a chicken, a drag and 96

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Sep 19 14:25:26 UTC 2003

On Fri, Sep 19, 2003 at 10:18:28AM -0400, James A. Landau wrote:
> M-W 10 and 11 both date "sixty-nine" as from 1924.  In an apparent violation
> of policy, the first sense is for the number but the 1924 date refers to the
> second sense, that of mutual oral-genital sex.  In any case, you have an
> indirect antedating, via the reversal to "96", of the sexual meaning of "69".
> In 1969 (of course) I saw a book in which mutual oral-genital sex (in this
> case, between women) was referred to not as "sixty-nine" but by the French term
> "soixante-neuf".  Is the French term widely used in English?  (Perhaps among
> lesbians?)  Or (my suspicion) was the author trying to add a high-brow tone to
> what was really a piece of pornography?

OED cites _soixante-neuf_ to 1888, though I think I've since found
earlier evidence. We have consistent evidence for the use of the
French term in English.

Jesse Sheidlower

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