Since the 1800s, morning glory has aptly named a type of bluish pink or purple flower that opens in the morning and closes by sunset.
— lala-nana (@lalalahanalove) August 27, 2020
Slang, though, saw it fit to repurpose morning glory. In the late 1800s, a morning glory was a horse that performed well in morning practice but performed poorly at the race. This lent itself to other athletes or people who didn’t live up to their potential. In the 1950s, morning glory was a habitual user of drug’s first use in the morning, while in the 1970s, Aussies described “sex upon waking” as morning glory.
Morning glory, as slang for the sort of erection that a man gets while still hitting the snooze button, is recorded in the 1980s. It also goes by morning wood and the alliterative breakfast boner. And for the record, it’s sometimes technically called nocturnal penile tumescence, or NPT, as the full phrase is rather stiff, shall we say. Some sources note morning glory is British slang, adding that the erection is caused by a full bladder—which, yes, is a thing.
The erectile morning glory gains traction in the 1990s in part due to the hit 1995 album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis. The album features the track “Morning Glory,” whose lyrics suggest drug use. Not that that stopped many from making the penis connection …
Another unfortunately named piece of media, the 2010 film Morning Glory starring Rachel McAdams, also renewed interest in the term. That film was about a morning TV show, not daybreak dongs.
Perhaps the most triumphant moment of this term’s history occurred in 2018 when a men’s health startup, Roman, released an erection-tracking app dubbed Morning Glory, earning some media attention. The app was particularly designed for those with erectile dysfunction.