NOOKY at Poundland

On the shelves at the Poundland on the London Rd. in Brighton SX, for £1, this item that Lynne Murphy came across recently:


(#1) She posted her astonishment yesterday on Facebook at finding BLUE PILLS FOR MEN — called NOOKY! — at Poundland, of all places, in there with hair gel and the like

About Poundland. For non-UK readers: Poundland (true to its name) is the UK counterpart to the American dollar store: a huge working-class-oriented retail variety store. From Wikipedia:

Poundland is a British variety store chain founded in 1990, selling most items at the single price of £1, including clearance items and proprietary brands. The first pilot store opened in December 1990 following numerous rejections by landlords who had reservations about allowing a single-price store to operate, fearing it could adversely affect the local competition. An estimated 7 million customers shopped in Poundland every week in 2016, many being female shoppers in the C1, C2, D and E categories (the working classes in a system of demographic classification used in the United Kingdom).

And, yes, they have a sex line called NOOKY, offering lube, a “female vitality supplement”, a “finger fun stimulator”, a “joy ring”, and their house-brand Viagroid pills (above), which they advertise as follows:

Nooky Supplements For Men 2 Capsules: Drive hard and push your potential to the max. Take two pills of these energy-enhancing pills 40 minutes before playtime to stay strong and enjoy sex for longer.

(Given that the capsules are sold by a major retail chain under its own name, they’re probably safe — sex-enhancement preparations, including counterfeit Sildenafil (Viagra, Claritis, etc.), are occasionally dangerous, or laced with amphetamine — but surely ineffectual, though a pound wouldn’t be a big outlay for a good placebo.)

When I was last in Brighton, Poundlands had not yet sprung up everywhere around the UK. Now they’re in three places in the city:


(#1) Central Brighton: the blue bit is the English Channel; and the London Rd. does indeed go north to London (when I first lived in Brighton, it was right on the Grand Parade)

NOOKY. (One of many spellings for this lexical item, but NOOKIE is the major alternative.) From my 4/13/16 posting “nookie”:

Three things about the word: its range of meanings (narrowly focused on sexual matters); its etymology (disputed and unclear, but culturally fascinating [I won’t pursue that here]); and its penumbra of associations, which makes it sound “cute”, so much so that it can be used (albeit still with sexual overtones) in the name of an Australian brand of clothing for hip young women, Nookie Nation (with its cheeky mascot, the Nookie Girl)

… [On the meanings:] The very condensed version, from OED3 (Dec. 2003):

Orig. uncertain.  slang (orig. U.S.).  1. A woman considered as a sexual object. Usu. considered offensive. [1928 on]. 2. Sexual intercourse. [1930 on] [then from GDoS, ‘the vagina’ (1968); and, inevitably, the US gay ‘the anus’ (viewed as an sexual organ) (in the Rodgers 1972 gay dictionary)]

… A variety of elements contribute to the “feel” of the word nookie, prime amongst them the hypocoristic suffix /i/. [also: the noun nook; the AmE kid slang noogie; the food noun cookie] … All of this makes nookie “feel” sweetly racy or racily sweet

The word is coarsely sexual all through its history; there are recent cites of this sort, mostly (though not entirely) from American sources, but there are also “cute” — merely a bit naughty — uses from US, UK, and AU sources. When I asked on Facebook about the connotations of the word, Lynne suggested it was “cute and old-fashioned”; one British commenter specifically wrote, “Branding courtesy of the film scripts for 1970s sex comedies”, and another was reminded of the (British) Carry On comedies (a series released 1958-78). So: appropriately suggestive but not offensive — just about right for mass-market sex paraphernalia.

One Response to “NOOKY at Poundland”

  1. [BLOG] Some Wednesday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky notes the irony of sex pills at an outpost of British discount chain […]

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