back to article Parent power pulls Woolworth's 'Lolita' kiddies' bed

Woolworths has withdrawn a kids' bed from its online tenctacle after campaigning parents objected to the fact it was rather unfortunately called the "Lolita Midsleeper Combi". The outrage was spotted earlier this week by the editor of, Catherine Hanly, who promptly asked in the site's forums: "Am I being …


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  1. Alien8n Silver badge
    Paris Hilton


    So clearly the persons involved have never read books, seen films or watched the news then?

    Surely they should be politicians and not working for Woolies?

    Paris link? Surely Paris would have more clue than these idiots...

  2. Greg

    Oh yes, so appalling...

    I mean, it's not the oddly slutty clothes you dress your kids in, or the lack of supervision, or the poor sex education, or the exposure to a sex/celebrity obsessed culture - nope, it's the name of a bed that'll really fuck kids up.

    Jesus H Christ, some people need to untwist their knickers. IKEA used to (may still) sell a desk chair called a Fartfull and a doormat called a Kolon. Oh noes! Our kids will start shitting by the door!

    Get a life.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    more pc madness

    "Won't someone please think of the children"

    Maude Flanders

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but... won't be buying the film for your children.

    That said I bet nobody complains about Leon showing children that murder is fun and a satisfying way to earn a living. Again, violence is better than sex according to censors.

  5. Mike Crawshaw

    "directed to Wikipedia for enlightenment"

    5 words I never thought I would see in a Reg article...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "how much encouragement does the paedophile community need"

    Yes, if a child abuser is in a child bedroom and said child is asleep in a Lolita bed it's as good as an invitation. Or something.

    Hang-on, does that really say "paedophile community"?

  7. Craig


    This is pretty reactionary isn't it?

    "how much encouragement does the paedophile community need!"

    I'm not sure I even follow this excitable forumer's train of thought. Does the average fiddler think things like "Hmm, I wasn't going to molest any children today, but that Woolworths bed has really got me in the mood?"

    Yes, it is a stupid name for a bed, but the reaction is, um, stupider :)

  8. Neil Jones
    Thumb Up


    I think we should now demand in-store translations of all those Ikea product names to make sure I don't inadvertently buy my wife a "Wanton Hussy" kitchen unit or a set of "Old Slapper" bath towels.

  9. censored

    Be warned!

    Searching in Wikipedia for "lolita" is allowed. Searching in Google might be frowned upon.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "They'd never heard of the word and in fact, neither had I. I had to go on to Wikipedia to find out the meaning of the word"

    He forgot to add, "I am retarded and too stupid to do my job".

    I don't believe a word of it!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I assume that the lolita was a poorly thought out reference to elegant lolita fashion.

    You can keep your stinking goth lolita though - drop the black go for the pink, yellow and blue dresses. It's about looking pretty not like an extra on inteview with the vampire.

    Anyway - ooops.

    Course "Kids imperial era bed" doesn't sound too great either.

  12. Mr Chris

    Thank goodness!

    "The term lolita nowadays refers to a sexually precocious child!!!! taken from the novel and films of the same name. how much encouragement does the paedophile community need!""

    Yes, yes of course. This is just what would tip them over the edge. The child in the "Lolita" bed is saying "come fiddle me, Mr Paedofiddler!", and we all know how paedophiles can telepathically determine the name of the make of a child's bed from a range of anything up to 20 miles.

    Thanks goodness someone is thinking of the children, eh?

  13. Peter Hawkins
    Paris Hilton

    Think that's bad???

    I saw a "Snow White" style bed in my local furniture shed. I went straight to the manager and demanded it be removed. I mean imagine putting innocent children to sleep in a bed themed around a slut who's idea of a good time is to shack up with 7 men she's never met before.

    I was outraged, we must protect our children's innocence....

    Now if you'll excuse me I have to attend to my 10 year old son who can't work out how to use the rocket launcher in Call of Duty 4.

    Paris, because she is the model daughter.

  14. Iain

    Actually, Maude,

    I suspect it's certain individuals "thinking of children" that's the problem. Or at least the way in which they're thinking of them...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    reading rocks

    So these people claim to have no idea about what is one of the best pieces of literature written in the 20th century? Okay. One look at the bestselling books at Woolworth pretty much explains it all... sigh.

  16. Bob


    My favourite part is the reference to encouraging paedophiles.

    "Oh, that kids in a slumberland bed, better leave them alone."

