"bee" from buzzing rather than socializing?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Apr 24 13:43:22 UTC 2013

At 4/23/2013 11:38 PM, W Brewer wrote:
>Spinning bee (ladies' (spinsters'?) competition, busy little bees, noisily
>buzzing with activity as in a beehive) ~ quilting bee (communal activity of
>women, quasi-competitive, abuzz with gossip) ~ spelling bee (school
>marm-(~nun)-organized punishment, with students droning on and on,
>endlessly regurgitating alphabetic segments, until the insufferable little
>girl wins and is crowned Queen Bee).

This will have to be cleaned up a little to get into the
entomological allusion under the OED's "bee, n.1" sense 4.  And you
forgot "industrious" -- producing homespun for the civil resistance movement.


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

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