"buttocks," 1920, American English, from earlier British meaning "vulva" (1879), perhaps from the name of John Cleland's heroine in the scandalous novel "Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure" (1748). The fem. proper name is a diminutive of Frances. The genital sense is still the primary one outside U.S., but is not current in American English, a difference which can have consequences when U.S. TV programs and movies air in Britain.
updated on January 09, 2013