  17. Oli Wright


    "Our aim is to attract a broad customer base of all ages and make every effort to stock items, which appeal to the whole family. However, we also have to respond to customer demands and follow current trends."

    Another fantastic response from cut & paste support. Appropriate response in context, what's that?

  18. Karl Lattimer

    do any of these parents read?

    I don't expect any of them have actually read lolita, or even seen the movie (for the luddite parents which are now common place), there is far too much of an over reactive PC attitude to things like this...

    I'm probably one of the few people that realises that lolita isn't about sexual abuse...

  19. Matt

    They must pay!

    The evil Woolies, naming a bed after a character no-one I asked had ever heard of! They must pay.

    I didn't realise that paedophiles had their own community. I thought the truth of the matter was that most abuse went on amongst friends and family (which is what happens in the book if Wiki is to be believed)..

    Perhaps they should re-name their web site to "Parents in search of the moral high ground to make up for the fact that they don't spend time with their kids" or something. Perhaps a little harsh?

    On the other hand it's a pretty crappy name for a bed, or anything else for that matter.

    While we're banning stuff, could we get rid of Barney the Dinosaur? It's enough to keep you up at night.... brrrrrr.......

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    So they no longer sell Lolita beds but they still sell those "Bratz" whore dolls.

  21. Svein Skogen


    The IKEA examples you are referring to, are results of IKEA not being an English-language company (and no, they do not replace names on things for every country).

    There is a small difference here:

    The IKEA products you mentioned (like various other unlucky names in the past) are a result of multilanguage difficulties. You can add the success of "Nissan Stansa" (In Norwegian that roughly means "Nissan Stopped". And this from the company that used to be named "Datsun", which roughly translates "Fell apart") to your list.

    The Kids-bed, is named after some "smart" person at Woolworth herd a name on the net, and eighter had the idea "linking paedophilia with kids sleeping furniture may be a good sales pitch", or simply didn't check what an almost universal (languagewise) interpretation of the name was.

    And no, I do not think this is a very funny joke. I generally find lack of competence tragic, not comic.


  22. John

    sorry, but i'm with them on this one



    • noun (a Lolita) a sexually precocious young girl. "

    Its just one more inch towards 'normalising' something when its used everyday.


    Do you think that these same people who kicked up about this are the same ones you see dressing there kids as little sluts as you put it, I very seriously doubt they are I have kids myself and the day my daughter gets to dress like a Ho is when she is 18, but I sure as crap hope I am doing a better job to date than she is going to turn out like that. What seems odd to me is that you attack people who it appears seem to have the same baseline view as you? Parents who dress their kids as you mention are really not likely to be the ones that complained imho.

    Maybe this kind of action needs to be supported and then directed at the clothing manufacturers and raising awareness in the parents who do dress their kids 'unsuitably'... but good luck with that one :S

  23. Paul Fleetwood

    "How much encouragement does the paedophile community need"

    I guess they were doing wonderfully at controlling their unpleasant urges until they realised the name given by Woolworth's to the childs bedding

    Then suddenly Paedageddon!

  24. E_Nigma
    IT Angle

    Another Pile of Poo

    Who cares about the name?! It may have not been the best pick, but how does it influence anything? I guess that there's a need to have something easier to remember than R2D2C3P0 printed in the catalog, but past that stage... Does anyone remember the names of the models of furniture they own? C'mon, don't be shy, who's sleeping on top of Sarah every night? lol But I guess that that website whose editor started all this got a bunch of hits lately, therefore - IT.

    P.S. Fartfull, that made my day!

  25. Ash

    This is stupid.

    It's not like they were selling thongs through their online clothes store in childrens sizes.

    I'm looking at you, Argos Extra!

    (Incidently, I know one of the guys who took a grilling for letting that one slip through the net. He gets NO END of hassle for it!)

  26. James Condron


    Another wrote: "I am appalled at woolworths stupidity. The term lolita nowadays refers to a sexually precocious child!!!! taken from the novel and films of the same name. how much encouragement does the paedophile community need!"

    Yeah, theres millions of paedophiles out there scratching their heads saying "Well, now its cool? Yo, Jim! Do we tell people we're OPs? Original Paedos? Is it cool now everyone is doing it?"

  27. Mike Penton

    that reminds me...

    I was told a frozen food company once wanted to call a product 'crispy cod pieces'...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For God's sake..

    Could one of these idiots please explain to my 27 year old friend Lolita why these so called parenting groups are automatically associating her perfectly innocent name with paedophilia. It does actually get used outside of child porn forums in a non-suggestive context.

