Here‘s the traditional definition and derivation:
fanny “buttocks,” 1920, Amer.Eng., from earlier British meaning “vulva” (1879), perhaps from the name of John Cleland’s heroine in the scandalous novel “Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” (1748). The fem. proper name is a dim. of Frances. The genital sense is still the primary one outside U.S., but is not current in Amer.Eng., which can have consequences when U.S. TV programs and movies air in Britain.
I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with the Fanny Hill idea, but here’s an intriguing little versicle from the edition of El Fandango published in Madrid on 1845/7/15:
Caballero de alto rango
templad vuestro serpentón
para tocar el fandango
a la bella Encarnación.
Or, more or less,
Fine upstanding gentleman,
Prepare your great serpent
To play the lovely Encarnación’s fandango.
The verse is quoted in Camilo José Cela’s wonderful Diccionario secreto (thanks, CB), which tells us that “fandango means cunt.” This news still awaits confirmation by Cela’s great foe, the notoriously conservative Real Academia Española, which notes in several of its older dictionaries that the fandango is a passionate and entertaining dance, popular among Andalusians.
I’m sure that Americans will be able (and want) to explain the intricacies of sexual culture that led “fanny” to mean “buttocks” over there, not to mention Michael “Fanny” Fandango in Machine-Gun Kelly.
I seem to remember once playing a Cajun number called Fresh Fanny, but there’s no need to go everywhere Google does.
- More incompetence from the Real Academia Española
The failure on the part of Romance lexicographers to include common words and meanings (eg bragueta = codpiece) in their bibles
- A spurious demonic etymology of “Andaluz”
Taken from a 17th century play which has the devil fly a student over Madrid and reveal to him its innermost
- Balls of steel?
Or just unimaginative?
- Phoney Spanish gypsy dancers at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York?
The Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901 is now remembered mainly for the assassination of McKinley by a Polish-American anarchist follower
- I had a large farmhouse in the Catalan mountains and I burnt it down
Francesc Pujols’ global taxonomy of women’s caresses.