The wife has been to see ‘Atonement’ at the cinema and was keen to discuss the finer points of this dramatic masterpiece.
“When she gets out of the fountain her dress is so wet that you can see her front bottom. She’s got a lot of hair for a skinny girl!”
“Perhaps she’s wearing a merkin,” I suggested.
“What the hell’s a merkin?”
A merkin is a pubic wig and they have been around (and about) for over four hundred years, although I would buy a new one if you’re going to indulge yourself.
The merkin man called at the houses of the Gentry and sold his wigs to Ladies who had removed their God-given pubic hair to combat lice infestation. If the Man of the house answered the door, to spare the blushes of the Lady, the merkin man would pretend that he was selling false beards. This could lead to some embarrassing mix ups in the bedroom, especially if the couple had similar tastes and had chosen the same design and colour. In fact, Brian Rix had a play running in the West End that was based entirely on that situation. Hilarious.
The nursery rhyme, ‘Have you seen the Muffin Man?’ is actually a corruption of the original, ‘Have you seen the Merkin man, with merkins curled or plain?’
A vertical aerodynamic fin called the Merkin first saw its use in Formula One on the Williams FW22A (2000) (as named by Chief Aerodynamicist Geof Willis), although this name was changed to the more common name of “Forward Guide Vane” after higher authorities found out its true meaning.