Antedating of "MILF"

Tyler Schnoebelen tylers at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Feb 25 18:52:36 UTC 2013

My intuition was similar to Victor's--I don't quite see how condescension is
involved. Nor does it seem to be involved in  "DILF" (the male equivalent).
I think the -ILF ending certainly is objectifying (which may or may not be a
problem) since it refers to a person as a target of sex more than as
a...collaborating participant.

I was curious about how condescension might get encoded beyond intonation.
Here are some excerpts from COCA based on a search for "condescendingly". A
few patterns stand out. The categories here overlap, as you'd expect. I
don't have a sense that MILF really fits into them easily.

Taking on a "teacher" role:
- When, at the end, he said condescendingly, "Okay, now Emily, can you name
me the three kinds of..."
- "Every case is a world unto itself," the machine said in a condescendingly
didactic tone..."

The second one also fits in a theme of making totalizing/absolute
- "Nobody has total control, he said condescendingly
- [I think that "condescendingly trite platitudes" may fit here, too]

Veiled or not so veiled insult, minimization, diminutives:
- Condescendingly, Dominican mlmoanes spoke of his efforts as "touching
- "Don't you worry your little head," Hektor answered condescendingly
- ...mightier people than the Mexica, the first people whom the Spanish
condescendingly called Aztec
- Or, more condescendingly, "mere decorative art"

There are also a fair number of condescending smiles and laughs/chuckles.
And some looks/glances.

Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Antedating of "MILF"

This is actually interesting because the description shows that it either
misses the point of the expression or that the meaning has evolved.

In the stated form, it's used in American Pie (Stiffler's Mom). It applies
when a male is speaking about an older women, perhaps a mother of a friend
(think, The Graduate). This certainly exists on its own (this was an
important part of Sons of Anarchy plot in an early season).
But if you look at tabloids, particularly their on-line equivalents (TMZ,
etc.), the expression actually applies to mothers of any age, including
teen-mom celebrities. I am also wondering if "condescension"
is quite the right word to describe the attitude. Objectification?


On 2/25/2013 9:28 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> ...Sutton's discussion on p. 565 ("The acronym MILF ('mother I'd like
> to fuck') is particularly interesting, since it singles out older
> women and expresses men's condescension toward them"). I can send
> either or both of you a .pdf of the article copied from that book.
> LH

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