7 Old-Fashioned Ways People Referred To 'Intimacy' That Are Actually Hilarious

Slang and euphemisms for certain words and phrases have been around for a very long time. And while the euphemisms themselves tend to change a bit from time to time, according to trends, pop culture, and more, people continue to use them, partially because they might think that they're more polite than saying what they really mean and partially because they tend to be fun — and funny. There are a number of old-fashioned ways people referred to intimacy and sex that are actually hilarious that everyone needs to know about because, well, who couldn't use a good laugh every now and again?

There are lots of reasons why people opt for slang or euphemisms rather than just coming out and saying something. But in some cases, it's not actually really any more polite than saying the real thing, and in other cases, you might just confuse people about what you really mean. These old-fashioned sayings aren't necessarily among the most commonly-used nowadays, which means if you decide to drop one into conversation with someone, they might not actually understand what you're saying. Still, some of them are actually hilarious for any number of reasons, ranging from the way they sound to what they're referring to and more. Just because these work as euphemisms for sex and intimacy and have been used as such in the past doesn't mean that you should necessarily bring them back, but they're still funny to talk about.


Shoot Twixt Wind & Water

This phrase may be a little, uh, cruder than you might think initially. As Bustle noted, this late-1600s phrase is anatomically correct in what it's describing. If you haven't caught on to what it's referring to, just think on it some more.



This 1600s-era word for sex is, as Slate noted, mentioned in lexicographer Jonathon Green's book, Green's Dictionary of Slang, is one of the cutest euphemisms there is, and is certainly one of the cutesiest on this list. Even if someone wasn't aware that it was slang for intimacy, they'd likely catch on to your meaning.


Arrive At The End Of The Sentimental Journey

This phrase is sort of sweet, if you think about it, but it's also a very long and overly poetic way of saying "have sex." As the previously-mentioned article from Slate noted, this phrase was also mentioned in Green's book.



"Basket-making" was a regularly-used euphemism for having sex in the 1800s, as Mental Floss noted, and appeared in a book called 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. This phrase came from a method used to make stockings for kids — the process of knitting the heel was referred to as, you guessed it, "basket-making."


Boil My Cabbage

The phrases "boil my cabbage" or "boil someone's cabbage" don't exactly sound all that sexy or romantic, but this too served as a euphemism for sex. The Guardian reported that "boil my cabbage" was popular Blues slang for sex, according to Straight From The Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang, by Max Décharné.


Ravel Up One's Little Ball Of Yarn

If you didn't know better, you likely wouldn't have any idea that this had anything to do with sex because it's kind of a strange saying, outside of the context of, you know, knitting. But this lengthy slang phrase for sex was used back in 1940, as a BuzzFeed video noted. It can certainly make you think differently of knitting and crocheting projects.


Play Tangletoes

Of all of the phrases on this list, this one might make the most sense to someone who'd never heard it before. It's unlikely that they wouldn't understand what you were referring to if they thought about it for a second. The previously-mentioned video from BuzzFeed noted that this phrase is from 1968.

If you are going to drop one of these into conversation with your partner, you probably also want to be prepared to explain yourself in more easily-understandable terms — in between giggles, of course, because these particular phrases can be pretty funny.