ONE OF THE NAMELESS MYSTERIES
A Philosophy and Glossary
of the Terminology concerning Circumcision
I always found it fascintaing that the eskimos have 5 different
names for snow - they are so familiar with snow that they can distinguish
5 diferent varieties.
The sheer lack of terminology which exists regarding circumcision and phimosis is a clear sign of the taboo on this subject. The process of naming is a clear sign of cultural
The word phimotic ring was first recorded in 1994, previously there
was no name for this common phenomenon. Some common experiences (like the frenulum ripping) are unnamed,
some conditions (phimotic ring or adhesions) have no internationally
recognised name, and if there is a name (circumcision, phimosis or
adhesions) then you can bet it has at
least two different meanings.
The word circumcision itself is used to refer to a variety of
completely different male and female genital operations and anthropologists
freely refer to dorsal slits and other genital operations as forms
of male circumcision.(47), (87).
Medical attention is concentrated on infections in the genital area.
Here there are two names LSA. BXO which refer to one infection. The degree of recognition which has developed for infections is illustrated by: Balanitis chronica circumscripta plasmecellularis benigna,...
which is all the name of just one infection!
If we agree that the lack of clear namings is one of the symptoms
of a taboo, then it follows, that as the namings get less clear we
will arrive at the origin of the taboo: - and, to break the taboo,
first we need clear namings.
Phimosis comes from the Greek "to muzzle". It is so often
used today as a general term that it has become irrelevant for specific
diagnosis or clear distinctions
This general word phimosis seems appropriate for the non-pathological
(not needing treatment) tubular form of an infant phimosis.
Adhesions applies to many different complaints, mostly internal
ones. Alone when referring to the penis, medical texts use the word
adhesions in two different ways: skin bridges and epithelial adhesions.
SKIN BRIDGES (or acrochordons)
"True" or "acquired" adhesions are colloquially
called skin bridges or skin tags. The word "bridge" describes the appearance
and so is the recommended term. (astounding that there is an internationally
accepted specific latin name, only with this secondary condition : acrochordons)
EPITHELIAL ADHESIONS (or Infant Adhesions)
On the other hand there are the so-called "natural" adhesions
which refer to the sticky layer between the foreskin and glans of an
infant. The term infant adhesions appears to be an appropriate colloquial
term. - Campbell's Urology, (the urologists "Bible"), calls
them epithelial adhesions. (Oxford dictionary: Epithelium: the
tissue .... lining the alimentary canal and other hollow structures)
Most doctors call the frenulum or frenum simply "the band". "The short
band" itself has no internationally accepted name.
German doctors call it "Frenulum Breve" and this seems to have good
sense then: latin: - frenulum is the diminutive of frenum: a bridle,
so frenulum indicates a small bridle: breve means short therefore Frenulum
Breve describes perfectly when this small bridle is too short.
This term was first used in 1994 (Cuckow) and is confirmed by Campbell's
Urology (the urologists Bible) in 1998. Apart from this, there
is no word to describe this ring of gristly skin which is embedded
just inside the opening of the inner foreskin. One could suggest the
"phimotic noose" as this is more accurately the shape of
this contour of skin.
Even with a partial or relative phimosis in the flaccid state,
this phimotic ring can be accurately
The terms primary and secondary are normal medical usage, natural
and acquired are occasionally used. primary phimotic ring denotes a
condition from birth, whereas an acquired or secondary phimotic ring
has developed in the course of time.
PLEASE AVOID using the term THE FRENAR BAND
I beseach those interested in clarity and education to avoid using
the word "frenar band". The phimotic ring is referred to
by hundreds of anti circumcision www sites as the frenar band. The
word frenar can easily be confused with frenulum.
I believe if this had been planned to prolonge the chaos for doctors
and patients for another twenty years, then it could not have been
Please confirm rather than confuse present usage even when using
shortened colloquial terms: the term ring or noose is
descriptive of the phimotic ring just as band is descriptive
of the frenular band.
The invention of new words belongs to the ethos of many fanatical
groups - I say again - Routine Infant Circumcision is abhorant, unfortunately
those campaigning against RIC, motivated by self righteousness have
become angry, fanatical and aginst all operations, it is ironical that
now they are damaging their cause by developing and spreading new confusions.