Uncircumcised is a framing term which is still frequently used in a rather irritating way, describing the natural, normal, intact genitals of a human individual. Like most composed words that begin with "un", the word has a negative, abnormal sound. Its use makes one think that the normal state would be "circumcised" which in fact is not the case. Therefore, the IntactiWiki tries to avoid this term as much as possible. The term will still appear in direct quotations from other sources.
The word uncircumcised originated in the Hebrew Bible of the Jews where it occurs 34 times. It is used in a derogatory way to express contempt, scorn, or denigration, especially of the intact Philistines. The uncircumcised were viewed as alienated from God because of their non-compliance with the alleged Abrahamic covenant, a state that was viewed as sinful and unacceptable.
Such derogatory language shows a lack of respect for the person, and so it is inappropriate and unacceptable today. Appropriate terms for the presence of the foreskin are natural, normal, intact and foreskinned.
The un- before circumcised suggests that something has not been done that needs to be done. It suggests that circumcision is needed, so if one does not think that circumcision is needed, then one should not use uncircumcised.
There's a context where the term uncircumcised might be used properly: If a circumcised individual wants to undo their circumcision, they may speak of uncircumcision in a way that indicates that they undergo some procedure of restoration. Then using the term un-circumcised vs. circumcised is equivalent to un-do vs. do which describes reversing an action.
- Goldman R.
Why Not Say Uncircumcised?, Circumcision Resource Center. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
- Gilad, Elon (16 March 2016).
Why Do Jews Circumcise Their Sons, HAARETZ. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
Genesis 17:14, Bible Gateway. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
- Bigelow J (1994): The Joy of Uncircumcising!: Exploring Circumcision: History, Myths, Psychology, Restoration, Sexual Pleasure, and Human Rights. Edition: 2nd. Hourglass Book Pub. ISBN 978-0934061223.