  29. Sweep


    Why do i find the phrase "how much encouragement does the paedophile community need!" so amusing?

    Perhaps the "community" isn't getting enough encouragement?

    So come on folks, egg on a paedo today!

  30. Mr Chris

    @ John

    "the day my daughter gets to dress like a Ho is when she is 18, but I sure as crap hope I am doing a better job to date than she is going to turn out like that. "

    Adult women have every right to dress however they like, and describing an alluringly attired woman exercising her rights of equality as a "ho" is incredibly sexist. You sexist pig.

  31. Spleen


    Honestly, I think the flagrant stupidity of whoever named a kid's bed 'Lolita' really does outweigh the stupidity of some of the parents' comments. Even the one who believes there's such a thing as a 'paedophile community'. ("Hello Bob, how are you this fine morning?" "Oh, I'm very well thank you Alan." "Going to molest some children?" "Not today, I've got to go to the paedo corner shop to pick up some paedo milk and a loaf of paedo bread, then I'm going to play in the local football match against Necrophiles United.")

    Even if you haven't heard of the book or the film, to have never heard the word 'lolita' in its modern context displays astonishing ignorance. And even if you're unaware of the modern connotation, it's not as if it's a particularly nice-sounding brand name.

  32. Keith McWhan


    I suppose if it was called "ShiteSleepBeGoneBedForKids" (tm) I could understand. If a parent names there kid Lolita should that child be immediately escorted to the nearest blast furnace and incinerated before other kids get lustful looks in their eyes?

    Pants I say. Pants. Big ones too.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Same parents would buy Play Boy pencil cases...

    Judging by the things on sale in WH Smiths and other high street stores (including childrens' clothing), Play Boy merchandise has become a mainstream acceptable thing. How many of those parents who complained have kids which have things with the Play Boy icon on it? Any hypocrites out there?

  34. Robert Long
    IT Angle

    Mixed feelings

    On the one hand, Woolies should have known better and it IS a fairly stupid name for a range of children's beds. But on the other hand, it is just fairly stupid and anyone who starts a campaign about something so utterly trivial needs:

    a) To have their right to vote removed until they can demonstrate a sense of proportion, and

    b) To have their children taken off them until they can show that they are capable of coping with the real world in a sensible manner.

  35. Cameron Colley

    RE: "more pc madness"et. al.

    While the reaction of the parents may be a little extreme -- as has been pointed out, the name of a bed range is hardly likely to encourage paedorasts -- surely you have to admit it's a little disturbing for a child's bed range to be called, in slang terms "sexually active child", One wonders where the person who named this found the name.

    To put it another way -- wouldn't you find it a little distasteful to call a children's bed range "little ho"? For anyone who doesn't think that these terms are anything like equivalent -- I would like to point out that they carried a similar weighting on inappropriate word filter on a couple of corporate email systems I know of -- a quick google search should be enlightening too (but not at work).

  36. Anonymous Coward


    Of course, they could have looked at c**pipedia properly and read the following:

    "Lolita (pronounced /lɒlˈiːtə/ or /ləˈliːtə/; US /loʊˈliːtə/)[1] is a female given name of Spanish origin. It is the diminutive form of Lola, itself a diminutive form of Dolores (Spanish: suffering)."

    Given the quality of many high street products these days, the naming might have been a bit too apt!

    Just because some people have taken to using certain words to refer to something other than the original we have to stop using it, extending this argument, we will therefore have to dispense with all forms of communication (since all methods have been abused) and go back to living in caves (peado's, murders and rapists have all used houses), oh and maybe give up breathing since we might be breathing air that was once used by Sutcliffe, Huntley, West, Hitler, Gengis, etc.

    Rant over - I'll get me coat.....

  37. Mike Taylor

    Might be a language thing

    Apparently "lolita" is an affectionate form of "lola", which is a diminutive form of delores - so if the bed were an import from a spanish speaking country, the name might have travelled with it.

    I'm not hugely surprised that people haven't heard of the book. It probably wouldn't be considered a classic, any more than Lady Chatterley, if it wasn't for the "outrage". I doubt it's studied at school, even at A Level.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Appreciate folk hold different opinions, but try as I might to understand each, some just make me laugh :-)

    In answer to her question, yes, she and those who agree with her, are being overly sensitive, and embarrassing themselves. After all, the name of the bed in the shop is hardly going to turn anyone into a paedo, or send someone who already is into a fit of uncontrolled desire.

    Come on, there are many other, more important things to rail about.

