What is a Banana Hammock

By Matt Collins

Have you ever wanted to know what is a Banana Hammock and where the phrase originated? This article will help you understand this humorous phrase and where it is used in society.

The phrase is used to describe a tight fitting thong, underwear, bikini, Speedo, g-string or swimwear that is worn by men. The phrase can be broken down into two parts. The banana part of the phrase describes the parts of the male gentile, while the hammock part of the phrase describes the actual underwear garment worn. The g-string type of material that is commonly used in the underwear holds the pouch part of the material around the waist (see photo below). As you can see in the picture below, the male package is sitting comfortably in a hammock type of setup.

what is a banana hammock

Uses in Society

The outfit is very comfortable to wear and is perceived as an adventurous and daring outfit for males to wear. The outfit comes in many various forms and is usually worn by confident men who enjoy the comfort of wearing them as well as the bonus of showing their package off.

People’s perception or point of view towards wearing a male g-string vary across different societies.

Thongs and male bikinis have been around for a very long time and are widely used in different societies most notably by:

  • Bodybuilders – used during posing routines in competition’s and photo opportunities.
  • Swimmers – both leisure and competitive racing.
  • Exotic Male Dancers – used for stripping.
  • Sumo Wrestling – the Mawashi is considered to be a rather large version perhaps more like a loincloth.
  • Models – male runway models who showcase the latest lines of men’s underwear.

Origins of the Banana Hammock

The phrase originated from the male thong. The word thong was originally the english name for a thwong, meaning a flexible leather cord. The thong is believed to actually be one of the first items of clothing that were worn by men in the form of a loincloth. The loincloth was most likely used to protect the male parts back in the day. The loincloth has evolved into the thong, jockstrap, g-string, mankini and other popular male underwear.

Uses in Media

The phrase has been made popular in media by various television shows and movies. Lets take a look at some of the comical uses of the phrase used in media.

In the NBC television show Friends Season 10 Episode 14, the character Phoebe learns that she can change her name to whatever she wants. She decides to change it to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock.

Sacha Baron Cohen donned a Mankini in the movie Borat as well as wearing one during the promotion of the movie where he posed in character on a beach in a neon green mankini.

In the television show Scrubs, the phrase has been used widely most notably by the characters JD and Dr. Todd Quinlan (aka The Todd). In one hilarious scene Dr. Todd Quinlan walks into view in his bathing suit while on a beach, JD takes one look at him and responds with the phrase.

Outside of television, Travis Rice who is an American Professional Snowboarder designed a model of snowboard called the Travis Rice Banana Hammock.

There are many other slang phrases used to describe male underwear. Check out this list of some of the more comical ones:

G-BangerUsed to describe a female g-string.
UndergarmentClothes that are worn under other clothes.
Budgie SmugglersAn Australian slang term used to describe a tight fitting swimsuit or Speedo.
Tighty WhitiesA simple white colored brief worn by men.
MantiesPanties that are made for men.
Crotchless PantiesPanties that do not cover the crotch area leaving it exposed. Worn by both men and women.
UndersShort for underwear or undergarment.
GrundiesAn Australian term used to describe dirty underwear, most notably Tighty Whities.
Grape SmugglersVery tight fitting underwear of swimwear that exposes the male sack parts.
ChonesAnother term for underwear.
CacksA Northern Ireland term to describe underwear.
ManssiereA bra for men popularized by the television show Seinfeld.
KnickersA British term used to describe an undergarment or underwear worn by women.
Mankini A type of sling swimsuit worn by men. Popularized by Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie Borat

Your Turn

So now you know a brief history and where it has been used in our society via media. Do you know any funny terms to describe underwear? Leave us a comment below with your favourite slang phrase for both male and women’s underwear.


Matt Collins

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