"lewd walking"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue May 18 14:08:17 UTC 2010

At 5/17/2010 11:47 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:

>We lived for many years in Framingham, Mass., where mny wife was an memeber
>of the elected Town Meeting. She points out to me that there may well have
>once been a charge of "lewd walking" on the books, that it could have been
>removed in a cleanup some years ago, and that the person making the arrest
>was unaware of the change. Or maybe it counts as an older name for the same
>behavior. There have been a number of such antiquated loaws, some with
>now-quaint names, on the books of the Commonwealth, though none spring to
>this weary mind. (11:46 pm)

Some of the antiquated laws are still on the books of the
Commonwealth, at least according to an article titled "Back and blue"
(Boston Globe, Dec. 4, 2005).  One of these, allegedly, is "wearing
of bone lace, gold or silver buttons" by anyone whose personal worth
does not exceed 200 pounds.  But I have been unable to confirm the
continued presence of this regulation.

As for "lewd walking," I have not yet tried to find this in the
statute books of the colony or province of the Massachusetts Bay.


>m a m
>On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 3:52 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > A Taunton, Mass., city councilor was arrested today for (as I heard
> > it on the TV broadcast) "lewd walking".  I wonder how long that
> > statute has been in the books of the Bay Colony.
> >
> > Disappointingly, the TV station's on-line news item has a different
> > report -- he is "facing charges of lewd and lascivious behavior."
> > http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO141564/
> >
> > There the description of the offending act is "As the two men walked
> > down a path, police said Barbour asked the officer to expose himself.
> > Officers then made the arrest.  Barbour is facing charges of lewd and
> > lascivious behavior."  Perhaps some superior officer decided "lewd
> > walking" would be hard to prove, and changed the charge.
> >
> > I did not find a crime of "lewd walking" in the Massachusetts General Laws,
> > at
> > http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/mgllink.htm
> > but I was amused to see what they had to say about "lewd" in other
> > contexts.
> >
> > Joel
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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