You Say Tomayto, I Say Tomahto…You Say Vagina, I Say Dentata

What?  You’ve never heard of Vagina Dentata?  Really?

Come on, it’s Latin for toothed vagina.

No, I do not have a story about one of the Wild Boar’s patients who had a toothed vagina. 

I wish I did because that would just be quite an amazing story.  Imagine an extra pair of choppers hanging out while trying to do a pap smear?  Now that’s entertainment.

But really have you ever heard of this?  I hadn’t but apparently vagina dentata is a regular occurrence in some myths that span several cultures.  (Those sound like some pretty scary bedtime stories.)

The vaginal teeth theme occurring in these myths often represents itself as hostility in women, or as weaponry used to rape and kill men. 

In many of the mythical depictions, women marry the men who detoothed their vagina’s and made them safe.

Okay, it is all very interesting (and scary) as far as folklore goes.  However I don’t remember anything about vagina dentata discussed during any mythology class I have ever taken. 

The myth has recently gained attention in popular culture with bestselling novel, American Gods, by Neil Gaiman and the film Teeth, that is being released today on DVD. 

Overall an interesting concept but again one that has escaped me until now.

Has anyone ever read this book or seen this film or heard anything about vagina dentata?  Have I been living under a rock?

I need to get out more.


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  1. Diane 1

    How utterly bizarre! I’ve never heard of vagina dentata ever! I suspect they’d never mention it in schools because kids laugh enough at Medusa and her bad hair day without saying the word vagina!
    Makes you wonder what other scary myths are out there!

  2. Um, Cathy, did we have too many margaritas last night? I hope I don’t have to deal with teeth in my vagina after this mental pause biz. I can barely floss the ones in my head on a regular basis.

  3. It’s just a complete grab bag over here at Noble Pig, isn’t it? One day there’s a recipe for a lovely salad, another day you have wine talk, and then, when you least expect it and are peacefully sipping your first cup of coffee, BAM! Vaginas with teeth. Now I’ll be singing “Maneater” all day (either the one from Flashdance or that new one–maybe both together).

  4. JulenaJo 4

    I’m with Mental P Mama in wondering about the Cinco de Mayo festivities of last night. Part of me wants to cancel my subscription to the blog; the other part of me wishes you were my best friend because I just KNOW I could tell you anything. Anything at all! :)

  5. Meg 5

    CATHY! Seriously? Put the Marg down and back away…slowly…! I have never heard of it…but hey, a lot of people hadn’t heard of that particular bleaching I talked about the other day either! I never know what I am going to get when I get your updates, I love it!

  6. Uh, nope… clueless… have not read the book and have no desire to see the movie…

    But, I do think those teeth would have come in handy every now and then – say, things are not going your way, and you can say to your Vagina, ‘engage teeth’!
    Just a (bad) thought!

  7. Elle 7

    If getting out more means possibly running into vaginas with teeth…I’m staying in! hehehe

    …not that I routinely run into random vaginas, but still.

  8. Jules 8

    This post gives “The Vagina Monologues” a new act…”I love you to bits and pieces” or “let me tickle your pearly whites”!!

  9. Alisa 9

    Ewww. Just ewww…

  10. krysta 10

    I’ve been wanting to see this movie since it came out at some film festival. I know, I know… but at least the idea for the movie is orginal!

  11. I have never, ever, EVER heard of this, but it sounds like something my husband wishes would happen to our daughter. That way no man would ever, ever, EVER touch her.

  12. icgh- I’ve never heard of this. But I have horrible images in my head.

    Maybe I can use this to frighten off a gropey husband sometime, though.

    “Honey, I think my vagina may be toothed.”

    {She then rolls over and engages in a peaceful night’s sleep…..}


  13. hahaha!

    Also, now I have the “Barracuda” song stuck in my head!!!!!

  14. grace 14

    this post definitely got a chuckle out of me, as did most of the preceding comments. i’ll just say that i’ve only recently become able to say the word “vagina” in mixed company without blushing furiously. :)

  15. Ha, ha, ha… I kept waiting for the vagina dentata recipe! I kept thinking what in the heck will she come up with that looks like vagina and teeth! Will it involve hamburger? Will it involve corn? Ha, ha, ha.. loved the post.

  16. Tipper 16

    I must have been under the rock with you-never heard anything like this!

  17. Flea 17

    I have never ever ever heard of that. Ever. Ever. Thank God.

  18. Marcy 18

    Wow vagina dentata… not quite sure what to make of this post. It cracked me up for sure at first. I liked Mythology too, but never heard of this phenomenon. I have heard of , say twins where one didn’t develop and the other has teeth in their head or whatever, but not in their vagina. ouchie.
    Thanks for enlightening me:))
    Looks like you had a good time at your alma mater.

    Now I can at least put a face to name:) Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  19. That’s a pretty big rock, because I’m right underneath it with so many other folks.
    And I’m really grateful there’s no recipe because I don’t think I could serve it to my husband with a straight face!

  20. annbb 20

    If you’ve been living under a rock, I’m living under an entire mountain range!
    I’m with asthmagirl on there being no recipe today. I’d be howling!

  21. Nope, never heard of it.

    And yes, I was hoping you had another gyno story. Those are my very very favorites.


  22. Oh gracious. I was hanging on, snickering and snuffling, until I hit Renaedujour’s comment. “Will it involve hamburger? Will it involve corn?” and I just lost it, little ones. I will be laughing about this for a very, very, very long time.

    I actually have heard of vagina dentata, during a college course about how the MAN kept the woman down for so many centuries. I have to say, VD (coincidence?) was precisely what I thought of when I saw the trailer for Teeth. Then I thought, could you imagine the root canal?

  23. Harmony 23

    I never heard of that, come to think of it…I could’ve gone a life time not knowing it. ;)

  24. Great headline! It sucked me right in! But maybe that’s inappropriate to this content… OK, I’ll go back under my rock now :)

    Excellent post as always Cathy ;)

  25. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  26. Ruth 26

    I have actually read the book, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it… dont worry, the ‘vagina with teeth’ thing is just one sentence, its not the theme of the book.

    havent seen the film, just the trailer. i thought it might be one of those ‘so bad its good’ films that you just watch to make fun of :)

  27. Vonda 27

    I have never heard of this…the closest thing was a good old fashioned chastity belt. Yikes teeth would curb a heck of a lot of teenage pregnancies.

  28. Wow… I guess that’s another spine tingling read I’ve missed while my head was buried in the sand. Where do you come up with these things?

  29. What the hell? I have never heard of such a thing. I am giggling at the thought of it, though. ;)

  30. Uh… that would be a no. Haven’t heard of that one, but I have to admit, I’m glad someone thought of it.

  31. Amanda 31

    I have not heard of the movie or book or the myth. However I have heard of there being Victorian devices along these lines. I believe there existed cylinders that contained metal “teeth” inside and it was inserted into the girl. Although my source is the boyfriend-of-many-factoids, so perhaps all of this is exaggerated.

    PS I just started reading your blog and I love it!

  32. Lolli 32

    I have so heard of that before, once in a book and then the movie. FREAKY!

  33. Harry 33

    Seen the movie. Scary and ridiculous at the same time! Also, one lousy movie. Probably the worst film I have ever seen.


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