LANGUAGE OLIO 7: Words 3 — lalochezia laliophilia

‘Sex & Love: The Art of Aural Sex’, Women’s Health January/February 2012  pp. 110-111.


This blog entry contains sexual and vulgar language and imagery

– if this kind of thing offends you, stop here and exit.

Continue at your own risk, and only if you are 18 or over.


























Yes, you wonder, did you read that correctly?  Misspelled?  No, that really is aural (<Latin auris ‘ear’) sex, not oral (<Latin os ‘mouth’) sex!

There is no etymological connection whatsoever between ‘aural’ and ‘oral’, but as adjectival modifiers of ‘sex’ the one may well function as some kind of triggering mechanism for the other or, I suppose, even vice versa!

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I subscribe to a huge number of magazines, far more than I can possibly read.  But I love browsing among — at times reading and always looking at – articles and photographs of airplanes, animals, beauty, buildings, candy, cars, cities, clothes, couples, cruise ships, drawings, exotica, fashions, foods, hotels, paintings, people, resorts, travel, scenery, vacations, women … you name it.  My tastes are catholic. Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself (I am large, I contain multitudes).

And it’s no surprise to these same individuals that I enjoy — and for many years have enjoyed — leafing through women’s magazines for, again, both articles and the photographic displays of human pulchritude that populate ads and advice alike – not to mention those flaps that peel back and perfume the air.

The two coinages above, harking back — as so often in the case of inventive onomastics — to ancient Greek linguistic materials, did catch and stop my wontedly wandering eyes as they languidly grazed the fodder of such pleasing pages as those found in Women’s Health.

The article here in question addresses the matter of those sweet verbal nothings (or somethings) that lovers love exchanging.  The term laliophilia (defined by Women’s Health as “arousal from public speaking”) is a transparent and innocent enough compound based on two stems, λαλ- lal- (as in λαλ-ιά ‘talk, chat’) and φιλ- phil- (as in Phil-ip ‘lover/liker of horse[s]’).  With its substantival marker -ιά (-ia), philia- is familiar enough to us in such relatively common words as Francophilia, hemophilia, kleptophilia, necrophilia and on and on and on (cf. here).  Thus, laliophilia speaks merely to a liking for, a fondness for chitchat of the cozy ‘sweet nothings’ kind that lovers whisper each in the ear of the other.  The term as such is a modern neologism – it does not occur in ancient Greek.  In fact, given the ancient Greek term λαλιά (lalia), that does occur, and is the source for laliophilia, I would argue that the contemporary coinage is erroneous:  it should probably be laliaphilia (obviously coming as it does off the first declension alpha-stem noun λαλ-ιά ‘talk, chat’) not laliophilia – admittedly a venial point, perhaps even punctilious to an irritating degree, but that is my view!


The term lalochezia (defined by Women’s Health as “using vulgar language to relieve tension”) is a different — dirtier, if you will — story, one about some of the heated ‘sweet somethings’ kind that lovers whisper each in the ear of the other.  The lal- element is the same one we found in laliophilia, meaning, again, ‘talk, chat, chatter, babble’;  the second element (-chez-) comes from an ancient Greek word in the semantic domain of the cloacal lexicon so beloved especially by the writers of Old Comedy, like Aristophanes.  The verb χέζω chezō means ‘drop, ease oneself’ (as the Victorian dictionaries would have it) – or, let’s be vernacularly frank, ‘shit, take a dump’.  Thus the term lalochezia addresses in a laundered scientific terminology what we might more immediately describe as a hot version of ‘dirty talking’. (One medical dictionary defines lalochezia as “emotional relief gained by using indecent or vulgar language.” Fair enough, if somewhat ‘scrubbed’ etymologically of operational particularity.  OK?)

Not being into that whole Krafft-Ebbing underground, I’m not sure that the coprophiliac associations of the term, no matter how unmistakably metaphorical in intent (e.g., ‘Dump your [verbal] shit on me, honey!’), work all that well for me personally as a way of talking about enhancing love’s frenzied intensity during imminent or ongoing congress.  But, then again, in all likelihood, of either men or women among us so inclined, not many in the happy heat and hurried rush of such frantic strokings are really going to be pondering the ultimate etymologies and metaphorical extensions of the scientific vocabulary describing our piquant pillow patter rather than thinking full bore, “Talk dirty, baby, just talk me real dirty!”

Although our abstract noun lalochezia, like laliophilia, is not a word found in the ancient lexicon, once adopted through modern neologizing of a perfectly legitimate and common sort, it could well, with slight but typical modification, shift functionally into a convenient agentive noun (like a lalochezic ‘a person who likes to talk dirty’) or just a simple adjective (like lalochezic ‘characterized by, given to talking dirty’).  The Women’s Health piece prints a boxed inset at the end with some specific suggestions (for, I suppose, the less imaginative – or uptight — of its readers) on how to execute, ending, not unreasonably, with a kindly hortatory “Just see where it takes you.”  Soooo, if that happens to be her thaang and she really want to see where it takes her, can’t you just imagine your woman surprising you one fine afternoon with a ‘classical’, linguistically hybrid (i.e., Latin + Greek) turn-on like, “Wanna have some aural lalochezic sex, baby?”

Huh?  Say what?

Maybe more of us more often should all be doing close ‘sextual’ readings and ponderings of the wily wisdom within Women’s Health.



Language OLIO
1: Introduction     2: than     3. our are     4. opus maximus     5. mobocracy ineptocracy
6. prosopagnosia phonagnosia

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2 Responses to LANGUAGE OLIO 7: Words 3 — lalochezia laliophilia

  1. it all starts between the ears

  2. Pingback: Photographs Of Airplanes | Airplane Prints

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