[Ads-l] 19th C. "screw"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 19 16:18:33 EST 2016


> Whence

I would say the opposite of "whence" (and/or in this case) "hence."

Also, in light of modern usage, I am somewhat skeptical of the nominal
definition, though it can't be ruled out....

JL

JL



On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 3:09 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> FWIW, Farmer & Henley (Vol. VI, 1903) has an extensive entry for _screw_
> in mostly nominal uses (ranging from ‘miser’ and ‘turnkey’ to ‘old or
> worthless horse’ and ‘stomach ache’), among which we find (citing Grose):
>
> 8. (old.) A prostitute: see TART. Whence, as verb = to copulate.
>
> LH
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Dec 19, 2016, at 2:43 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
> >
> > Sexual "screw," v., is attested in the 18th C., but exx. are
> > extraordinarily rare till the mid-20th.
> >
> > Here's a U.S. ex., from 1870-1873, cited by B. R. Burg from the diary of
> > navy petty officer Philip Van Buskirk (_Rebel at Large_ [2009], p.135):
> >
> > "[They say he] screwed his girl twelve times."
> >
> > Sociological note: Van Buskirk writes (p. 135) that the wardroom
> > conversation of mostly upper-crust American naval officers in the
> > mid-Victorian era was largely of "Woman - woman - woman - whores -
> whores -
> > whoring. ...And the language of these recitals!...I have not yet the
> > hardihood to write verbatim any part of the amatory recitals which make
> up
> > the conversation of our officers and their friends."
> >
> > "Drinking and eating" were the remaining non-professional topics
> > (automobiles and CDs not yet having been invented).
> >
> > Cf. my long-ago post about bad language during the Civil War, as well as
> > the recent one about "a sailor without a knife."
> >
> >
> > JL
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
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-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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