Fwd: Mixed Bathing (East Texas); Mixed Swimming (West Texas)

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Sat Sep 1 14:09:52 UTC 2007

Perhaps people aren't familiar with the term because the phenomenon is no
longer uncommon.  But "bathing/swimming" and "bathing beach/swimming
beach," "bathing suit/swim(ming) suit," "bathhouse/changing room," etc. are
all familiar variants to me.  The only exception I can think of is *bathing
lessons.  And "bathing beauties"?  Terrible term, but very familiar all
through the last half of the 20th century--not so now?

I don't see any of this as a DARE issue though, since I don't think it's a
dialect matter.

At 09:46 PM 8/31/2007, you wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Barry Popik <bapopik at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject:      Fwd: Mixed Bathing (East Texas); Mixed Swimming (West Texas)
>I did an entry on "mixed bathing." See the bottom for contemporary opinions
>of the term. People from other parts of the U.S. are not familiar with the
>"mixed bathing" term as used in Texas.
>  Entry from August 31, 2007
>Mixed Bathing (Mixed Swimming)
>"Mixed bathing" was a term used in England for both sexes swimming together=
>In the 1890s, various groups wanted to outlaw "mixed bathing." In the 1920s=
>there was a strong resistance to "mixed bathing" in many parts of Texas. Th=
>term is mostly of historical interest today, but "mixed bathing" is still i=
>use in some places.
>One source (directly below) claims that "mixed bathing" is used in East
>Texas, and "mixed swimming" is used in West Texas.
>Google Books<http://books.google.com/books?id=3D6Fy9YxOp8FEC&pg=3DPA200&dq=
>*Riding the Wind of God:*
>*A Personal History of the Youth Revival Movement*
>by Bruce McIver
>Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc.
>Pg. 200
>...."What about mixed bathing?" ("mixed bathing" in East Texas; "mixed
>swimming" in West Texas!)...
>7 September 1896, Minneapolis (MN) *Journal*, pg. 7:
>Mixed bathing=97that is, the propriety of men and women bathing together=97=
>whether husband and wife would not do better to take their vacations apart,
>are two of the burning questions in England this summer.
>4 September 1921, Dallas *Morning News*, part 1, pg. 1:
>Ballinger, Texas, Sept. 3.=97In its report here today the grand jury for th=
>fall term of court condemned bathing parties and warned mothers against
>permitting their girls to go in bathing with boys. The grand jury said: "We
>believe that if it is not stopped, or if these bathing parties are not
>accompanied by the mothers of the girls, the grand jury will be called upon
>to investigate some scandal or crime that could otherwise be averted." The
>grand jury returned seven indictments for misdemeanors and five for
>17 May 1923, Dallas *Morning News*, part 1, pg. 3:
>FLOYDADA, Texas, May 16.=97Sunday baseball, Sunday swimming pools and mixed
>swimming parties every day in the week were almost unanimously condemned by
>resolutions adopted at a mass meeting in Floydada in the courthouse at noon
>Saturday by a crowd of business men and a number of women, estimated at
>about 150.
>Google Books<http://books.google.com/books?id=3DsnULAAAAMAAJ&q=3D%22mixed+b=
>*Home to Texas*
>by Stanley Walker
>New York: Harper
>Pg. 110:
>....mixed bathing, which used to be one of Brother mcgee's pet hates.
>22 February 1976, Dallas *Morning News*, "Reliving those great old days in
>Texas" by Lee Milazzo, section G, pg. 12:
>Besides the clear presentation of political matters, the author also
>describes the social life of the region, most of which revolved around that
>determinant, the Rio Grande. In fact, at one point, a decree had to be
>issued against mixed bathing, as this mingling caused "the gravest scandals
>and offenses to God." Solution? Women in the morning, and men in the
>Google Groups: soc.religion.christian<http://groups.google.com/group/soc.re=
>Newsgroups: soc.religion.christian
>From: lc... at andromeda.rutgers.edu (Louie Crew)
>Date: 11 Dec 92 06:40:34 GMT
>Local: Fri, Dec 11 1992 2:40 am
>Subject: Re: Sexuality (was: Re: REFRESH)
>For example, when I went to the world's largest Baptist university back in
>the 1950s, people argued endlessly about such trivia as whether the bible
>allows "mixed-bathing" (I was not from Texas but from Alabama, where they
>phrase implied a bath tub!), ...
>IIIM Magazine<
>IIIM Magazine Online, Volume 3, Number 23, June 4 to June 10, 2001
>One of the taboos of fundamentalists in the deep South is mixed bathing. My
>wife and I, being from California, make no issue over members of the
>opposite sex swimming in the same pool or at the same beach. But when we
>went to Texas, we heard that "mixed bathing" was not permitted in some
>circles. My wife blushed and said to me, "Honey, I m opposed to mixed
>bathing too. Tell me, why would two people of the opposite sex want to take
>a bath together? I think that is indecent." When we found out that "mixed
>bathing" meant "mixed swimming," we had a good laugh. It never occurred to
>us that someone might believe mixed swimming to be wrong.
>What we mean by "sin" and
>To: bishopsdeputies at hobd.org
>Subject: What we mean by "sin" and "sins"
>From: Louie Crew
>Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 17:29:02 -0500 (EST)
>"mixed bathing" (a Texas phrase that referred to swimming, not taking a
>Petaluma Valley Baptist
>*Unity in Diversity*
>*Romans 14:1-23*
>November 7, 2004
>Pastor Tom Marcum
>Last Sunday I told you that I went through an extended period of culture
>shock when I moved to Texas to go seminary nearly 29 years ago.  In fact, m=
>culture shock lasted the entire 13 years that I lived in Texas.
>One of my first experiences with culture shock occurred during an interview
>that I had with a small, country church seeking someone to lead their music
>and youth ministries.  I sensed that the interview had gone very well, but
>just before it came to a close Elmo threw me a curve ball by asking, "Tom,
>what do you think about mixed bathing?"
>"Mixed bathing." I had literally no clue what he was talking about, but as =
>looked at the faces of the committee members I could clearly see that they
>thought it was a very bad thing, indeed.  So, in a burst of bad judgment,
>weak character and immaturity I cautiously replied, "Well, I'm against it."
>And, with that, the committee members let out a collective sigh of relief
>and offered me the position.  And shortly thereafter I discovered that I ha=
>just taken a bold stand against boys and girls swimming together.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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