"merkin" 1682 [not the wig; not "Amerkin"]

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jan 20 15:01:10 UTC 2008

Already in HDAS II.  Yes!!!!!!!

  HDAS also observes that in many cases it is not clear which sense is intended, though this one is quite unmistakable.


"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
Subject: "merkin" 1682 [not the wig; not "Amerkin"]

But the unlucky Dog of a Carver sent them back again two chopping
Girles with Merkins exposed. This enraged the Justice more, and the
Sign was summoned before the wise Court, where they gravely
determined (to keep the Girles from blushing) they should have Roses
clapt upon their Merkins; which is the original of our new Proverb,
Under the Rose a Merkin.

merkin sense 1.a = female pudendum.

J.W. A Letter from New-England Concerning their Customs, Manners,
and Religion. [etc.] London: Printed for Randolph Taylor near
Stationers Hall, 1682. Page 9. [Accessible via EEBO.]

The proverb is in, and only in, Whiting, "Early American Proverbs and
Proverbial Phrases", p. 372; and Miller, "The New England Mind: From
Colony to Province", p. 139 [according to Google Web, Books, and
Scholar]. In ADS-L archives, no mention of "merkin and 1682".

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

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

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