to roger

Jonathon Green slang at ABECEDARY.NET
Sat Mar 17 14:32:51 UTC 2007

Joel S. Berson wrote:
> Byrd presumably picked this up (and, one hopes, nothing else) during
> his youthful frolicks in England (although OED2 has no earlier
> citation).  I wonder whether the eponym was a companion Roger randier
> than William.
Although Byrd indeed gives us the first recorded _roger_ = copulate, the
verb presumably comes from _roger_, the (erect) penis, itrself recorded
since 1653:

1653 Urquhart _Gargantua & Pantagruel_ (1927) vol. I bk. I 44: And some
of the other women would give these names, my Roger, my cockatoo, my
nimble-wimble, bush-beater, claw-buttock, evesdropper, pick-lock,
pioneer, bully-ruffin, smell-smock, trouble-gusset, my lusty live sausage.

_Roger_ is often seen as meaning a bull, which fits these sexual uses,
but the OED offers only the 16C cant _roger_, a goose and a rare
citation meaning a ram (of course another traditionally sexualised


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