"Making love"

Majors, Tivoli MajorsT at MSX.UMSL.EDU
Wed Apr 10 16:11:53 UTC 2002

Hi all!

I got a query today from a collegue who teaches 19th century fiction. Her
students are concerned about the use of the phrase "making love" in the
fiction of that era. Today, the students are quite taken aback by the term
because of its link to sexual activity, but my collegue says that in the
19th century fiction, the term was quite innocent with a meaning akin to
"romantic activity" instead of anything sexual.

Does anyone know approximately when this shift in meaning occurred or do you
have any other information relating to this phrase?

As always, any information is much appreciated!

Tivoli Majors
UM-St. Louis, Dept of English

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