"fancy-girl", long antedating 1892-- (OED2)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Oct 8 15:15:30 UTC 2014

Wilson, your logic is hardly impeccable.  That there were black slave 
"kept women" (AKA "fancy-girls") cherished and well-treated by their 
"keepers" does not prove that there were not others who were used 
casually, without affection, and ill-treated.  (I visualize "Twelve 
Years a Slave".)

Or do you think "mistress" can mean *any* woman not his wife with 
whom a man copulates, even casually?  That's not my understanding, 
nor is it supported by the OED in either of its two relevant senses:

5.a. A woman loved and courted by a man; a female sweetheart. Obs.

7. A woman other than his wife with whom a man has a long-lasting 
sexual relationship.


At 10/7/2014 11:36 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

>On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 8:05 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > I suspect many did not rise to the status of "mistresses", particularly
> >
>among those who were slaves.
> >
>That depends upon what you consider the status of "mistresses" to be. Cf.
>Sally Hemmings, fancy-girl of Thomas Jefferson, or, especially, Eliza
>Smith, fancy-girl of Michael Healy and the mother of James Healy, first
>black Catholic bishop in the United States, and Patrick Healy, S.J., first
>black American Jesuit, first black American to earn a doctorate - though
>from the Catholic University of Leuven/Louvain in Belgium and not from any
>American school - first black American to become president of a college not
>traditionally black: Georgetown, whose admin building is named after him.
>Clearly, they could have accomplished none of this, if Michael had
>considered Eliza to be no more than a chick on the side and had, therefore,
>cared nothing about the children begotten upon her.

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