In today's Family Guy episode, called Seahorse Seashell Party, when Meg was complaining to her mother Lois, her father Peter came to her and whispered something in her ear. Then Meg said:

Meg: (complaining) And you never let dad stir the paint anymore, whatever that means.
Peter: I didn't know you knew that, Meg, but I'm glad you brought it up.

Any idea what does the phrase mean? I guess it's sex-related, but I'm not 100% sure.


So far the answers say that the phrase means to have sex while the woman is menstruating. This sounds plausible and fits, but the answers are backed up by the entry in the Urban Dictionary, which was created right after the Family Guy episode aired. Therefore, I assume people simply guessed what the phrase means and submitted it to the Urban Dictionary and thus I don't consider it to be a reliable source in this case.

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    Although the below post notice is not ideal, it is the closest one we have. Even though this is not a very subjective question, the nature of the now-deleted answers requires that we impose a uniform policy across all answers—one line answers w/o explanation will be deleted on sight.
    – waiwai933
    Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 4:27
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    You can look up stirring. And I think you should be able to guess what the 'paint' is. (If you can't, I'm not explaining it. :)) ...I'm guessing that's what it means, anyways. Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 4:32
  • Can you give the title of the episode?
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 13:05
  • Updated the post, included the EP link.
    – Frantisek
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 13:46
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    What do you bet he knew the answer before he asked? :) I think you can consider that a reliable enough source. People assumed that meaning, although it probably had none, historically. It's very likely, considering the context because Peter's kind of a fiend, and Lois plays into it. Metaphors are made up on-the-fly all the time. It's unlikely you'll find this buried in an ancient book, somewhere. It's probably something a teenager said, somewhere in B.F. Nowhere's Ville, completely out of the blue. Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 11:29

3 Answers 3


The phrase stir the paint is not standard slang. It cannot be found in this UK dictionary of slang, this slang site, this other slang dictionary, or this published dictionary of slang. However, there are similar phrases which have sexual meanings. According to the Cassell's Dictionary of Slang, these are some of the slang uses of stir as a verb:

  • stir fudge--1960s, to perform anal intercourse

  • stir it up--1950s, to masturbate

  • stir one's stew, stir the batter, stir the sauce--1950s+, see stir it up

  • stir shit--go out of one's way to make trouble

  • stir the porridge--1980s, Australia, to have sexual intercourse with a woman immediately after she has had intercourse with another man, esp. used of the final man in a gang-rape

  • stir the possum--to create a disturbance

  • stir the stew--1900-1910s, to have sexual intercourse

So there is a highly sexual connotation to stir that has been around since the 1900s. It seems likely that stir the paint is similarly sexual, although it is not documented before the Family Guy episode aired. Thus it is also likely that Family Guy coined the phrase, but did so based on these preexisting meanings. I would hazard a guess that the "paint" is menstrual blood.

It is similarly possible that stir the paint is not sexual at all, but instead refers to some dynamic between the two parents in which Lois will not let Peter do tiny things like stir paint, but given the nature of the humor in Family Guy I doubt this.

  • So you actually do know Family Guy and have seen the episode in question?
    – Frantisek
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 22:40
  • @RiMMER I haven't seen this episode, but I've watched several episodes in the past.
    – user10893
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 22:41
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    @simchona - good work on the stirring euphemisms. Just one thing to add: The joke works because we have to work out what it means - it's not a widely-understood formulation, and may even be a new coinage. The clue is another euphemism, for a women menstruating: "to have the painters in" - a fairly common euphemism, in British English at least.
    – 410 gone
    Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 21:23
  • I suspect "have the painters in" is primarily British, but both Seth Macfarlane (Family Guy) and Matt Groening (The Simpsons) seem disproportionately fond of "Briticisms", so I'd be pretty certain the allusion was deliberate. Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 16:58

This is a metaphor for a man and a woman having vaginal sex while the woman is menstruating. Because- and only because- Rimmer has specifically requested a more detailed explanation, I'll continue. Consider this fair warning that the following explanation is sexually explicit.

One stirs a can of paint with a stick (in order to ensure that the pigment is distributed evenly throughout, tho that's not relevant to this answer). In this sexual metaphor, the woman's (red) menstrual blood is represented by the "paint," and the man's penis is represented by the "stick." Thus to "stir the paint" is to stick one's penis (the stick) into a menstruating woman's vagina, allowing it to be covered with menstrual blood (the paint).

EDIT: This phrase is highly non-standard; it's a joke rather than a common idiom. If you're looking for usage history or source, I think Christopher's link to the Urban Dictionary is as good as you're going to get.

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    I'm pretty sure this isn't the type of detail Rimmer wanted. What's missing from all the answers so far is a source for this expression - who used it first and where, how well-known is it, that sort of thing.
    – Marthaª
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 19:01
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    Hmm... maybe you're right. The bounty said "The current answers do not contain enough detail" so I was responding to that. As for finding a reference in an American Corpus or M-W's usage history, I think that's a wild goose chase. Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 19:05
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    Well, the main problem I have with the Urban Dictionary entry for this phrase is that it was added/created exactly the same day the Family Guy episode aired and thus I deduce that some people simply guessed what it may have meant and added it there. It may be a long shot, but for this reason I'm not trusting the Urban Dictionary in this special case.
    – Frantisek
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 0:32
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    "The current answers do not contain enough detail." Someone pointed out that my answer was, perhaps, not the type of detail you were looking for. Can you expand on what sort of detail you're seeking, in particular? Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 14:33
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    @RiMMERΨ No I have not heard the term anywhere else. It's not a common idiom. Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 13:24

To stir the paint is to have sex with a woman while she's on her period.

Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=stir+the+paint

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