This week’s Quickie prompted the following e-mail from a friend:

I’ve heard a female friend of mine  say to other women that one should always say “breast” and not “boob”.  She finds the term “boob” demeaning….Since of course you *are* talking about breasts as sexual organs in your
postings, perhaps my friend’s comment is being over-cautious about the use of the term, or perhaps the term is appropriate only in the context of “breasts as sexual organs”.  I don’t use either word “breast” or “boob”
enough to have any feel for what is “right” here. As a modern woman well-versed in the language of the day, are there times when “boob” is just not the right word? 

When to boob vs. when to breast? Truthfully, I don’t have the authority or expertise to make that call. I kind of wish I did, though. CEO Of Sex Words would be the ass kicking-est job of all time!  Clearly I don’t take offense to the word “boob” but some – like my friend’s friend – do. For those who want to err on the side of caution, saying “breast” is rarely seems inappropriate – unless you’re at a bar mitzvah or something.

A few weeks back, I wrote a post about sex slang wherein I mentioned that I like using the word “boob” in casual conversation and the word “tits” in sexual situations. I neglected to mention that I also use the word “breast” in casual conversation as well. I don’t have firm rules about using one over the other but there are general trends and I’m happy to break those down for you.

Now remember,  I’m NOT the CEO Of Sex Words (durn), so none of what I’m saying here is “right”.  It’s just how I roll.

I usually say “breasts”…

In workshops, seminars, speaking to youth at Insight Shows and any other time I have my sex educator hat on. I often use the word breast in relation to non-sexual activities like breast feeding or breast exams. I say breast cancer. I say breast reconstruction and breast reduction,

I usually say “boobs”…

When I’m talking about the esthetics of breasts. I say things like “that shirt makes your boobs look great!”or “Fasten your seatbelts, because my boobs have begun their descent”.  I typically say “boob job” rather than breast enhancement/augmentation/enlargement. (Note to self. Why the discrepancy, self?). I also say boobs in contexts like Monday’s post, where I’m talking about breasts as sexy body parts.

I usually say “tits”…

In reference to my own breasts in sexy, dirty-talking situations. I’ll give an example separated by parentheses so that readers like my beautiful, supportive mother  can avoid being scandalized!

Engaging smutty brackets…NOW! (E.g. I will “touch my tits”, “grab my tits”, “put your mouth on my tits”, etc).

I rarely, if ever say…

Hooters, knockers, honkers, ta-tas, titties, headlights, lumps, humps or boobies.

Which words do you use for breasts? Do you use different terms at different times? Or do you find breast slang altogether offensive? The comment section is yours!






  1. Ross Brown says:

    My 11-year-old daughter actually doesn’t like to hear the word “breasts.” For her, that word is more upsetting to her than “boobs.”

    “They’re not breasts, dad,” she often tells me (not that we talk about them a lot (that’s kind of twisted), “they’re boobs!”

    As a guy, who am I to argue?

  2. seenonflickr says:

    Now that I think about it, I say “boobs” quite often.

    While watching ‘Game of Thrones’: The B in HBO clearly stands for boobs in this episode.
    When talking fashion: that dress makes her boobs seem square?
    To my husband: that pillow you threw just hit me in the boob!!

    I sometimes say rack. Mostly about Christina Hendricks.

    But! I always say “Kate Winslet’s breasts”.

    But I never say tits.

  3. neeroc says:

    for me ‘breasts’ is formal…not that I really ever talk formally about my breasts (see I just did it!), ‘boobs’ is casual (like when I have to tell my co-worker she’s staring at my boobs again *g*) and ‘tits’ is dirty-talk.

    I will also call myself or others a boob, ‘don’t be such a boob’ and I seem to remember a cuss/retort from high school that went something along the lines of, ‘suck/bite my left tit’. (I assume that’s some sort of leftism with tit thrown in for shock value).

    And speaking of boobs, for the longest time (as in maybe still) my daughter referred to my bra as my boobs. So if I were to get out of the shower and find her with my bra on her head I would be greeted with, ‘look mom, I’m wearing your boobs!’

    And because this comment isn’t long enough, I thought you might enjoy this – (he’s not the orig. source but I’m just to lazy to click about)

    • Kelly says:

      Haha! My youngest referred to my ‘boobs’ as my ‘bras’, as in,”Mommy, how come you have bras and I don’t?” And, for the record, my boys now know them as breasts, my daughter (who’s now growing into her own) prefers boobs.

  4. Vick Ko says:

    My preference is for “boobs”. For whatever multitudes of reasons, “tit” was used in a derogatory fashion during my childhood, so for me, it isn’t a preferred term of usage. “Breasts” for clinical or formal occasions.

    Yep, boobs.

  5. Sarah says:

    My husband likes to call them “fun bags” just because he knows that annoys me.