So, I looked the word up in Webster. It says, "to render impotent or deprive of vitality". Funny, but clearly not helpful.
So I stalled.
Now, you may be wondering, "You live on a farm, and you raise pigs. How do your children not know that word?"
Simple. We're not real farmers. We get our pigs when they are 40 pounds and well healed from their own castrations.
I explained to him that our pigs are castrated before they come to us. That it is done to protect the taste of the meat. Blah, blah, blah.
Then I just blurted it out.
"They cut off its balls."
I can't believe the words came out of my mouth. I hate that expression. But when my boys say, "I got kicked in the...." that's what they say. I don't know where they learned it. I just know I needed to say something that he would understand clearly.
And did he ever.
His eyes bugged out, there was a long pause, and he said, "How am I supposed to write that?"
I suggested male body parts.
I don't know what he ended up writing.
I'm just grateful that this teacher doesn't require what many other teachers in the school do. Their students have to draw pictures of their vocabulary words.