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Testes, Testes, One Two...

My, that Sarah Palin lady certainly knows how to get folks all wee-wee'd up, doesn't she? All she had to do was go on Fox News and say that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has more "cojones" (Spanish for "testicles," for the two or three who might not know that) when it comes to illegal aliens than President Barack Obama.

Speaking literally, I doubt that. Brewer had three sons, while Obama has two daughters. I take that as clinical evidence that Brewer possessed at least one functioning ovary, while Obama has at least one functioning testicle. That doesn't preclude them from also possessing a gonad of the opposite sex, but does make it extremely unlikely.

But Palin wasn't speaking literally. She was using "cojones" figuratively, as a metaphor for courage and boldness and bravado.

It's becoming more and more common. I've heard it on network television all the time -- purely in the metaphorical sense. "That was a ballsy move" seems acceptable, but "I got nailed in the balls" hasn't quite seemed to break the barrier.

It still strikes me as a bit odd thing for Palin to say. She's always been very measured in her language -- I don't recall her even using the most casual profanity. Her "gosh-darn" has become a hook for her critics to mock her.

I've noticed a similar thing with Michelle Malkin. Like Palin, she's a mother and a very devout Christian who also eschews the potty-mouth. But it seems that "balls" is an exception with her.

Speaking personally as a possessor of two of the organs in question (although more often it seems like they possess me), I don't care for the metaphor or its rising acceptance. I've known and known of some remarkably courageous, bold women who somehow managed to demonstrate those attributes without having testicles. (Although I wouldn't be surprised if some of those women did have testicles -- that they've collected as trophies. I envision Ann Coulter having a jar of gonads harvested from liberals on her desk.)

Likewise, I've known some men with a presumably healthy pair act with great concern about minimizing any risk to them -- and themselves as a whole. And one of the slang terms for such craven men is also a term for female genitalia. John Edwards comes to mind.

So we end up with cases where you can say that Ann Coulter's pussy has more balls than John Edwards' scrotum, which has distinctly pussyish qualities.

And then there are the cases where gonadally-challenged men have exhibited remarkable courage and strength. Baseball player John Kruk and bicyclist Lance Armstrong each lost a testicle to cancer, and continued on. This led to Kruk's showing up for a game wearing a shirt that proclaimed "If you don't let me play, I'm going to take my ball and go home." And Armstrong? He lost his testicle in 1996, then won the Tour De France seven straight years (1999-2005), leading Laurence Simon to note that "IN THE LAND WITH NO BALLS, THE ONE-BALLED MAN SHALL BE KING!"

I prefer the old days, when the general, gender-neutral "guts" was the preferred term. I generally dislike casual uses of profanities, because it tends to dilute the power of a well-placed and carefully-considered cussword. And this seems to me to be a needless coarsening of the public discourse.

Of course, you are welcome to disagree. Let the busting of my balls commence.


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Comments (30)

What a set you have for pos... (Below threshold)

What a set you have for posting this. It is a testament to your belief in not using profanity. It does take two to tango. Have you talked to big Jim and the twins? They know about this. I can't go on because I might get sacked. ;) ww

Willie, it would have been ... (Below threshold)

Willie, it would have been challenging (note I didn't say "hard") to broach the topic without using some questionable lingo.

Besides, I've been wanting to use that title for YEARS...


I always considered "balls"... (Below threshold)

I always considered "balls" and "guts" to have different uses. "Guts" was when you were facing physical danger: it takes guts to storm across no-mans-land and take out that machine gun nest; "balls" was when you were facing social danger: it takes some cast-iron ones to tell off your boss in front of the visiting higher-ups. So, in that respect, "balls" is more appropriate for politics. And considering how many people get the shaft there, rightly so.

Can we work "erectile dysfu... (Below threshold)

Can we work "erectile dysfunction" into the political discourse? Or maybe "Vagasil"? How about "Depends"?

...sigh, slow day at the ne... (Below threshold)

...sigh, slow day at the news, and we have a lesson in balls not having balls, having moxie, not understanding moxie, Christian values being spouted therefore this is taboo.

As one who thought 50 +miles was far enough from the border, we better have our fun for a moment, then get serious again.

Oh and for the record I wish Obama could at least match a middle schooler with some testicles(no need for slang right?) And while he grows some of those I hope the heart defrosts, the marionette strings are cut, and that we find his brain, as it seems to have dropped to where the ass in (democrat donkey) seems to be.

Just my thoughts as I reflect about the county brand inspectors that need deputies to escort them to ranches and farms out in the middle of nowhere(ps where I live).

Years ago in casual Brookly... (Below threshold)

Years ago in casual Brooklyn conversation they used to speak of "busting shoes," though they weren't talking about shoes at all...

Jennifer, maybe you folks s... (Below threshold)

Jennifer, maybe you folks should start putting in for "combat pay" from Congress. At least you'd have earned it.

This whole administration i... (Below threshold)

This whole administration is like a Eunuch when it come's to border defense.

However if something is bad for America they suddenly grow some brass balls for the cause.

Must have something to do with a liberal chromosome gone haywire or something.

She could have said that Ob... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

She could have said that Obama should "grow a pair" and never mentioned the word.

I am not one to use profanity in public or private discourse usually. However, I do disagree. There is something about a beautiful woman calling a man's sexual manhood into question that has a far more, shall we say, eviscerating effect than the mere use of the word "guts." It was a brilliant move.

