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Top 8 Euphemisms for the Word “Period”

Top 8 Funniest Period Euphemisms 

September 20, 2023

After surveying 90,000 people in over 150 countries worldwide, a 2016 Clue research study found over 5,000 period euphemisms With so many different ways to say the word “period,” we’ve narrowed it down to the top 8 out there… 

Aunt Flow Period Euphemism

1. Aunt Flow

For obvious reasons, “Aunt Flow” takes the cake for us.

Origin: United States

Meaning: A personification of one’s period, oftentimes alluding to the beginning or anticipation of menstruation. The term was initially coined in reference to an unwelcomed family member who unexpectedly shows up. Some common uses include: 

  • “Aunt Flow is coming to town” 
  • “Aunt Flow came to visit last night”
  • “I’m due for a visit from Aunt Flow”
Shark Week Period Euphemism

2. Shark Week

Origin: United States

Meaning: In reference to the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, an annual week-long block of shark-related content, which, like a period, can be bloody. 

Communists in the Gazebo Period Euphemism

3. Communists in the Gazebo

Origin: Denmark

Meaning: Lots of European countries have their own variation of this phrase, whether the communists are in the kitchen or the funhouse. This specific Danish phrase, translated from the original “Kommunister i lysthuset” truly makes me laugh.

Strawberry Week Period Euphemism

4. Strawberry Week

Origin: Germany

Meaning: In Germany, the term “Erdbeerwoche” is used, which translates to “strawberry week.” This one’s kinda cute, right?

The little clown with its nose bleeding period euphemism

5. The little clown with its nose bleeding

Origin: France

Meaning: Your guess is as good as mine on this period euphemism. 

On the Rag Period Euphemism

6. On the Rag

Origin: United Kingdom

Meaning: Originating sometime during the late 19th century, this particular phrase literally describes the way women managed their periods during this time. Menstrual rags would be made using layered pieces of absorbent materials, creating a makeshift pad or rag thick enough to absorb their flow. Many women in the Victorian era would also use pins to attach the rag to their undergarments.

Blood Festival Period Euphemism

7. Blood Festival

Origin: Japan

Meaning: “Blood Festival” is pretty straight to the point if you ask me. 

Defrosting the Steak Period Euphemism

8. Defrosting the Steak

Origin: Spain

Meaning: Real talk, what is the “steak” referring to here? Is the defrosting part like the shedding of the uterine lining? This one’s giving… Confused. 

History of Period Euphemisms

For thousands of years, period euphemisms are a way people have distanced themselves from the topic of menstruation.

While it’s okay to say any of these euphemisms, it’s important to remember we don’t have to JUST use them when talking about menstruation. Let’s normalize calling it what it is, A PERIOD. 

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Stay in the flow — we’ll send you period positivity + timely updates on the menstrual movement.

claire coder,founder + ceo

claire coder,
founder + ceo

Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.

At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! Since 2021, we've donated over 5 MILLION period products to menstruators in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®

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