We women must suffer the indignities of menstruation 12 times a year, so we might as well “fun it up” a little bit! Luckily, there are several slang terms to throw into everyday vernacular, because hey, tampons can be just as cool as things like skateboards and computer tablets!
A simple abbreviation that originated in Southern California in the early 2000’s. Its purest Cali pronunciation is “tomp.” Variations include “super tamp,” “supe tamp,” or “tampsies.”
“Gina goes through, like, a million tamps a day.”
A term used in some late 1930s Tampax print advertisements. This was one of many attempts to popularize modern tampons. It didn’t work. The term was revived by a 1980’s South Florida hardcore band called Period Blood.
“Can I borrow a crammer?”
8. Steve Buscemi
This slang term for tampons originated shortly after the 1992 release of Reservoir Dogs in which Steve Buscemi played Mr. Pink. You don’t want Mr. Pink inside of you, but at the same time, you really do, in a weird kind of way. Also, Steve Buscemi looks like a tampon.
“My husband refuses to buy Steve Buscemis for me when he goes to CVS.”
7. String Peen
This fun tam-pun originated at Sunnydale high school in Scottsdale, Arizona when Cindy Carmona made a comment to her friend Amanda Davis that a tampon reminded her of a little penis, but with a string on it. After riffing for a few minutes they finally landed on “string peen.” It was hilarious.
”I switched to OB string peens because they’re better for the environment.”
6. Spirit Stick
This term derived from the Moon Unity Church of southwestern New Mexico, which held the belief that tampons allow women to connect their inner selves with the outside world.
“The vending machine is out of spirit sticks.”
5. Queen T TM
A term legally owned by Beyoncé that was born out of her attempt to launch a line of tampons in 2012. The slogan was, “A tampon you’ll worship.” The product failed, but the name lives on.
“My roommate keeps stealing my Queen Ts.”
This term is believed to have been coined by an unnamed male gas station attendant in 1980s Adair, Oklahoma, where tampons were kept behind the counter. As the story goes, women would ask for a box of tampons, and he would reply with, “Oh, you want some putter-inners? You want the yella or the green?”
”I need to change my putter-inner.”
3. OB-wan Kenobi
Usually refers to the only tampon you have left in your bag to last you the whole day, because it’s your only hope.
“I didn’t use OB-wan Kenobis for a while because I thought it would mean I wasn’t a virgin.”
2. Crotch Swab
When tampons became more acceptable, mothers used this more polite term when talking to their daughters, often in public. It soon became useful as a verb as well, meaning to put in a tampon.
“Sweetie, you need to stop flushing your crotch swabs.”
1. Period Piece
Coined by Evangeline Scott in a 2013 Tumblr post entitled, “These 5 Shocking Tampon Facts will Change Your Life Forever.”
”We had to get a bathroom garbage with a lid because my cat pulls out our used period pieces and chews on them. It’s digusting.”
There you have it! Ten hip slang terms for tampons to brighten up your menses. Have fun out there!