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7 words for condom in Chinese

We take it for granted, the word "condom," and how simple it is. Two syllables. One word.
China condom hat 2011 06 27Enlarge
A models wears a hat decorated with condoms at the 4th China Reproductive Health New Technologies and Products Expo in Beijing on July 11, 2007. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

Print this one out and keep it in your back pocket. You never know.

Here, thanks to a guy named Carl and his blog, are seven words for "condom" in Chinese:

  • 避孕套 bìyùntào – “avoid-pregnancy-cover” (most common)
  • 安全套 ānquántào – “safety-cover”
  • 保險套 bǎoxiǎntào - “ensurance cover”
  • 阴茎套 yīnjīngtào - “penis-cover”
  • 衛生套 wèishēngtào – “hygiene-cover”
  • 套儿 tàor - “coverrr” (informal)
  • 如意套 rúyìtào – “as-one-wishes-cover” (Singapore/Malaysia)

Interestingly enough, the etymology of the English word "condom" is unclear.

Most people think it came from Latin, but whether it came from "condon" (receptacle), "condamina" (house), or "cumdum" (scabbard or case) is the source of some debate.