Confirmed Bachelor

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Tue Jun 19 20:27:41 UTC 2001

"One of nature's bachelors"--what a wonderful phrase!  And proof again that
our aged mothers (and fathers?) were not altogether naive when it comes to
biology and gender.  As I recall, my mother would refer to someone as "a
little funny"--but she didn't mean it disparagingly or judgmentally.

At 03:53 PM 6/19/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Mark Mandel asks " What is the history and geography of "bachelor"
>or "confirmed bachelor" as a euphemism for "male homosexual"? "
>I believe that my mother used the phrase "one of nature's bachelors"  I
>do not remember the person or people she applied this term to, and so
>cannot comment on whether he or they in fact were, or were by others
>generally taken to be, homosexual.  This is from Connecticut, 1950s,
>spoken by a woman born 1900 from an old New England family.
>I note that a story on the front page of the B section of today's Times
>on life in a monastery quotes one of the monks as saying that if he had
>not joined the monastery he would have become a crusty old bachelor (or
>some similar phrase).  I haven't read the article; the passage more-or-
>less quoted comes from a photo caption or some other eye-catching
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African
>Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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