Precise Citation for Major Antedating of Euphemistic Sense of "Make Love"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Aug 23 03:03:37 UTC 2014

I can imagine a plausible reading here where the writer intended "try to seduce" (as in the earlier sense) rather than "have sex with".  A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but consistent with the older meaning ('To pay amorous attention to'):  Prompted by the goal of gratifying his animal desires, he made love to her and made love to her and finally broke down her resistance. 


On Aug 22, 2014, at 10:03 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:

> make love (OED, s.v. love, n.1 P.3(b), 1927)
> 1883 _Kentucky Opinions_ 12: 21 (1915) [case of Clark v. Phillips]  As a defense to the action he pleaded that she was an unchaste woman, and the fact that she had given birth to an illegitimate child would have been sufficient to authorize the jury to find for him, unless it had been shown that the gratification of his own animal desires prompted him to make love to this confiding and unfortunate girl.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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