Let’s have a kiki … in me

(Men’s bodies, clicks, mansex, dactyls, homowear, eggcorns, street talk, and more. Not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Daily Jocks mailing of the 15th, with a studiedly homo-smouldering ad for crop tops from the fetish-wear company Barcode Berlin. Plus a foul derangement of (heavily enjambed) dactyls as a caption.


Kiko the crop-top kid,
Impudent pussy boy,
Butch faggy target for
Amorous arrows — a

mazing for festivals,
Parties with gangbangers,
Mid-drifting kikis with
Quatrains of dactyls

The ad copy (slightly edited):

It’s time to make a statement in one of the latest crop tees from Barcode Berlin.

The mid-drift crop sits at the perfect length and suits multiple body types. The sporty raglan sleeve paired with the lightweight polyester fabric will keep you looking good and feeling great throughout the whole day/night.

Amazing for festivals or parties!

Kiko has fully embraced the Barcode life of butch faggotry, as a crop-top kid. From the alternatives (which I’ll enumerate below), he’s chosen the party-boy Kiki target as his own emblem and identity: he is the target, the possessor of the bullseye ◎ that the arrow of desire seeks to penetrate.

Kiko’s world: crop tops. From postings on this blog:

on 8/2/18 in “Male crop tops!”, an overview of crop tops, with a note on the expressions crop/cropped top/tee

on 8/14/18 in “Butch fagginess” (in Barcode Berlin’s clothes)

(#2) A shirt that conveys both ‘I’m a real man’ and ‘I’m a total slut’

Printed on the crop tops:

Shady Bitch, Kiki, #CANDY, This Boy Is A Bottom, [two unicorns with a rainbow, no words], Get Naked, Cheap & Easy, Bitch, Bear, Fetish, Bitch I’m Fabulous, Love Boys

Linguistic note: mid-drift, mid-rift. From the ad copy above: “The mid-drift crop sits at the perfect length”. The word midriff is an old word with a now-obsolete second part:

noun midriff: the region of the front of the body between the chest and the waist. ORIGIN Old English midhrif, from mid-1 + hrif ‘belly’. (NOAD)

So mid-drift is an eggcorn, an attempt to make some sense out of a word that appears to have the prefix mid– in it. From the Eggcorn Forum (on the Eggcorn Database site), entry 665 Commentary by Lara Hopkins , 9/27/05:

“Mid-drift top” for “midriff top”. I spotted this on a mailing list just now. Maybe the speaker is imagining the hem to be progressively drifting upwards on the torso. “Midriff” in isolation is more or less obsolete nowadays.

Google confirms nearly 6000 examples, including a number of dress code handbooks:

“Thongs, “baggy” pants, mid-drift tops, “spaghetti strap tops”, etc. are not considered safe for school”…

“please forgo any mid-drift tops, tennis shoes, torn jeans, etc.”…

“#3 NO halter, tank or mid-drift tops.”…

“Matching bra or mid-drift tops are available, but are VERY small. ”…

And from Urban Dictionary:

mid-drift: A midriff/belly that is unintentionally visible due to the owner of the midriff’s shirt riding (drifting) up during use. That chick’s rocking some SERIOUS mid-drift. — by Wildbluesun 5/20/14

(Note that both report an attempt to rationalize drift as the second element in the word.)

If not drift, then maybe rift. From the Eggcorn Database on midriff » midrift, entered by me on 8/13/07:

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Analyzed or reported by: Hilary Robinson (link), Paul Brians (link), Peter Forster, calamityjane01 (link)

Suggested to me by Rachel Cristy, 13 August 2007. Earlier reports above.

Brians: “Midriff” derives from “mid-” and a very old word for the belly. Fashions which bare the belly expose the midriff. People think of the gap being created by scanty tops and bottoms as a rift, and mistakenly call it a “midrift” instead. In earlier centuries, before belly-baring was in, the midriff was also the piece of cloth which covered the area.

AMZ: It’s possible that this interpretation is encouraged by viewing the “midriff” pronunciation as the product of final t-deletion.

Kiko’s world: the (squatting-kneeling) posture. Kiko’s posture, kneeling with his legs spread, heels raised, and body vertical, but one leg raised as in squatting or crouching, is designed to thrust his crotch forward as much as possible and to display his muscular thighs (as the bare midriff displays his muscular abdominals).

Kiko’s world: facial expressions and pussies. Kiko’s facial expression in #1 combines an element of impertinence or impudence with one of seductiveness or sexiness. But it’s fairly restrained. Here’s George Michael going all out on these dimensions:


The word impudent, all on its own, moves us towards sex. From NOAD:

adj. impudent: not showing due respect for another person; impertinent: he could have strangled this impudent upstart.  ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense ‘immodest, indelicate’): from Latin impudent-, from in- ‘not’+ pudent- ‘ashamed, modest’ (from pudere ‘be ashamed’).

noun pudendum (plural pudenda: (often pudenda) a person’s external genitals, especially a woman’s. ORIGIN mid 17th century: from Latin pudenda (membra) ‘(parts) to be ashamed of’, neuter plural of the gerundive of pudere ‘be ashamed’.

In fact, Kiko is not only impudent, he’s a pussy:

noun pussy: 1 informal (also pussycat) a cat. 2 vulgar slang [a] a woman’s genitals [that is, her pudenda]. [b] women in general, considered sexually. [c] North American informal a weak, cowardly, or effeminate man. (NOAD)

pussyboy / pussy-boy / pussy boy ‘passive male homosexual, catamite, bottom boy’ (from several sources)

Kiko’s world: let’s have a kiki. Kiko’s shirt in #1 is embazoned KIKI. From my 3/19/17 posting “Sexting with emoji”, about Grindr gaymoji, including this one:


With this explanation:

From Wikipedia:

A “kiki” (alternately kiking or a ki) is a term which grew out of Queer Black /Latino social culture – loosely defined as an expression of laughter or onomatopoeia for laughing, which extended to mean a gathering of friends for the purpose of gossiping and chit-chat, and later made more widely known in the song “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters. [2012] [Scissor Sisters videos can be viewed here and here]


The Kiki world is extravagantly gay, also full of drag displays and general genderfuck.

Kiko’s world: targets and bullseyes. Kiko’s shirt in #1 has KIKI superimposed on a target. A target with its bullseye center. From NOAD:

noun bullseye: 1 [a] the center of the target in sports such as archery, shooting, and darts. [b] a shot that hits the center of a target in archery, shooting, and darts. [c] used to refer to something that achieves exactly the intended effect: the silence told him he’d scored a bullseye.

An archery target with an arrow penetrating the center of its bullseye:


A bullseye is open to many symbolic interpretations — in particular, as an eye, so metaphorically a sign of focus or concentration, as in a mandala, and as an eyelike bodily cavity: the mouth, the vagina, or (as surely intended in #1) the anus (Kiko is a pussy boy).

A linguistic bonus: a version of the bullseye in now Unicode symbol U+0298, used to represent a bilabial click (the sound of a lip smack or kissing gesture)  — in a simple variant here:


and in Times New Roman here:


2 Responses to “Let’s have a kiki … in me”

  1. kenru Says:

    I’m surprised that “midriff” is considered obsolete. I see it written often in books, and even have used it to refer to that area of the body myself once or twice. It does have a connotation of a 6-pack in my mind…I’m not sure why.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Matbe I didn’t say this clearly enough, but I didn’t say that “midriff” is obsolete — it’s in all the dictionaries, without annotation — rather that it’s *second part* (“riff” meaning ‘belly’) is.

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