"Making love"

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Wed Apr 10 17:48:44 UTC 2002

On Wed, 10 Apr 2002, Majors, Tivoli wrote:

#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.

Similarly, a "lover" in pre-20c text is not (necessarily) a sexual
partner, but literally one who loves the person, or one who courts (or,
I suppose, is courted). No cites available, sorry.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

More information about the Ads-l mailing list