salacious = 'strongly appealing'

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 7 19:54:33 UTC 2012

On Dec 7, 2012, at 2:14 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> Or something.
> Of ginger cookies in Trader Joe's slickly written holiday season ad flyer:
> "That triple dose of this sharp, spicy, salacious root gives the cookies a
> powerful bite."
> Some years I brought up the currently popular use of "salacious" to mean
> something like "entertainingly scandalous." At that time I took it for
> granted that OED included the earlier pop sense "obscene" (def. 2 doesn't
> do it: it's about aphrodisiacs).
> But it doesn't.
> JL

Can we be sure that's not Trader Joe's selling point on their cookies?  (Are they oyster cookies?)

One might think that that "rare" sense 2, 'tending to provoke lust', would be expected to extend to, say, salacious literature (cf. AHD5, sense 1: 'Appealing to or stimulating sexual desire: _salacious reading material_), but there's no relevant cite at the OED entry, not even as a salax legomenon.


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