I have come to the conclusion that there should be a good slang term for “ovaries.”
My reasoning is this: Periodically, I get the urge to say of someone courageous, outlandish, or who simply gives zero fucks, “they have some serious balls” (or some variant). However, when the person in question is female, this is, strictly speaking, incorrect. “Guts” is a frequently-used non-vulgar substitute, but frequently I am using the phrase “serious balls” precisely because I want to be vulgar (usually for emotional effect or as an attention-getter).
Ovaries and testicles are clearly analogous organs, so it seems that any equivalent to “serious balls” should reference them. I have occasionally seen “ovarian fortitude” used as a counterpart to “testicular fortitude”, but again, this doesn’t work well in situations in which both brevity and vulgarity are required. “Ovaries on the outside” is sometimes used, but suffers the same problem as the previous, and also implies that the woman in question is only badass by imitating men (which is both morally problematic and frequently false).
Ideally, such a term would (like “balls”) be single-syllable, and contain short vowels and at least some hard consonants, both to emphasize strength and to be sufficiently “vulgar-sounding” (for lack of a better term). The first obvious strategy is to devise a term based upon ovarian shape, but most terms that would be appropriate are currently in use as synonyms for “testicles” — “nuts”, “stones”, “rocks”, etc. There are only so many English-language terms for oblong spheroids.
The next strategy would be to find a term based upon function. And here I think I may have found an acceptable candidate: “hens”. The term encompasses the main reproductive function of the ovary (“egg-layer”), and is single-syllable with a short vowel. Its only shortcoming is that its consonants are somewhat soft, but this is probably an acceptable drawback.
Tests of the term in everyday language show some promise:
As a compliment after a particularly bold action: “That took some serious hens.”
To someone unreasonably afraid of performing some action: “Oh, grow some hens and just do it.”
Questioning someone’s dedication to a difficult task: “I think you just haven’t got the hens to go through with it.”
As an added benefit, the phrase “grow a pair” becomes useable for either gender.
Thoughts? Does anyone have a better suggestion?