17 May 2010


I have been struggling the last few days. Struggling to find synonyms for @ss. In editing my work-in-progress, I've found that the word '@ss' is appearing with alarming frequency in paragraph after paragraph. Okay, maybe not that frequently. But there is some, uh, admiring going on between the hero and heroine. Being a very careful self-editor, I'm trying to avoid repeating myself. Thus, the Search for Synonyms.

I've discovered a number of words that refer to that portion of the anatomy. However, for various reasons, none of the synonyms are quite appropriate. For example: I do not find the word 'buttocks' to be in any way erotic. Ditto 'cheeks.' 'Rear' reminds me of car parts. 'Fanny' is out because it means something, er, more intimate for British readers.

My sister, who missed her calling as a stand-up comedian, suggested 'fundament.' Is it just me, or is 'fundament' Not Hot? Furthermore, I suspect (without checking the Oxford English Dictionary) that 'fundament' refers to something rather more specific than 'buttocks.' Sigh.

I've always been a great believer in the versatility of the English language. I am finding as an erotic romance writer, however, that English is comparatively impoverished when it comes to human anatomy. Our choices generally seem to be either clinical terms or insults. I try to avoid the clinical, as it creates distance between hero and heroine. One wouldn't expect the hero to be musing lustfully upon the firm suspensory ligaments of the heroine's breasts, for example.

'Purple prose' is another alternative, but I can't write it without howling with laughter. More on purple prose in another post.

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