This new show explores why certain words freak some people out…like “vagina”

Have you ever been curious as to why particular words stress you out just by hearing or saying them? Well, you’re about to get educated. The Dirty Word, a new web show from, the website founded by Jill Soloway and Rebecca Odes, will teach us just why some words (“moist,” for example) instantly make us cringe. In the first episode, host and linguistics nerd Amanda Montell discusses the one word she can’t stand: “vagina.”

Montell uses both scientific reasons and pop culture examples to explain the animosity behind the word. For example, she brings up how Grey’s Anatomy executives put a limit on the number of times the word “vagina” was allowed in an episode when there wasn’t a limit on the word “penis.” This resulted in Shonda Rhimes introducing the slang term “vajayjay” on the show. 

Future episodes of the biweekly series will have Montell tackling vocal fry and gender neutral pronouns alongside special guests such as Jessie Kahnweiler from’s other new show, The Skinny. Learn all about the word “vagina” below.