More on "moist"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Aug 16 14:13:24 UTC 2009

On Aug 15, 2009, at 8:09 PM, Jon Lighter followed up on a report from
George Thompson:
> Just so future ages (if any) be not misled about the history of humor.
> In 1974-75 my next-door neighbor observed that a girl who'd "had a
> good time
> on a date" could tell by flinging her panties against the wall. If
> they
> stuck, she'd had a good time.
> The word "moist" was not mentioned, IIRC.  As old-timey grammarians
> say, it
> was "understood."

no, the *word* "moist" was not (necessarily) understood; what was
understood was a reference to the wetness of female lust (as Alison
Murie put it in a posting a while back).  as i pointed out in my
posting on August 10 (where i reported on some counts of word use in
sexual contexts), "wet" is more frequent than "moist" for such
references, often hugely more frequent.

a new set of searches, in raw ghits:
   makes me wet  62,700
   makes me moist  26,000

   makes her wet  10,400
   makes her moist  1,720

(yes, there's a lot of noise here, but a great many of the hits are
with reference to female sexual arousal.)

so "moist" certainly does occur in these sexual contexts, but "wet" is
the adjective that people pick more often -- possibly because, as a
correspondent suggested to me back in 2007, people tend to avoid
"moist", even in crude talk, as a result of its connotations as an
"unpleasant" word.


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