Bang Slang: STD Terms

The only thing worse than having a sexually transmitted disease is having to talk about having an STD. As popular as internet-speak and acronyms are these days, it’s no surprise that there are dozens of nicknames to get around the names of the itchy, drippy, burning afflictions no one wants to talk about, but did you know that many of those STD slang terms have been around as long as the STDs themselves?

Here are the most common nicknames for the most common STDs, with a brief explanation of their origins.

Gonorrhea

  • The Clap– The most slang term of all! Theories about the origin of the nickname “The Clap” include a shortened form of the French term for brothel (‘clapier’) and a primitive treatment that involved clapping the penis between your hands to squeeze out the pus that is common with gonorrhea
  • The Drip/Morning Drip– named after the dripping discharge commonly associated with the infection
  • The Dose– because it can be cured with a single dose of antibiotics (if caught early enough)

Chlamydia

  • The Clam– shortened version of the name chlamydia that plays on the use of “clam” as a euphemism for female genitals
  • Gooey Stuff– a very visual and pretty self-explanatory name inspired by the milky or “gooey” discharge associated with chlamydia

HIV/AIDS

  • The Virus– named after the fact that HIV is a lifelong viral infection
  • Hi-Five (Hi-V), from the ‘Hi’ combined with the Roman numeral V for five 
  • The Bug– a common nickname for a virus
  • The Deadliest Catch– a play on the name of a popular TV show that indicates the potentially life-threatening nature of an HIV/AIDS diagnosis

Herpes

  • Fever Blister/Cold Sore– common nickname the lesions caused by oral herpes
  • The Gift That Keeps on Giving– nicknamed for the fact that the infection is incurable and characterized by intermittent outbreaks

Pubic Lice

  • Crabs– when viewed under a microscope, pubic lice look like crabs on steroids
  • Crotch Crickets– another way of saying there are lice in the genital region

Syphilis

  • The Great Imitator– nicknamed for the fact that the symptoms of syphilis mimic the symptoms of other afflictions and were easily misdiagnosed before modern tests were created
  • The Pox– named after the pockmarks that appear in the early stages of a syphilis infection
  • Bad Blood– the affliction poor sharecroppers were told they were being treated for during the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment when the U.S. Public Health Service studied the effects of untreated syphilis on the black men they purposely infected

To find out if you are at risk for an STD, read more about STD risk factors, jobs that put you at risk for STD exposure, and STDs you can contract even while wearing a condom.

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Author: Kristena Ducre

Kristena is a sex-positive LGBTQ ally and general fan of sexy things. As a writer, she is passionate about empowering people's sex lives with accurate and straightforward information. Sex can be a ton of fun, but sexual health is not a laughing matter. In the bedroom, as in life, knowledge is power.