"textiled" redux: On textilists and naturists

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 2 01:35:03 UTC 2011

In an article in today's Times focusing on certain strands of the CouchSurfing social network-- 
--one particular nudist/naturist refers to her clothed guests as "textilists". While, as we saw earlier, the OED does have an entry for the relevant sense of "textile"--
3. _Naturism._  A non-naturist; spec. one who wears a swimming costume on the beach.
1979    Listener 4 Jan. 20/1   The world's first naturist community‥is up for sale and will probably become a holiday resort for ‘textiles’—the word naturists use for people who keep their clothes on when they could take them off.

1979    P. Vallack Free Sun vii. 85   What would the sign have to do? Alert non-naturists (textiles) that they will see nude bathers if they continue in that direction.

1983    Times 6 July 32/2   The topless generally inhabit the more remote ends of the beach well away from the ‘textiles’.
--there's only one, literal sense for "textilist": 'one engaged in the textile industry; a weaver or seller of cloth'.

Also interesting at least to me is that the OED seems to have endorsed the "movement's" somewhat euphemistic designation of nudism, despite the fact that the first three subentries for _naturism_ involve 
1. 'the belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world', 
2. 'belief in the healing and restorative powers of nature', and 
3. 'belief in or worship of divinity in nature or natural creatures or phenomena', 
while the alternate term of art, _nudism_, unambiguously refers to, well, nudism.  There is a brief comment at the latter entry stating that 'The term _nudism_ is regarded as derogatory by some practitioners of naturism'. This comes up in the article as well.


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