Over the past few days or weeks, I have been negotiating with an entrepreneur who wishes to establish a new website for the purpose of making my essays available to all of mankind.  I view this as a means of spreading the gospel to all four corners of the world.  You can find it at  The general manager of the website is a fellow called Kevin Shepherd, who also is my grandson.  As new essays come into being, they will be posted on the website.  It seems that our anxious readers will have access to them without waiting for the United States Postal Service to bring hard copies.  The readers of Ezra’s Essays who do not have computers will see no change, as they will still be mailed copies of this testament.

The website has just been placed in operation.  Mr. Shepherd is anxious to have new contributions for his postings.  When I took this job to produce new essays for Mr. Shepherd, I knew that I was taking on a noble responsibility that would have far-reaching consequences.  It is sort of like contributing to a publication dedicated to the writings of Winston Churchill.  I have never been known to react unfavorably or to quail from stringent requirements.

The first new essay that I contributed to this website was an essay in which I let my brain run a bit exuberantly.  It was called “Boa Constrictors, Rattlesnakes, and Other Reptiles.”  It had to do with an announcer reading an advertisement instead of the canned variety.  I assume that the announcer had to read this advertisement because something must have gone wrong with the recording device.  The essay had to do with the virtues of a product called Viagra.  On two occasions during this short commercial, the announcer mistook the word “erectile” and pronounced it as “reptile.”  That of course set my brain to working about how reptiles would deal with erectile dysfunction.  I submitted my copy to the manager of the website and waited for some response.

It took not long for Mr. Shepherd, the manager of the website, to respond.  He said that Pop (my name to my grandchildren) wrote an essay that had to do with “dicks and snakes.”  And so my brain, such as it is, went to work recalling all of the names for the male sex organ that were immediately available.

Calling the penis by some pseudonym is an ancient game.  It is practiced by every male that I can remember and it may be practiced by females as well.  There is nothing sinister or evil about this practice.  It is simply the desire on the part of almost all human beings to call the sex organ by a more palatable name.  And so my research of my memory has produced a total of six names.


The first name is a pseudonym for penis which is an ancient one.  In polite circles it is referred to as the pecker.  The word pecker may bring to mind the pecking for corn that is done by a rooster.  I doubt seriously that this is the derivation for the word pecker.  But be that as it may, the word pecker has been with us for all of my lifetime.


The second pseudonym for the male unmentionable is a word that I recall from my days at the Clayton, Missouri public school system.  That word is called “peter.”  Why the male sexual organ would be called a peter remains unknown to me.  But to exclude the word peter from this research would be a grave injustice.


The third word viewed as a pseudonym for penis is called “dick.”  This is a word that the general manager of the website referred to when he said that I had submitted an essay having to do with dicks and snakes.  I suppose that many of my readers will conclude that I am a poor researcher.  The fact of the matter is that the word dick, used as a pseudonym for penis, is acceptable in most circles.  When the general manager said that my comments had to do with dicks and snakes, it struck me that the word “dicks” is a recent innovation to the cause of “pseudonymity.”


Now we come to a thoroughly familiar word that is a synonym for the male sex organ.  And that word is “prick.”  I am thoroughly familiar with that word, prick.  It also refers to disliked human beings, including bosses, who are called “pricks.”  I worked in my long career for a few pricks.  The word prick is not actually descriptive.  If a man is a prick, he will sooner or later get the idea that that [sic] is what his subordinates and associates think of him.

The chief vice president of AT&T was a small man from southern Georgia who was a prick in every sense of the word.  His name was Henry Killingsworth.  He is the guy who in a Christmas letter wrote that he was going “to take the slack out of the trace chains.”  This word has to do with cotton planting, which is ordinarily done with mules by black people.  So when Killingsworth used this word, I thought immediately what a prick he was.  There is no such thing as a good prick.  When a man is called a prick, it means that his subordinates and his associates come pretty close to giving up on him.  You may take my word for it that Henry Killsingsworth was a colossal prick.


Another word to use as a pseudonym for the penis is called a doniker.  It is not a wide-spread synonym.  It occurs to me that the main use of the word doniker came from a gentleman whom I greatly admire named Harry Livermore.  I worked for Harry in Kansas City and again in Chicago.  In short order, we found ourselves in New York where our friendship would continue.  When the occasion arose to Harry Livermore when he needed to urinate, he always announced that he needed to “drain his doniker.”  Again, I have no idea where doniker came from.  But I do know that Harry Livermore was the most affable of men.

During World War II, Harry and Jean Livermore had three small children.  Nonetheless, Harry volunteered to serve in the American Navy.  During that service, the ship Ticonderoga, an aircraft carrier, was hit by a kamikaze that nearly destroyed the ship.  On that occasion, at least 350 of Harry’s shipmates were killed.  I have often said that if I were alone on a battlefield, I would like very much for my battlefield mate to be Harry Livermore.  I can think of no higher compliment that I can pay to him for his courage.  Harry died about four years ago at the age of 93 or thereabouts.  I think of him often.  I am still in contact with Tess, the woman that Harry married when he was about 88.  She and I have a mutual admiration society for Harry.


One of the most widely-used synonyms for the male unmentionable is called the “cock.”  Again, I am not so sure about where this word came from.  But certainly it is widely used and we can not exclude it from our research.  It may not have the lilt of the word doniker, but it must be included to establish my credentials as an astute researcher.


Well, there you have all of the pseudonyms for the male unmentionable.  I believe that I should be lauded for my efforts in this research report.  I  know of many publications that would be anxious to have this research.  I will soon offer this research to the publications from MIT and other such high flown institutions.  I suspect that they will be thrilled to have it.  In the meantime, I am the only contributor to writing Ezra’s Essays.  This goes back to the fact that Ezra’s Essays are indeed named for me.

And so this Saturday afternoon was spent in researching pseudonyms for the male unmentionable.  I doubt that you will see such research in any other publication, so you should revel in its exclusivity.  And to think that my grandson set off these fireworks by saying that his grandfather should deliver an essay that dealt with dicks and snakes.  It looks to me as if this new website will soon become a fountainhead for the wisdom of all mankind.



August 25, 2012

Essay 688


Most of Pop’s readers get Ezra’s Essays mailed to them; the first part of the essay is for them.

I had never heard of “doniker” or “peter” before so I looked them up on, the slang dictionary. Came up with nothing for either, which in retrospect shouldn’t be particularly surprising given that the site is mostly populated by people in their teens and twenties. Still, it has almost never failed me before, so the result of two negative hits in a row was unexpected. Accordingly, I am glad that this website has ensured that neither of these oh-so-valuable words will be lost to posterity.

I’m also pleased to admit it gives me no small pleasure that my captioning of each essay, available on this page, inspired this new essay and in part the next one.  There are probably not many 90-year-olds who spend entire Saturdays looking up different ways to say penis.  I suppose that I am lucky that my grandfather is one of the few who do.

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