Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: Boys and Girls - Things you didn't Realise the Other Gender Didn't Know/Get« Last post by MommyPenguin on Yesterday at 12:43:51 PM »
Pigtails only involves pulling half the hair into a band and the other half into another band. Braiding=plaits.
In the UK (to my knowledge at least) pigtails are two plaits on either side of the head.
Since I didn't realise pigtails could refer to more than one hairdo (I've always called the other option "Bunches") I've included an image of what I was referring to:
See (and I'm an editor who works w/ fashion & beauty terminology in the U.S.), those in the pic are *braided* pigtails. A subset of braided pigtails. (and easier to plait than a ponytail would be)
Pigtails are two, either high or low. Ponytail is one. Braiding is a separate thing and can happen with either, but is not required, and must be specified, since the default term refers only to the gathering of the hair.
As for the boys and the different exits--boys use the same exit for both sexual functions and elimination. And if they haven't personally looked closely, they may not know there different passageways. Especially, well, it *is* sex ed, so this is when they're learning.
The way that I had always used the term matches what Toots said. Ponytail is one, pigtails is two, braiding is a separate feature. I'd usually say "braids" to mean two (braided pigtails) and "braid" to mean one (braided ponytail). However, I knew my usage of the terms wasn't universal, because in older writing I'll often see mention of a Chinese man with "a pigtail," and in my vernacular you can't have a single pigtail. I always assumed that to mean that it was low on the neck (what I'd call a "low ponytail"), but I'm guessing that actually what they meant was that it was a low single braid. I've also occasionally seen older books mention a girl in "ponytails." I wonder if there's an American/UK difference, if it's regional, or if it's a changing nature of the word over time thing?
I remember being very concerned, as a teen, about boys using the same exit for both functions. What if the guy really had to , let's say, "eliminate" during Scrabble? Would it go into the woman? Etc. I think I was pretty much fully an adult before I understood about the suppression of one function in favor of the other, etc.