hymen:A thin, elastic membrane stretched partly or completely across the entrance of the vagina (vestibule). It has no known biological function. An intact hymen has long and erroneously been considered the hallmark of female virginity . The presence or absence of the hymen is no proof of virginity or its opposite; the hymen can be broken in the normal course of physical activities when the body is stretched strenuously, as in athletics, sports or exercises. It may be absent, small, thin and pliant, or, more rarely, tough and dense, completely blocking the vaginal entrance; it varies in size, shape and thickness from woman to woman . If it is too resistant to tearing it may require a small surgical incision, hymenotomy , or even removal, hymenectomy , before vaginal intercourse can take place .
There are four types:
-- 1. the annular-hymen , comprises a single large opening ;
-- 2. a septate hymen, has two semicircular openings separated by a vertical fold of tissue in the middle;
-- 3. a cribriform hymen, has multiple small openings;
-- 4. an imperforate-hymen , has no opening . This last type is rare.
ETYMOLOGY: Late Latin hymên , from Greek humên , thin skin or membrane; entered standard English in the 17 th century. Hymen was also the Greek-god of marriage .
SYNONYMS: bean ; bride's-pride ; bride's-proof ; buster ; cherry ; cherry-blossom ; crust ; darling-treasure ; delicate-tissue ; doorkeeper ; flower ; hymenal-ring ; issue-over-tissue ; jewel ; jewel-without-price ; Judys-tea-cup ; maid's-ring ; maiden-gear ; maidenhead ; maiden-ring ; perishable-commodity ; pipkin ; ring ; tail-fence ; tail-gate ; virgin-flower ; virgin head (virginhead); virgin-knot ; virgin-membrane ; virginal-membrane ; virginity .
SEE ALSO: cracked-pitcher ; deflower ; deflowered ; lost-her-honor ; virgo-intacta .
QUOTES: From Encyclopedia of Graffiti by Robert Reisner & Lorraine Wechsler (1974):-- ' Cure virgnity .'-- ' Carry me back to old virginity .'-- ' I'm a virgin , but I'm on the verge .'-- ' Help stamp out hymens .'
See Also: altar of hymen, annular hymen, Are you keeping it for the worms?, atresia vaginae, ballane, bean, bed bugs, bed rite, break, break a cherry, bride's pride, bride's proof, busted cherry, buster, cherry, cherry blossom, cherry girl, cop a cherry, crack a cherry, cracked mortar, cracked pipkin, cracked pitcher, crust, darling treasure, defloration, deflower, deflowering, delicate tissue, devirgination, doorkeeper, flower, hymen, hymenal, hymenal ring, hymeneal, hymenectomy, hymenorrhaphy, hymenorrhexis, hymenotomy, imperforate hymen, intact, issue over tissue, jewel, jewel without price, Judys tea cup, knock off a piece, maid's ring, maiden gear, maiden ring, maidenhead, pachyhymenia, perishable commodity, pick a cherry, pipkin, pop somebody open, ring, sexual aperture, tail fence, tail gate, tailgate, temple of low men, virgin flower, virgin knot, virgin membrane, virginal membrane, virginhead, virginity
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