Crimes Against Woodworking

A special message to all those writing, editing, and publishing in the field of erotica and erotic romance:

I understand there’s a limited lexicon when it comes to describing a blow job. The lexicon of sex on the whole (hur) is already pretty stingy, and thus we continually face the word “nub” or, God forbid, “nubbin.”

However, for the sake of future generations, I must act now and correct any misunderstandings.

THIS is a lathe.

It is NOT SOMETHING ANY MAN WANTS DONE TO HIS MANJUNK.

To quote Wikipedia, a lathe is “a machine tool which spins a block of material to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation with tools that are applied to the workpiece to create an object which has symmetry about an axis of rotation.”

Pay attention to the action at 2:40 -3:00 for a full color video of what you’re saying is happening to the man’s little thunder rod.

You can also see what a lathe can accomplish when applied to a big, hard, massive piece of wood.

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS TURGID, STOP USING THE WORD LATHE.

The word you’re looking for is “lave,” which is Latin in origin and means “to wash, bathe, flow along or against.”

This is a far cry from “She wedged his erection between two drill points, spun it at over 2200 rpm and applied a sharp edge to the outside to carve away the unwanted wood.”

Are we clear now? If she’s “lathing” him, he’s not going to enjoy it. And if I read any use of the word “lathe,” you’ll be charged with Crimes Against Woodworking and put in the stocks for 24 hours. I’ve encountered this too many times to keep silent any longer. It is no more correct than a character saying they “could of” done something. NO. More. LATHE.

Now to work on the word “nubbin.”

 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Sarah S says:

    I once read a piece of “erotica” that referred to the heroine’s nipples as “prehensile tissue.”

    That was probably more than a decade ago, and I’m still getting the giggles.

  2. 2
    Laura (in PA) says:

    Damn, I just did a spit take while drinking my Starbucks. That stuff is expensive.

    Any man who has read this is now crossing his legs protectively and will start twitching, and not in a good way, the next time any woman comes near his crown jewels.

  3. 3
    Toddson says:

    Any man who has read this is now crossing his legs protectively and will start twitching, and not in a good way, the next time any woman comes near his crown jewels

    ESPECIALLY if she’s carrying power tools.

  4. 4
    Susan D. says:

    It must be a spell check mistake. Right? Pretty please? Romance writers are smart ladies, but Word’s spellchecker … sometimes it’s confused.

  5. 5

    I have not encountered that one. If I ever do I’ll be sure to let my husband read it.

  6. 6
    Lori says:

    It must be a spell check mistake. Right? Pretty please? Romance writers are smart ladies, but Word’s spellchecker … sometimes it’s confused.

    I’d like to think so, but I have my doubts. I see these kinds of word choice errors all the time and for most of them there is no way it’s a spellcheck issue. A couple of recent “favorites” were found in the same book.

    First, there was a reference to an al fresco painting in a building lobby. Um huh? A fresco is a painting, al fresco means outdoors. 

    Second, there is a point where the heroine is talking to her brother about the fact that her ex is getting married. He expresses surprise that she’s not “balling and sniveling.” Um, bawling means crying. Balling is a totally different thing. Of course, strictly speaking the heroine did spent most of the book balling and sniveling, but I really don’t think the author meant to point that out.

  7. 7
    Laura (in PA) says:

    He expresses surprise that she’s not “balling and sniveling.”

    OK, second spit take of the day. I need to finish this damn coffee.

  8. 8
    SB Sarah says:

    I have encountered the dreaded “lathe” in many, many places, alas, and while I totally understand the error, it must be fixed, for the good of noble woodworkers everywhere.

  9. 9
    Chicklet says:

    Hell, I’m even over the use of lave, having seen it in umpteen-million fanfics over the past decade. Licking is a perfectly serviceable word, people. Try using that for awhile.

  10. 10
    Lori says:

    The other problem with this mess is that if the guy has a half decent vocabulary, or used to watch Friends, the chick isn’t going to get the chance to lave or lathe his man part because he’s going to get dressed and stomp off in a huff after she calls it a nubbin.  What is up with that?

    You can refer to a nipple as a nubbin if you feel that you must. If you’re desperate you can use it to describe part of your girly bits, but using it to describe a guy’s junk is just rude.

  11. 11
    Katie says:

    To quote Prof. Henry Higgins

    “By right she should be taken out and hung,
    For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.”

  12. 12
    Randi says:

    Maybe these women meant this type of lathe?

    http://users.starpower.net/larch78/lathemaster/

    Because, if they’re referring to the manjunk as “nubbin”, then lathing it elsewhere and giving it more “oomph” might be what’s called for here…just sayin.

    ps. Yeah, I’ve seen “lathe” all over the place. Cracks me up.

