cream-puff inhaler; cake-eater

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 25 14:13:08 UTC 2012

Sounds like BS to me.

A "cake-eater" was a "softy" of a sort easily imagined as attending
afternoon teas, a common university activity of the era. Moreover,
red-blooded he-men were expected to eat muscle-building steaks and
fresh-caught trout, not sweet, debilitating cakes and pastries.

As for "creampuff-inhaler," I too would like to see evidence for its
independent existence.


On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 10:01 AM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      cream-puff inhaler; cake-eater
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> for the context, see this posting:
> commenter "rubberchickencircuit" offers an explanation for two expressions:
> In 1920s slang, a cream-puff inhaler was a straight guy who slummed with
> gay guys, which Mickey is accusing Kat Nipp of being. (Kat Nipp is a
> villain whom Mickey hadn’t met at this point in the story—he guessed the
> gay guy might be him.)
> In the rewrite, a cake-eater was a guy who flirted with unattractive women
> so that he could mooch money or food (i. e. cake) off of them. Also makes
> sense in context.
> .....
> but without a source for this information.  anyone know of a source?
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list