Is there a word in English commonly used to mean "penis" when speaking to babies or children?

For example, in Russian we say "пипка." My son's learning English from me and I want to teach him this in English.

  • 9
    I can think of two at the moment: pee-pee, willy. Dec 12, 2016 at 7:59
  • 2
    Ah, I see. I don't want to ruin the question, but IMHO, there's nothing wrong with a little boy calling his penis a penis. (A doctor may use penis when talking semi-formally with patients as well.) FWIW, here are some results I found after a quick search: circleofmoms.com/toddler-moms/…, telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/9705046/…, popsugar.com/moms/What-Should-Kids-Call-Private-Parts-27331533. Dec 12, 2016 at 8:23
  • @DamkerngT. I wouldn't want to ask my son whether he cleaned his [this] or not formally. It somehow doesn't sound right to my ears! Dec 12, 2016 at 8:26
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    "peepka" sounds like it could be used in English also! I think most English speakers would be able to figure out the "-ka" diminutive. pee-pee may be confusing since its also what the action of peeing gets called, "Do you need to pee-pee?"
    – Peter
    Dec 12, 2016 at 8:37
  • 1
    @Peter "pee-pee" is an actualy word that's actually used; you might find it confusing but kids don't. In contrast, the -ka suffix isn't used at all in English and wouldn't be understood at all. Dec 12, 2016 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


The reality is that this is very much an opinion. You might find some interesting statements on the Parenting site but, personally, I believe that kids should learn the correct terms for all parts of their bodies, including genitals. If they don't grow up using these terms, they are likely to feel embarrassed using them as adults. The easiest way to avoid this is to start them out using the terms from the beginning.

One of the links to articles that Damkerng T. posted in the comments is useful.

Many moms feel very strongly that only the anatomically correct names for private parts should be taught to a child. As Angie B. says, "It's no different than teaching him fingers, toes, nose, and ears. They are what they are and there should be no shame in using the appropriate names." That means teaching toddlers the words penis, testicles, vagina, and vulva.

Many moms also say that in addition to causing children to feel embarrassed or ashamed about their private parts, nicknames can cause confusion in communications between the child and their doctors, caregivers, and teachers, should any serious issues arise.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees: "It is important to teach your child the proper names for body parts. Making up names for body parts may give the idea that there is something bad about the proper name."

If you choose not to subscribe to this feeling, perhaps because of your own discomfort, there are other options listed in the article. Some that I can think of:

  • pee-pee (possibly confused with urine)
  • wee-wee (same as above)
  • willy
  • pecker (I imagine grandpas saying this)
  • wiener
  • 1
    It's a little strange if a child starts speaking like an adult. That's why children should use babish words for most things I think. Anyway my son uses babish words and it's wonderful and really admiring. Me and my wife will of course teach him tge real names. There'll come a time when a child should know but not when he's 2 years of age.I myself adore those babish words and the softening suffixes, that's why I gad such a question asked previosly. In English I guess it's difficult to speak that way. Dec 13, 2016 at 5:56
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    Do you have your kid use baby words for head or arm or knee? The only reason it's odd is that we have an absurd taboo about genitalia.
    – Catija
    Dec 13, 2016 at 6:43
  • No, but he says them softly. Not head but headie, not arm but armie. We indeed have that taboo. It's not a normal thing. Dec 13, 2016 at 7:05
  • We don't have an equivalent in English. We teach kids "arm" and "head". So, if you're teaching him "arm" and "head" in English, why deviate for "penis"?
    – Catija
    Dec 13, 2016 at 7:07
  • It's not good to have a child speak those words I think. I may be wrong, but a kid should stay a kid for as long as he wants. I know that i sometimes act as a kid because it's amazing. Dec 13, 2016 at 7:10

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