[Ads-l] ejaculatory "pop"

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Tue Mar 14 12:30:22 EDT 2017

It was a popular dance in the 1860s. I've done it at vintage dances. 
It's a set dance (I think I'm using that term correctly). General 
description of the dance: 2 lines of dancers facing each other. Top 
couple is active: they take hands, grab hands with lady, circle 2 1/2 
times, when she's facing her space, the top couple raise hands and "pop" 
her back into her place (by pushing her under the arch of their hands). 
Repeat with the gent. Oh, crap, I forgot, the top couple casts off and 
walks down and back up the outside and then back into place first, and 
then there's more walking down and back on the inside after the circling.

I hate this dance. I always screw up the progression because it happens 
at an odd place in the dance. And our practice music was plinky banjo music.

I have no idea if you can find video of the vintage dance on YouTube. 
You might.

---Amy West

On 3/14/17 12:00 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date:    Mon, 13 Mar 2017 21:34:52 +0000
> From:    "Baker, John"<JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
> Subject: Re: ejaculatory "pop"
> Probably the "weasel" doesn't mean anything, in any reasonable objective sense.  "Pop Goes the Weasel" emerged in late 1852 and was an immediate international sensation, starting in Great Britain and quickly moving to Australia and America.  There is some evidence that initially it did not have words, other than the title.  There was broad and early confusion as to its meaning, even as more verses were being written and becoming popular.  This suggests that someone came up with a nonsense phrase, "pop goes the weasel," that matched up to a key portion of the music, then other people wrote words to accompany it.
> If there is a meaning, it probably has something to do with money.  A number of the key verses refer to money, frequently including the key line, "That's the way the money goes."
> Wikipedia suggests the possibility of a connection to a spinner's weasel:  "A spinner's weasel consists of a wheel which is revolved by the spinner in order to measure off thread or yarn after it has been produced on the spinning wheel. The weasel is usually built so that the circumference is six feet, so that 40 revolutions produces 80 yards of yarn, which is a skein. It has wooden gears inside and a cam, designed to cause a popping sound after the 40th revolution, telling the spinner that she has completed the skein."  Interesting, but I suspect it's no more than a coincidence.  I think the protagonist is generally understood to be a male cobbler, not a female spinner.
> John Baker

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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