Antedating of "Back Door Man"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 9 12:26:20 UTC 2003

The Historical Dictionary of American Slang has 1969 as its first use for
_back door man_ 'adulterous male lover' (the citation is from Led
Zeppelin's song "Whole Lotta Love").  But Howlin' Wolf released Willie
Dixon's song "Back Door Man" in 1960:

I _am_ a back door man,
Well, the men don't know,
But the little girls understand.

This could be in the sense 'anal sodomist' (HDAS 1972) (probably not the
sense 'proctologist' [HDAS 1962]), but I imagine it's the 'adulterous male
lover' sense.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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