  13. 13
    Mireya says:

    Let’s see, I started reading erotic romance in 2003.  That same year, I read this same explanation regarding this same term in a forum, can’t even remember which. 

    So I see that the more things change, the more they stay the same …

  14. 14
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    Thanks for the laugh of the day—I really needed it.  Though I think I need to bleach my brain after the image of the heroine’s prehensile nipples.

  15. 15
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Thanks for the laugh of the day—I really needed it.  Though I think I need to bleach my brain after the image of the heroine’s prehensile nipples.

    Do you think that means she can swing by them? I’m just saying . . . those prehensile nipples wouldn’t scare off Kirk.

  16. 16
    cursingmama says:

    I have managed to not spit my coffee or breakfast at the monitor; but, it has taken very diligent work on my part.  Having said that I really wish that editors and writers would stop using the desk thesaurus when writing & editing well… anything.  I am never impressed by words I have to look up, I am only annoyed.

  17. 17
    Barb Ferrer says:

    Do you think that means she can swing by them? I’m just saying . . . those prehensile nipples wouldn’t scare off Kirk.

    Aw, dammit, Kalen, I just snorted tea up my nose.

  18. 18
    Cat Marsters says:

    But what about BDSM erotica, hmm?  Maybe some guys enjoy being lathed.  You never know.

    “By right she should be taken out and hung,
    For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.”

    I never understood why Prof. Higgins didn’t know that meat is hung; a person is hanged.  Although in the interests of preserving the rhyme, she might have to cold-bloodedly murder the English wang, which I think is where the lathing might come in…

  19. 19

    Thank you for this important post.

  20. 20
    Melinda K says:

    SMIRK!
    If only I could convince some folks that the word ‘smirk’ does not mean a small smile.  It means a nasty little grin that says ‘I know something you don’t’.

  21. 21
    Barb Ferrer says:

    If only I could convince some folks that the word ‘smirk’ does not mean a small smile.  It means a nasty little grin that says ‘I know something you don’t’.

    Yeah, but at least it IS a smile.  Lathe and lave NSM with the similarities.

  22. 22
    daisy says:

    While you are composing lessons in grammar, would you please add one about the difference between “good” and “well”, the difference between “finished” and “done” and while we are at it, when the proper time to use “between” and “among” would be great also.

    I have to say that I haven’t come across anyone “lathing” anything in erotica, but since my FIL was a woodworker and actually owned several lathes, I would have noticed that one and definately banged my head about it.

    @Cat – thanks, I always wonder why Prof. Higgins got that one wrong as well.  Though “hung” seems to be a common error as the police drama I was watching the other day used it in reference to the man who had hanged himself.

  23. 23
    Jan says:

    Maybe the lathing is to remove those pesky participles that dangle ?

  24. 24
    lw says:

    And then there’s “bonified” … [bona fide]

    Which I have seen more than once, from different authors, as in “he was a bonified hero” with an arousal.

    Just sayin’ ~

    spamword “against32” – her prehensile nipples pressed against her size-32 chest? sorry, not clever at these

  25. 25
    anon says:

    I’m not sure that erotica and erotic romance authors are the only people who use “lave” (and are therefore at risk of using “lathe.”)

    The first time I read “lave” in a sexual context was in a Gena Showalter book. She used it correctly, but I remember thinking, “I haven’t seen that word in a long time.” Gena might have sexy scenes, but she’s not an author of erotic romance, is she? She’s certainly not an author or erotica.

  26. 26
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Do you think that means she can swing by them? I’m just saying . . . those prehensile nipples wouldn’t scare off Kirk.

    Aw, dammit, Kalen, I just snorted tea up my nose.

    My work here is done . . .

  27. 27
    Caty M says:

    Note to self: don’t read this site while drinking orange juice.

    (And Kalen – you’re not helping)

  28. 28
    Henofthewoods says:

    I have definitely seen “lath” in mainstream romance novels and wondered if they made an arbor (like lath board.) It was some wierd composite of lathe, lave, and lash. I have been questioning this word use without bothering to look it up for at least 10 years. Thank you, I feel better now.

    But I saw illusive for elusive today in a well written book. 

    And I had to learn “chaise longue” not “chaise lounge” embarassingly late in life myself.

  29. 29

    I have to confess…I used the word ‘nubbin’ in my first book (The Given). It’s SO EMBARASSING to even admit that. Luckily, I saw the error of my ways.

  30. 30
    CupK8 says:

    She wedged his erection between two drill points, spun it at over 2200 rpm and applied a sharp edge to the outside to carve away the unwanted wood.

    Ooooo, sexy!

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top