"to ring changes", sexual, 1736

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Apr 5 13:07:16 UTC 2010

At 4/4/2010 09:06 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>So, the reason why the 1736 maid used the expression "ring the
>changes" seems clear.  A full-fledged orgy was about to get under
>way, and "ring the changes" conveyed in a cutesy way all the
>exertion/energy that would soon be expended plus, of course, most
>likely the exchanging of partners.

I would say the exchanging of partners is the primary connotation,
given the four participants, and definitely drawn from bell
ringing.  (The other associations add to the image.)  And for the
exertions, one can read "The Nine Tailors" of Dorothy Sayers.


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