Daily Archives: June 14, 2013


This is a word that involves multiple liquid, licking, and crackling motions of the tongue. Back-front-front-back-front-front; hard, soft, soft, soft-to hard, hard, loose. Look at the shape of the word, oculolinctus: it almost looks like something round rolling while something long and straight comes in to interrupt or touch it. Round o opens and rolls c u, stops again o caught between l and l and then, after that loosens to i, rolls back n c, intercepted at t but rolls a quarter turn further u before finally becoming s – is that stopped, deflated, or spinning?

This is a delectable word to be sure, five syllables, obviously Latin, giving the tongue a workout. But what is it? A jungle cat, a dinosaur, a gastrointestinal disorder, an optical device?

How about something popular among Japanese tweens?

Imagine. How would a Japanese tween say this? It hardly fits with Japanese phonotactics. “Okurorinkutusu”? Hmm. Or maybe a different word altogether.

But how would they say whatever they say when they’re, say, licking another Japanese tween’s eyeball?

Umm-hmmm. Yup. That is what oculolinctus names. The practice of licking the eyeball. From oculo, combining form of the root for ‘eye’, and and linctus, noun, ‘licking’, from lingere, verb, ‘lick’. Why not lingus? Strictly speaking, lingus means ‘licker’; an oculolingus would in the original sense be an eye-licker. (And an oculolinguist? Here’s words in your eye.)

This has just lately shown up in the usual “news of weird things people are doing these days” sites, including the Huffington Post. It seems that the practice is a sort of step beyond simple kissing. According to this story by Ashik Siddique, it has been seen in Japanese manga comics occasionally for a few years (the story has a couple of links if you really want to see), but a video of the song “Spiral Lie” by the Japanese group Born is being named as the prime vector for its current popularity. (If you want to see the oculolinctal act but you don’t like the music, fast-forward to 3:30 in the video.)

Why would anyone stick their tongue in someone else’s eye? I remember a play I read some years ago in which a person does that to remove a speck from another person’s eye. That’s not why in this case. No, it’s erotic, and it’s because the eyeball has lots of nerve endings and thus is very sensitive.

It has lots of nerve endings, of course, to help you keep things out of your eye. Because things that get in your eye can damage it. A tongue is soft, but there may be particles. There may also be viruses and bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis, which is unpleasant, and doesn’t make for good oculolinctus.

Thus, the only tongue I recommend getting in your eye is the Engish tongue, i.e., the language you are reading, or any other tongue in the sense of ‘language’, and getting it in your eye by reading it. If you would to test your lingual dexterity for erotic purposes, may I suggest learning to use words well and seductively, savouring the taste of them, whispering them in the ear… (Imagine the person who thrills you most simply murmuring “oculolinctus” slowly and closely… so much better than doing what it names, no?)

Infecting someone’s ears and mind with desire is much better than infecting their eyes with bacteria.