the birds and the bees

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Sep 28 14:37:21 UTC 2011

There is a long essay/review in last week's (I think) TLS on an exhibit at a
London Museum on sexual behavior in man and in other animals.  In the course
of the review, the writer alludes to "the birds and the bees" as the
parental launching pad for enlightening a child about sex.  Oddly, the
writer has the notion that the bees get into the story because of the
sex-life of the swarm -- the single female queen pursued by the bunch of
hrny males, the drones and the worker bees, and so forth.

I note that the expression is not in the OED.  It does appear from the OED
that knowledge of the process of pollination reached the English-speaking
world in 1873, which is liely to be the terminus

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ.
Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society -

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