Well, here's one of the few... (Below threshold)
Walter Cronanty:

Well, here's one of the few times I disagree with Gov. Palin [and I love her dearly]. I think Obummer has a pair a Chicago, brass-plated mountain oysters. He doesn't give a "gosh darn" about what the American people think or what the stinkin' law says. He's determined to make this country into a post-border, post-nation, non-country. The sooner the general populace realizes this, the better off this country will be.

Well, she'll prove her poin... (Below threshold)

Well, she'll prove her point if he does nothing about this.

To tell you the truth, I wa... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

To tell you the truth, I was more surprised by Malkin's usage than Palin's. Although Malkin is explicit when quoting others, she doesn't usually talk that way herself, at least not publicly.

Plus, I think that Palin used the Spanish word deliberately; there is something about coarse language that becomes more acceptable when you use the foreign version of it. She could have said guts, but that doesn't skewer quite the way balls does. Cojones does the same damage without quite the coarseness.

Well you'd have to grow coj... (Below threshold)

Well you'd have to grow cojones if you were her because when you quit halfway through a term you betcha you'll need someone else to refudiate.

No need to make sense when speaking of Sarah. Word salad is enough.

The Finn word for "courage"... (Below threshold)

The Finn word for "courage" or "guts" is "sisu." Maybe we should use "sisu" instead of "cojones."

I've got balls of steel!</p... (Below threshold)
Duke Nukem:

I've got balls of steel!

Jay, that title could have ... (Below threshold)

Jay, that title could have been used a long time ago when the syncophant guild in the mainstream media started using the term "teabaggers" to ridicule the Tea Party Patriots. Why did you have to wait until Gov. Palin said "cojones" to write this?
If you now feel the need to blog about testicles, you should certainly mention those who still seem obsessed with the word that means mouthing another's testicle sack. You only mentioned those who used one of the many slang words for a testicle, either in English or Spanish (No cojones , testículos).

I think that Palin has reco... (Below threshold)

I think that Palin has recognized that Obama cannot accept criticism from a woman or being ridiculed by one either. She is toying with him - goading him into a rash response that will make him look small by comparison.

Duke Nukem: I've got bal... (Below threshold)

Duke Nukem: I've got balls of steel!

But no release date. Pity, that. And I'll bet you're not fond of MRI machines...

BTW - cleanup on aisle 15, looks like someone knocked over a pile of shoes...

"She is toying with him - g... (Below threshold)

"She is toying with him - goading him into a rash response that will make him look small by comparison."

A rash response would be him doing his job instead of real American's doing it for like in Aizona.

So yes, I think your onto something there.

Aizona??ARIZONA fo... (Below threshold)


ARIZONA for those of you in states 51-57.

Gosh-darn it, Jay! Stop co... (Below threshold)
Jason Author Profile Page:

Gosh-darn it, Jay! Stop complaining and grow a pair, would you?

I am reminded of my Souther... (Below threshold)

I am reminded of my Southern Baptist Aunt, whose favorite string of 'profanity was: "Balls, Banquets, and Picnics"!

I fear the concern over the... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

I fear the concern over the civility of public discourse has come a couple of decades too late.

When we are running syndicated repeats of Charlie Sheen's Two and a Half Men at 7 p.m. in many media markets, someone observing Obama's cojones deficiency seems rather mild . . .

Your a decade late on this ... (Below threshold)
rich K:

Your a decade late on this one Jay but as I tell Drew over at BMEWS; Its your website and you can write about any damn thing you want.

So if Palin runs for Presid... (Below threshold)

So if Palin runs for President in 2012, will she use AC/DC's "Big Balls" in her campaign? Ala the Clinton's and "Don't stop thinking bout tomorrow"...

I agree, Jay. "Cojones" is... (Below threshold)

I agree, Jay. "Cojones" is a term polite Latin or Spanish women don't use in public. It's unladylike. I was a little suprised to hear it too.

How about "Dont stop thinki... (Below threshold)

How about "Dont stop thinking about Yesterday" As in ' Miss Me yet?'.

Unbelievable Barry the big eared briber of unions is going to start campaigning for November under the theme, wait for it...., BLAME BUSH!!!

I kid you not! "We dont want to go back to the Bush policie's of 5% unemployment, lower taxe's no hostile takeover of private businesse's, a stock market at 14,000 and a prez that does not bow to terrorist sponsor's.

Barry is actually going to bat for 17% unemployment, a DOW stagnating at 9-10,000 and higher taxes for all the non rich among us.

man is he ever an arrogant ASS!!!

I prefer the term "testicul... (Below threshold)

I prefer the term "testicular fortitude" when describing the presence or absence thereof. It lends a certain uppity nuance, don't you think?

Go Sarah! The damned Democ... (Below threshold)

Go Sarah! The damned Democrats are so proud of their leaders calling decent Americans a disgusting and perverted term involving testicles, and then they have the gaul to howl and complain when it is suggested their pResident lacks the necessary equipment to "make a cup of tea".

Hey Prez, got Teabag?

Obama does not have brass p... (Below threshold)

Obama does not have brass plated balls, he is simply deaf to what the people are saying. If he was confronted one on one with an angry guy, Obama would cry for his mommy. "Make no mistake", if he says that one more time... ww






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