Origin of "flamer"?

Rowan McMullin tryxchange at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 14 18:59:02 UTC 2006

I have a reference to "flame" as a slang term for any venereal disease,
particularly gonorrhea.  Richard Spears' dictionary of slang and euphemism
places this use in the 1800s.  Can anyone confirm or deny this?


On 12/14/06, Jim Parish <jparish at siue.edu> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Origin of "flamer"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Just a side note, but some years back I read a book recounting a month
> or so in the life of Ed Muskie; the word "flamer" came up as describing
> the sort of senator who will not compromise an inch, preferring to "go
> down in flames". (I don't recall which senators were identified as such,
> but George McGovern may have been one of them.)
> Jim Parish
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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