Sexual meaning of chimney and chimney sweeps in the 18th century?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Mar 29 16:36:52 UTC 2010

A correspondent on another list asks:

>While I have heard that in some places , it was considered lucky to
>see a chimney sweep, and especially lucky for a bride,  I have not
>come across other  sexual connotations of chimney sweeps nor
>chimneys.  Recently, I read a study in  which it was a claimed
>that  chimney sweeping was   18th century  slang for sexual intercourse.
>Have others come across this meaning  in literature? Or sexual
>meanings for chimneys in general in the 18th century?

Of course, sweeping a chimney does immediately evoke the image of
intercourse (my correspondent seems a bit naive), not much different
from the locomotive entering the tunnel in the Leslie Nielson -
Priscilla Presley move ("Naked Gun 33 1/3"?).  But I and she would be
interested in 18th century use.


The American Dialect Society -

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