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Katrin Freidman

Gender Equality

Top euphemisms for “period” by language

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Last week we published the findings of our international period survey. With the help of our international community (190 countries and counting!), we discovered over 5,000 euphemisms for the word "period." And a ton of interesting stats about education and cultural norms around menstruation.

Many of you reached out and asked if we could share more of the euphemisms we found. Here they are (see translations below):



Erdbeerwoche - Strawberry week
Rote Tante - Red aunt
Rote Armee - Red army (refers to the army of soviet russia or the soviet union)
Erdbeertage - Strawberry week
Rote Welle - Red wave
Rote Woche - Red week
Besuch der roten Tante - Red aunt is visiting
Mens - Short for "Menstruation"
Auf der roten Welle surfen - Riding the red wave
Emma - Emma (just a name)
Alarmstufe Rot - Code red alarm
Die rote Pest - The red plague
Besuch von Tante Rosa - Aunt Rose is visiting
Besuch aus Rotenburg - Relative from Rotenburg ("Red castle", a small town in Germany) are visiting
Ins rote Meer stechen - Entering the red sea
Tomatensaft - Tomato juice


Les Ragnagnas - Grumbling
La semaine Ketchup - Ketchup week
C'est une scène de crime dans ma culotte - It's a crime scene in my panty
Les équerres - It means "angle bracket." The joke is that you always carry your angle bracket (équerre) and ruler together to maths class (ruler=règle, which has the same spelling and sound than règles=period).
C'est la saison des fraises - It's strawberry season
Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé ! - The Beaujolais Nouveau wine has arrived (Beaujolais Nouveau Day is marked in France on the third Thursday in November with fireworks, music and festivals to celebrate the first wine of the season. Beaujolais is a light and young red wine.)
Les anglais ont débarqué dans ma culotte - The British army landed in my panty. It's related to the Napoleonic wars and the undesirable arrival of the English who wore red uniforms.
VHS (vaginalement hors service) - VOO (Vaginally Out of Order) The abbreviation VHS stands for Video Home System and is common in France,
Les carottes sont cuites - The carrots are cooked. (It means there is nothing left to do to change the course of events. Carrots are the longest and always the last vegetable to be cooked in a stew. It also refers to the coded message send via BBC radio during WWII to tell the resistance of the upcoming invasion of Normandy.)
Le petit clown qui saigne du nez - The little clown with a nose bleeding
Contrôle technique - Technical control
Être en travaux - To be under construction / a work in progress
Faire du boudin - Cooking black Pudding
Les petits lutins rouges - The small little elves
Les chutes du Niagara - Niagara falls


Le mie cose - I have my things
Il marchese - The marquis
Sono arrivati i parent/la zia/gli ospiti - We have guests/aunt/relatives
E' arrivato Giorgio/Mario/Ugo/Smeo - Giorgio/Mario/Ugo/Smeo has arrived.
Mar Rosso - Red Sea
Sono indisposta - I feel sick
Semaforo rosso - Red light
E' quel periodo del mese - It's that time of the month
Settimana rossa - Red week
Palloncino rosso - Red balloon
Ho le inondazioni - I have a flood


Det røde - The red
Tante Rød - Aunt Red
Damedage - Lady days
Det Røde Hav - The Red Sea
Besøg fra Rødby - Visitors from Rødby
Den tid på måneden - That time of month
Malere i opgangen - Painters in the stairway
Rødbedeskede - Beetroot-vagina
Kommunister i lysthuset - Communists in the gazebo
Russerne - The Russians

Simplified Chinese

大姨妈 - Eldest aunt
来事 - The thing comes
例假 - Regular holiday
倒霉 - Bad luck
来那个 - That comes
好朋友 - Good friend
老朋友 - Old friend
m到 - M arrives
特殊情况 - Special situation
不方便 - Not convenient

Traditional Chinese

紅茶 - Red tea
例假 - Regular holiday
來那個 - That thing comes
小紅 - Little red
大姨媽 - Big auntie
好朋友 - Good friend
蘋果麵包 - Apple bread
嚟 M - Period comes
血腥瑪麗 - Bloody Mary
親戚 - Relatives


月のもの - The monthly things
女の子の日 - Girl's day
あれ - That
あの日 - The day of that
お客さん - Guest
血祭り- Blood festival
ブルーデイ - Blue day
月一 - Once a month
ガールズデイ - Girl's day
ペリー来航 - Arrival of Matthew Perry


La regla - The rule
Andres (el que viene una vez por mes) - Andrew (who comes once in a month) rhyme
Estoy Indispuesta - I'm indisposed
Estar del Tomate - Be like a tomato (means: being crazy)
Cosas de Niñas/Chicas - Girl's stuff
Descongelar el Bistec - Defrosting the steak
Caperucita Roja - Little Red Ridding Hood
La Colorada - The redhead
Me bajo/Me vino - It came down
Tus diablos - Your devils
Estar "mala" / Estar "sonada" - Beeing bad/broken
La prima roja - The red cousin
Pancho - A male nickname, it also means hot dog and it could refer in some country to the Pad.
La luna - The moon
Semaforo Rojo - Red traffic light
Chapulin Colorado - A Mexican character (The Red Grasshopper )
El Vampiro - The vampire
Huele a Pescado - Smells like fish


Эти дни — These days
Критические дни — Critical days
Дела — Business
Красная армия — Red Army
Красный день календаря — Red day / days of the calendar
Гости (из Краснодара) — Guests from Krasnodar (name of city that starts with "Red")
Праздники — Holidays
Красные Жигули — Red Zhiguli (Russian car brand)
Монстры — Monsters
Месики — Mensies


Chico - Nickname for the male name Francisco
Naqueles dias - In those days
Joga o Benfica - Benfica plays - Portugues Futbol Club with a red Flag
Regra - The rule
O tempo do més - The time of the month
Monstra - Female monster
Vermelho - Red
Época - Era
De Visita - Visiting
Coisas de mulher - Women´s Stuff
Sinal vermelho - Red traffic Light
Misturação - Mixing (is a word game with the menstruação word)
Estar de bode - Being bad
Estar de Boi - Alludes to the sacrifice of the ox in the slaughterhouse
Quebrou bacia - Broke basin
Time - Team
Ta vindo, ta descendo - It's coming down
Maré vermelha - Red tide
Chovendo na horta - It's raining in the farm

Read more about our survey in Washington Post, Mashable, Business Insider, The Independent, The Guardian, VICE, Jezebel, Vogue and Bustle.

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