In looking at the simile piss like a horse (here), I came across references to the pizzles of male horses (from which copious piss streams, famously). Pizzle — ‘the penis of an animal, esp. a bull’ (NOAD2) — was a word familiar to me from childhood (close to the farm), but not one I see often these days, except in overheated porn writing (in gems like “gets the pizzle drizzlin’ “).

Etymological point: pizzle has nothing to do with piss, which is onomatopoetic. Cultural point: pizzles have a variety of uses, notably as chew sticks for dogs. I’m not making this up.

In pictures: a bull pizzle, at rest, and a horse pizzle, extended:



From Wikipedia:

Pizzle is an old English word for penis, derived from Low German pesel or Flemish Dutch pezel, diminutive of pees, meaning ‘sinew’. The word is used today to signify the penis of an animal, chiefly in Australia and New Zealand.

It is also known, at least since 1523, especially in the combination “bull pizzle”, to denote a flogging instrument made from a bull’s penis – compare bullwhip.

Animal consumption: Pizzles are almost exclusively used/produced today as chewing treats for dogs. They are a fibrous muscle, and are prepared by cleaning, stretching, twisting and then drying. Bully Sticks, as they are commonly called, can be smoked in a traditional smoker and can impart a smoked aroma if done with wood. They can also be sun dried or oven baked. The result is a very hard, 80–100 centimetres (30–40 in) long brown stick, which is then sawed into pieces appropriate for the size of the dog.

Glue: The pizzle of a bull was commonly rendered for use as glue.

Human consumption: In addition to being used as a dog treat, pizzles are also eaten by humans for their health benefits such as being low in cholesterol and high in protein, hormones, vitamins and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Pizzles for human consumption are prepared either by freezing or by drying. Scottish deer pizzles are thought to boost stamina and were used by Chinese athletes at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Pizzles can be served in soup, and if they have been dried they can be turned into a paste. Pizzles may also be mixed with alcoholic beverages or simply thawed (if frozen) and eaten. In Jamaica, bull pizzles are referred to as “cow cods” and are eaten as cow cod soup. Like many pizzle-based foods, cow cod soup is claimed to be a male aphrodisiac.

It appears that the pizzles of commerce (from bulls, horses, sheep, deer, or pigs — whose penises have a corkscrew tip — or whatever) are harvested by penectomy. There are devices for the purpose.

Pizzle Sticks for dogs, from one supplier:


One Response to “pizzle”

  1. John Says:

    I saw them at Chinese supermarkets in the DC area. They weren’t intended as dog food, either. They were — by chance or design — in the freezer case next to the pig uteruses.

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