The football commentators were at it again yesterday – referring to ‘testicles’ as groins. They must know better, but some strange shyness comes over them when a footballer gets felled by a ball in the balls. The tv men mustn’t have been reading our website: (http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/mindyourself/) where we tried to help with the words. I wonder what they say at the doctor’s? A lump in the groin is very different from a lump in the testicle – the doctor could be examining the wrong part.
The groin is the fold at the top of the leg, where the leg joins the lower tummy. It is diagnonal, running downwards and inwards. It holds lots of tendons, tubes of blood, a bunch of nerve cables and small lumps called lymph nodes. There is one on each side. Girls have groins too. A ‘groin strain’ is a pain from overstretching the muscles in the groin area.
The testicles are the ball-like things in the scrotum (also called ball-bag, no surprise there). The testicles are very, very sensitive and a thump in the testicles is very sore indeed. For some strange reason, when a man sees a colleague collapse in pain from such a thump, he – the first guy – smiles. I don’t know why this is, but we all do it, even the nice guys. Girls don't have testicles.
The words are straightforward, easy to pronounce and not at all rude. So commentators – let’s hear them.
That said, I remember the great rugby commentator Bill McLaren, describe an incident when a huge Welsh forward was changing his torn shorts at Cardiff Arms Park. His teammates gathered around him, for modesty, or as Bill said “So that he wouldn’t frighten anybody.”