origin: (unknown) item used as early as 1450s, though not specifically as a word until 1617.
1. a pubic wig; mimicking female female genitalia; originally used by prostitutes to combat lice and hide the appearance of venereal diseases.
→ also possibly donned on stage for modesty's sake, including males portraying females.
→ used in Hollywood films to hide genitals entirely or change their appearance before the onset of popularity in bikini waxes.
2. humor; mimicking President George W. Bush's accent, "My fellow 'Merkins...".