Why is this question of getting downvoted? Looking at the FAQ, this is at least an etymology question. I was very careful not to ask anything useless or against policy here. Is it off topic here, to ask an questions about English? It is a perfectly useful legitimate question which is clear and answerable. In addition, whoever is downvoting, doesn't explain why or how to improve it if they have a problem with the wording of the question or something.

I don't know if the downvoters (yes multiple downvoters) will feel "threatened" but at least explain why are you doing this? Would you care to elaborate? What's going on?

  • Looking at the patterns here, I expect this question to also be downvoted. – Fixed Point Apr 29 '13 at 1:21
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    On Meta, downvotes indicate disagreement and they don't affect your rep on Main (just in case you didn't know). – Kit Z. Fox Apr 29 '13 at 1:57
  • It might be getting downvoted because of the subject matter. Questions involving vulgarities often invite actual use (rather than mention) of vulgarity. But there are other questions where vulgarities are discussed rationally. So it might be the presumption of the answer in the question, or maybe just the whim of a couple of negative people. – Mitch Apr 29 '13 at 18:14
  • Also, search for 'downvote' and 'no explanation'. It's just not that common. – Mitch Apr 29 '13 at 18:14

I didn't downvote the question, but it's not hard for me to guess what might be going on. The question seems frivolous, and it's not well-researched.

Okay, you've managed to notice that two vulgar slang references to genitals happen to mirror the name (or informal name) of an animal. So what? Two instances hardly a pattern make, so it seems a bit premature to ask about why such terms are "so common" (as I mentioned in my comment, I think #3 is unrelated to the bird, so that one could probably be struck from your list of examples). Moreover, how many other things (besides "dirty" names for body parts) use animal names? What about things that lead us astray, like red herrings, rabbit trails, wild goose chases, and barking up the wrong tree? Why do we talk about crocadile tears and the elephant in the room?

According to your standard, those might be "perfectly useful legitimate questions which are clear and answerable," too, but I wouldn't be surprised if they got downvoted, particularly if I asked about them with little mention or evidence of prior research.

I also believe Kate's answer went to straight to the heart of the matter: with so many slang names for genitals, it might be considered even more remarkable if none of them alluded to an animal.

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    Not to mention that mgb's answer points out the question is General Reference: these words have well documented etymologies which confound the original question. – MetaEd Apr 29 '13 at 23:30

IMHO, yours was a valid question. But it was downvoted because it seemed "trivial," or "obvious" to some. The term "General Reference" alleges "triviality."

What seems "trivial" or "obvious" to a native (American) speaker is often not the case, particularly for someone from abroad.

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