As a result of certain circumstances, people often ascribe many kinds of names to things or people for fun and excitement or for the sake of easy recollection and pronunciation.

Discussing issues around STDs is often interesting and sure does catch the fancy of many given the prevalent and ubiquitous nature of these diseases. Whether one is a medical personnel or not, there is always a relatable way to refer to certain forms of STDs other than their formal names which some have even forgotten.

The use of various STD Nicknames have also helped in the awareness of the dangers of STDs; these are carried out by various organizations and governments so that people can easily relate with the message being passed and then, in turn, they can do the necessary things to prevent the infection and spread of such diseases.

Many slangs, pseudo names, and nicknames have stood the test of time (but some have faded due to lack of user appeal or acceptance). For this reason, some colloquial words which date back to the 1930s are still in use and very much recognized as a valid name for reference when the need arises.

Most importantly, STD nicknames show the level at which a society has recognized the existence of a particular disease or infection.

The various STD Nicknames in operation

Many STD nicknames are being used in the world today with a great deal of acceptance. Some are as a result of chance incidents or historical happenstance from specific parts of the world.

The clap

This nickname is affiliated with gonorrhea with a very debatable origin as to its source. Some hold on to the belief that the word originates from ‘claper’ which when translated would mean ‘brothel’ in the Middle-Age French language. Others believe it to be ‘clappan’ which is an old English word that originates from ‘throb’ but is still operative. Whatever belief one holds on to, the mention of ‘clap’ rings a bell when one is said to be infected even without mentioning gonorrhea.

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The great pox

There is no way a disease is being referred to this way in an official circumstance but people have often found their way to describe syphilis with the use of the term. In order to avoid being confused with smallpox, syphilis is being referred to in this manner so as to distinguish itself clearly.

The great imitator

Surprisingly, syphilis is also often referred to by this nickname as a result of its ability to show symptoms that are similar to other venereal diseases.

The drip

The use of this term is also affiliated to gonorrhea which gets its origin from the Greek language. It is a combination of ‘gono’ which means sperm and ‘rhea’ which means flow. The use of ‘the drip’ is a fine way of referring to gonorrhea which many are just so convenient with today.

The clam

Chlamydia is basically a bacterial infection that is described in various ways. Clam, as a word, could be used to refer to the genitals of a female human and since it sounds just like the STD, people often prefer to refer to Chlamydia as ‘the clam.’

The virus

This happens to be the nickname that creates a scare at the mention of its name. This is because of what readily comes to mind when it is mentioned, which is HIV/AIDS.

Upon hearing this nickname, the destruction of the immune system also comes to the mind and what is most feared is the inability to find a cure to ‘the virus’ when one is infected with it.

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The gift that keeps on giving

Of all the nicknames so far, this happens to sound the funniest but what readily comes to mind is the possibility of an outbreak which comes with Herpes as well as the fact that it remains with the patient for the rest of their lives.


This form of nickname is also associated with a parasite known as pubic lice. This is because it lives in the coarse hair of the private part and looks like a crab when under a microscope. Sharing of items like towels could be a medium of transmission.

The mention of the word, ‘crab,’ therefore, takes the mind of the hearer immediately to pubic lice. This nickname is frequently used among many in the world today.

Jesus pox

The use of this word comes with a moralistic practice which goes against the injunctions supporting premarital sex. One is said to have HPV as a result of such practices which, many believe, is a punishment for going contrary to the expected norm of staying chaste until marriage. Other nicknames related to HPV include ‘fungal in the jungle’ and ‘cunt barnacle.’

In Conclusion

Giving various STDs all forms of nicknames does not change their ability to become very debilitating when one is infected with any of them. On the other hand, knowing various nicknames should be an advantage for a person so as to protect against its debilitating and life-threatening effects.