to purchase some Beaver merchandise?

Lick 'em Beavers!