Without, you know, actually saying that you have your period…
It’s a sentence that’s applicable, monthly, to half the world’s population, and yet to announce it is considered so taboo, that every country has independently developed layered codes to relay the unspeakable.
What is it? In English, it’s “I’m on my period.”
Of course, The Language Nerds decided to have fun with how we’ve been universally programmed to sugarcoat a process as natural as menstruation. They asked their 477k+ Instagram followers to post the different variations cultures have come up with for hiding, while alluding to, the same exact thing. After only 4 hours of the original Instagram posting (and as of writing this), they’d already received over 800 comments showing exactly how common this global phenomena is.
So, I decided to scroll through what was already posted to find my top ten picks, across various languages, that matched the overtired American saying “My Aunt Flo is visiting.”
And here they are:
1.“Benficia plays at home”
I’m no fan of football (soccer?) but this Portuguese saying, submitted by Instagram user bonecola had me instantly snort-laughing. For some additional context, Benficia is a top 3 football team and, according to Google, their team color is…red.
2. “My aunt Red has arrived”
And proving that visits from aunts with highly suspicious names remains universal, user cariealways21 states the above is said in China to politely announce it’s that time of the month. On the same vein, users from Turkey, Mexico, and Europe all posted similarly worded allusions.
3. “Guests from Krasnoyarsk came”
A Russian statement, this comment was received extremely well, with nearly 300 likes. Several follow up comments revealed that the exact location the guests were coming from could vary by region but often carried connotations to the color red.
4.“The motherland is crying blood”
One user commented the above, stating that it’s a Turkish saying. And I have to say, this one is self-explanatory.
5. “Estoy can Andres, el que viene cada mes”
Danibs26 posted this rhyme, used in Mexico, which translates to “I have a visit from Andres, the one who comes every month.” And if I’m going to be confined to bed with cramps four days out of every month, I’d like a period rhyme as well, America!
6. “Lingonvecka” or “Lingonberry week”
Referencing a red berry, this Swedish phrase is also found in Finland, according to commenters.
7. “The moon has come”
One of the more elegant sayings on the list, posted by Instagram user answhdn, it originates from Indonesia. But I have to wonder, is it referencing a red moon?
8. “I have my things”
Italian user jadeandreamonaco posted the hilarious vague quote above. But if you switch out “things” with “blood” and it’s straightforward.
9. “The Red Army is there”
This polish phrase is also used in Russia and, likely, other countries as well.
10. “It’s strawberry week”
This was posted by The Language Nerds themselves and originates from Germany.
Bonus: The Universal
“It’s that time of the month”, “I have my period”, “Thank God”, “Not this week”, “Not tonight”, “Don’t test me, babe”, “You don’t know what it’s like!”, “F**K”.
There you have it. And the longer The Language Nerd’s post stays up for, the larger the above list grows.
So, feel free to add to the list by commenting your own favorite period cover story, even if it involves fake armies or make believe relatives.