Surfing The Crimson Wave: Period Euphemisms From Around The World

Blog
19 July 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Flowers

Unsplash: Katarzyna Pe

It’s that time of the month again. Period sibs, you know what that means.

Not too long ago, you’ve been feeling all over the place. You’ve been crying just because you saw a cute dog. You want to get a good night’s rest, but you just can’t seem to go to sleep. You’re craving chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate milkshake, just anything chocolate. And you’re probably noticing your voice changing. The list goes on and on and these moods vary each month. Hey, that is totally normal and we all know that these symptoms signal the arrival of our beloved visitor.

Although she can sometimes be fickle, we know that this special guest is quite interesting. For one, she has a lot of names – 5,000 to be specific. But many of us know her as Mother Nature, Aunt Flo, or Period.

It’s important to note that these euphemisms are simply alternative ways of referring to the menstrual cycle, because period talk is still an uncomfortable topic of conversation for many. And this could be due to different cultural and religious reasons, that’s valid. Therefore, replacing menstruation with creative codes makes the subject more acceptable. For example, the people in France and China use period euphemisms 91% of the time when referring to periods. Again, that’s totally okay because using period slang terms isn’t a bad thing. Who doesn’t want to call her cute names like The Red Balloon or The Moon? Besides, talking about Red in slang makes the period conversation less of a taboo.

In case you're wondering, here's a list of names that the rest of the world uses to refer to our adored Red Lady Friend. Feel free to use these terms if you want.

Happy Period Day and may She be in your favor this time around!

French

  • Les Ragnagnas – Grumbling
  • La semaine Ketchup – Ketchup Week
  • La saison des fraises – Strawberry Season
  • Le petit clown qui saigne du nez – The Little Clown With A Nose Bleed
  • Contrôle technique – Technical Control
  • Les petits lutins rouges – The Small Little Elves
  • Être en travaux – To Be Under Construction / A Work In Progress
  • Les carottes sont cuites – The Carrots Are Cooked

German

  • Rote Welle – Red Wave
  • Erdbeertage – Strawberry Week
  • Alarmstufe Rot – Code Red Alarm
  • Mens – Short for "Menstruation"
  • Ins rote Meer stechen – Entering The Red Sea
  • Tomatensaft – Tomato Juice
  • Auf der roten Welle surfen – Riding The Red Wave
  • Rote Tante – Red Aunt
  • Besuch von Tante Rosa – Aunt Rose Is Visiting
  • Emma – Emma

Danish

  • Tante Rød – Aunt Red
  • Den tid på måneden – That Time Of The Month
  • Damedage – Lady Days
  • Det Røde Hav – The Red Sea
  • Det røde – The Red
  • Kommunister i lysthuset – Communists In The Gazebo

Italian

  • Il marchese – The Marquis
  • Semaforo rosso – Red Light
  • E' quel periodo del mese – It's That Time Of The Month
  • Settimana rossa – Red Week
  • Palloncino rosso – Red Balloon
  • E' arrivato Giorgio – Giorgio has arrived
  • Mar Rosso – Red Sea

Spanish

  • Estar del Tomate – Be Like A Tomato
  • Caperucita Roja – Little Red Riding Hood
  • Tus diablos – Your Devils
  • La luna – The Moon
  • Semaforo Rojo – Red Traffic Light
  • Cosas de Niñas – Girl’s Stuff
  • La regla – The Ruler
  • Andres – Andrew
  • La prima roja – The Red Cousin
  • La Colorada - The redhead
  • El Vampiro - The vampire

Portuguese

  • Vermelho – Red
  • Chovendo na horta – It's Raining In The Farm
  • Coisas de mulher – Women's Stuff
  • Ta vindo, ta descendo – It's Coming Down
  • Maré vermelha – Red Tide
  • O tempo do més – The Time Of The Month
  • Naqueles dias – In Those Days
  • Sinal vermelho – Red Traffic Light
  • Misturação – Mixing
  • De Visita – Visiting
  • Time – Team

English

  • Shark week
  • The Red Baron
  • Carrie
  • Girl Flu
  • Red Wedding
  • Moon Time
  • That Time Of The Month
  • Lady Business
  • Aunt Flo
  • The Blob
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Monthly Friend

Chinese

  • 紅茶 – Red Tea
  • 血腥瑪麗 – Bloody Mary
  • 例假 – Regular Holiday
  • 小紅 – Little Red
  • 好朋友 – Good Friend
  • 蘋果麵包 – Apple Bread
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