A merkin is a pubic wig. Developed in the mid-fifteenth century merkins were worn by women who had shaved their nethers, often as a way of curing pubic lice. Merkins were also worn by prostitutes to disguise signs of disease such as a syphilis chancre.

Today, film producers sometimes put actors in merkins to give audiences that “full front nude effect” while ensuring that the performers genitals are technically covered, a tactic that may result in a more permissive MPAA rating.


  1. Lynn says:

    Had. No. Idea. Head. Spinning.

  2. Neeroc says:

    Ha! Bill and I were just talking about merkins the other day, thanks to 30 Rock, (Jenna Maroney was cutting her hair for Merkins of Hope)

  3. Nancy says:

    Also used in film when you want that bush effect, but the actress has no hair down there.

  4. Carcar says:

    um…. but how does it stay on without falling off??

  5. double-sided tape, the same kind that holds those deeeeeeep-V dresses in place to avoid nip slips.