Does the old-fashioned word 'loins' refer to 'sexual organ' or the part we call 'back' i.e. the part between the neck and the tops of the legs?

What impression do you take if one says:

The genealogy transferred from one loins to another.

Does that sound normal? Note that the writer wants to say "from the back of one male to his wife, and then their son to his wife'?

I however don't agree with the use of this word here. I think it is odd. Simply, the word 'back' should be used.

1 Answer 1


The normal definition of “loin” is the part of the torso between the hips and the ribs: front, back and sides, but particularly the meat in that area on an animal.

You’re referring to the euphemism “loins”, which refers to the reproductive organs. This is almost exclusively used in the idiom “fruit of his/her/my loins” to refer to children, and sounding somewhat archaic now, it’s most often used for comedic effect.

The word “back” doesn’t match either meaning, and I’d have no idea what your example meant without the explanation. Moreover, a somewhat formal word like “genealogy” doesn’t naturally fit with a euphemism like “loins”. I also suspect you mean “genes” rather than “genealogy”, but the same issue applies with that as well.

  • I mean man and his sons and then his sons, and so on.
    – xeesid
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 5:01
  • 1
    @xeesid I’d just say “male lineage”. “Paternal lineage” is generally upward, but it could be downward in the right context. If you want to be wordy, “him, his sons, his sons’ sons, etc.” is fine.
    – StephenS
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 5:07

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