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When we use the phrase 'private parts' do we refer to 'thighs' also or this phrase only refers to parts like urinary organ, hips, etc?

32

Private parts is an euphemism for genitals.

(plural noun) euphemistic:
A person's genitals.

Which are:

the sexual organs; the testicles and penis of a male or the labia, clitoris, and vagina of a female.

Private parts may also include the anus, perineum, pubic-area, nipples and possibly breasts - depending on the person speaking.


The phrase is also sometimes shortened to just privates.


This means that the thighs and hips are not commonly included in the meaning of the phrase.

If referring to wanting to keep these other areas covered, a general phrase in common use is:

Not wanting to show too much skin

Which implies wearing clothing that covers areas such as the hips, thighs, legs, shoulders and chest (depending on which areas the person considered private to them).

  • 3
    I think you could make your statement in italics stronger; other than extra-aureolar breasts and male nipples, everything you mention is almost certainly going to be included in "private parts" throughout most of the English-speaking world. – 1006a May 11 '18 at 18:48
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    Essentially everything covered by swimwear is private. Nothing more, and probably nothing less. – Tim May 12 '18 at 0:04
  • I would disagree--I've never seen male swimwear that didn't cover considerably more than just the private areas. Even a Speedo does--men have no equivalent of the string bikini. – Loren Pechtel May 13 '18 at 4:00
  • @LorenPechtel - Male thong. It can be (and sometimes is) sold and used as swimwear. Google at your own risk. Also the so-called "mankini." – Obie 2.0 May 13 '18 at 5:04
  • @Obie2.0 I never realized the mankini was a real product as opposed to a custom-made spoof. – Loren Pechtel May 13 '18 at 14:50
10

In the English-language children's book "Your Body Belongs To You", the term "private parts" is described as being "all those parts covered by your bathing suit".

This is a simple, broad definition to which we all can relate. It also respects the culture in which someone lives. Which I think matters, particularly for women. Compare for example bathing in Cleopatra's Bath in Egypt, vs the sunny shores of Perth, Australia.

So, to your question,

does it include thighs and hips

I'd say: it depends. Gender, culture, and personal preference define what's private and what's not, and you need to consider the nuances when using this term.

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    I'm not sure we can all relate to it. It would be totally incomprehensible to a 5-year old who is used to running around naked, as many 5-year olds do in many countries of the world when the weather is warm enough. – Michael Kay May 12 '18 at 7:47
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    This is actually the only correct answer here. All other answers are Western culture specific, and particularly US specific. – Masked Man May 12 '18 at 15:38
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    And period specific... Aww c'mon, show me some ankle! – Mazura May 12 '18 at 16:42
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    "I'd say: it depends." And context. Thighs aren't "private", but it doesn't mean you can just start feeling someone else's thighs. – RonJohn May 12 '18 at 22:00
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The expression private parts only refers to a person's genitalia. That would typically be the penis in the case of a male and the vulva in the case of a female. This means that other body parts such as thighs, hips etc. are not considered private parts. They are body parts, but not private. Private parts are supposed to be completely private. That is, no one should see them when you're in public. For example, when you're at the beach, are the people there generally able to see your thighs and hips? I would think so. But they're not able to see your private parts because they're hidden under the swimming trunks that you're wearing.

  • Isn't it pretty common for people to walk around naked in gyms in the US? Given that a gym is more or less a public place, doesn't that mean there are no private parts? – Masked Man May 12 '18 at 15:36
  • I'm sorry, but I don't understand your question. – Michael Rybkin May 12 '18 at 15:44
  • You said private parts are those parts that no one should see in public. Since being completely naked is acceptable in at least one public place, does that mean there are no private parts, at least in the US? – Masked Man May 12 '18 at 15:46
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    I have never seen a gym where people walk around completely naked. I don't think there are places like that in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world for that matter. – Michael Rybkin May 12 '18 at 16:25
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    @MaskedMan: In the locker room, maybe. In the gym itself, not a chance. – Kevin May 12 '18 at 17:14

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