    (That said, the store ought to know there are some strange people about who would get irate over the name, and for commercial reasons they ought to try to minimise upsetting potential customers.)

  39. spezzer
    Thumb Up

    good ole woolies...

    it just goes to show even these corporations are made of humans just like us who make mistakes now and again - its no biggy - just bad taste - but even bad taste is funny ni the right context..

    thanks wollies!

  40. Nìall Tracey

    Remember, folks...

    "I am appalled at woolworths stupidity. The term lolita nowadays refers to a sexually precocious child!!!! taken from the novel and films of the same name. how much encouragement does the paedophile community need!"

    If a cause is supported by one idiot, it does not follow that the cause itself is idiotic.

    Woolworth's actions were tasteless and ignorant. That woman's reaction was merely ignorant.

  41. Alan White


    "Mummy, mummy, timmy fell down a big hole!"

    "I'm too busy writing angry letters about misnamed products to retailers - go wrap your brother in bubble wrap and sit in the fun cupboard until I'm finished"

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sugar and Spice ---> Leather and Lace

    Parents seem to want their kids - especially girls - to be as 'kewl' as possible. This desire seems to be so strong it enables them to suppress the gagging reaction that the rest of us would have to what is obviously very creepy inappropriate behaviour. Most of this stuff is unintentionally forced on the bewildered kids :

    'Look at this Bratz Baby doll, doesn't it look trendy, you'd love one of these wouldn't you Taquisha-Rees? It's much more with it than those boring 'baby wet the bed' dolls"

    We were supprised at kiddy designer clothes, when we saw those toddler beauty pageant videos, a little bit of vomit came up into our mouths. But increasingly more and more inappropriate trends are becoming the norm:

    Bratz dolls

    Bratz babies - WTF totaly warped provocatively dressed babies with make-up and nappies?????

    Make up parties for pre-schoolers

    Miniskirts for toddlers

    Stylists for babies - Joke on "Friends" a few years ago - now a reality

    Spin the bottle board game. - Come on - the main fun in doing this as a kid was because we knew it wasn't allowed.

    And they banned Candy Fags

  43. E_Nigma

    Dear John...

    Where on Earth did you find that dictionary entry?! The phonetic transcription does not follow any known standard. Also, the pronunciation is incorrect and the definition looks like it has been copy-pasted from one of "their" (as you referred to the people who were concerned about the name of the bed) posts. Here's what a proper (Merriam Webster's) dictionary says:

    Lo·li·ta \lō-'lē-tə\ n [fr. Lolita, character in the novel Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov] (1959) : a precociously seductive girl

    It's similar, but not quite as bad. And once again, I agree, not a best choice of name for a little girls bed, but when "they" started talking about this being an encouragement for the "pedophile community", they lost me.

    Another thing, concerning raising children. You said "the day my daughter gets to dress like a Ho is when she is 18". Well, if that happens to be the case, you failed as a parent in my opinion. Being a parent is not about making your child behave properly until it turns 18 by simply maintaining a tight grip on it and then washing one's hands and saying "I've done my job, it's out of my hands now", but about making a decent person for life out of it by teaching it the proper values.

  44. Vulpes Vulpes

    I'm with John too

    If the Times is to be believed, Tescos dropped a similar bollock in 2006, and had to withdraw a home installation Pole Dancing Pole they were advertising in their "toys and games" section.

    If the internet extension of the high street can sell products that normalise the theft of childhood, why can't I order a handgun and ammo from the British Home Stores website or a day's supply of crack from Boots Online?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ash - thongs

    Could not believe this until I googled it. Argos selling thongs and padded bras to 9 year olds. NINE.

    These things are being made because they are being bought, and you can bet it's not pasty middle aged men buying them. It's staggeringly misguided mothers who want to give their little treasures every thing they wanted but couldn't or weren't allowed to get when they were little.

    Padded bras for nine year olds. Beam me up Scotty - this place is f*cked.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward












    Elogent Lolita.

    Gothic Lolita.

    Elogent Gothic Lolita.

    All people are doing is taking a single meaning to a word and applying it to every use fo that word. Even if that particular meaning is based on a somewhat misguided interpretation of the truth (people who havn't read the book Lolita.)

    It's like taking the word Muslim and only relating it to terrorism...

    I'll let that thought linger for a while,

  47. Damian Gabriel Moran

    bed, luxury!

    there were fifteen of us on thinnest edge of razorblade when I were lad and we thought ourselves lucky!

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