Use of the word m=?ISO-8859-1?B?6Q==?=nages

Fri Jan 30 20:48:15 UTC 2004


Here is the exact sentence from the 1926 diary:

"But twice she asked for ménages from him; wh. I obtained

clandestinely, twice visiting Nyack without St.¹s knowing."

Now, the person in Nyack from whom the diary writer was to obtain the
menages from is a kind of self tutored doctor and yoga instructor who was
known to offer birth control and abortions at his place in the 1920s. He was
also big on internal cleansing and that sort of thing, too.

Does that help?

Thanks again.
Bob Love

On 1/30/04 3:28 PM, "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Use of the word =?iso-8859-1?Q?m=E9nages?=
> At 3:03 PM -0500 1/30/04, Bob Love wrote:
>> In a diary entry from 1926, I have encountered an unorthodox use of the word
>> "ménages" where it seems to be used as a noun, meaning a device or potion
>> used for birth control. (At least that is the meaning I have teased out of
>> the context.) I have been looking for but cannot find a dictionary reference
>> to this slang use of a French word meaning "household."
>> If anyone can shed light on this, I would be grateful.
> Could you provide more of the context in which it occurs?  A "ménage"
> is generally anything that has to do with housekeeping, housework, or
> maintenance, but also with conservation of resources, taking of
> precautions, etc. and I recall that the standard term for
> contraceptive in French is "préservatif", so it's not necessarily
> that much of a stretch, although I can't find a relevant gloss in my
> (monolingual) French dictionary.
> Larry

Robert Love
Columbia University
Graduate School of Journalism
2950 Broadway
New York, NY 10027 at

More information about the Ads-l mailing list