Fun and games among the Quakers: "Rogerene", 1768; interdates OED (2010) 1754--1784

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Apr 27 19:11:00 UTC 2014

On Apr 27, 2014, at 1:52 PM, David A. Daniel wrote:

> So, hey! Is this were "to roger" comes from?

Apparently the verb derives neither from the Rogeri/enes nor the "rogers" who were "itinerant beggar[s] pretending to be poor scholar[s] from Oxford or Cambridge" but from the (flaming) roger itself, aka the nimble-wimble...

 4. coarse slang. The penis. Cf. roger v.1   Now rare.

1679   T. Kirk Mod. Acct. Scotl. 9   And perhaps Sir Roger follows Mrs Bride to her Apartment,..where he uses..pungent and pressing Arguments.]
1689   R. Gray in P. U. Bonomi Lord Cornbury Scandal (1998) v. 103   Lets pray for the good of our State and his Soul That He'd put his Roger into the Right Hold.
1694   P. A. Motteux et al. tr. Rabelais Wks. I. i. xi. 44   And some of the other Women would give these Names, My Roger, my Cockatoo, my Nimble-wimble, Bush-beater, lusty Live Saucage.
c1863   ‘Philo Cunnus’ Festival of Passions ii. 25   With my right hand, I grasped my flaming Roger.

"pungent and pressing arguments" indeed, but occasionally misdirected


> Subject: Fun and games among the Quakers: "Rogerene", 1768; interdates OED
> (2010) 1754--1784
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Fun and games among the Quakers: "Rogerene", 1768; interdates
>              (2010) 1754--1784
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---
> You must have read of the vast variety of religions and different
> persuasions in practice in this country. I heard the other day of a
> new sect, who call themselves Rogerines, [sic] from their principal,
> whose name is Roger. They run about stark naked, men and women, and
> profess to live in the state of primitive innocence. In this country
> they go into churches and other religious meetings, where they dance
> about in an extraordinary manner, Billy to Betty, and cry out
> constantly, "Who can do as we do, and yet be pure and undefiled?"
> This is a fact; but pray do not read it to any women.
> 1768 Alexander Mackraby, Letter to Sir Philip Francis, 20 January,
> Bristol [Pennsylvania].  In Pennsylvania Magazine of History and
> Biography 11 (1887), 278.  GBooks.
> The article is titled "Philadelphia Society [sic!] before the
> Revolution".  Bristol, Penn., is just across the Delaware River from
> New Jersey, about 22 miles from Philadelphia.  Mackraby wrote "I am
> at an inn, where I put up on my return from a visit to Mr. Franklyn,
> governor of the province of Jersey, to whom I was introduced yesterday".
> "Rogerene" interdates OED3  1754--1784.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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