[Ads-l] Predecessor for "Pussy Bow"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 31 17:41:19 UTC 2018

We discussed "pussy bow" here on a thread during the 2016 campaign when Melania Trump's outfit, replete with a "pussy bow", made the "news" because of speculation on a possible connection between her fashion choices and what was then a recently released tape in which her husband said something about a "pussy".

At the time, I found an early example of "pussy-cat bow" from 1892.

The Grammarphobia blog posted a piece at the time with "pussy bow" from 1908.

I recently ran across an earlier, longer predecessor from 1887, "pussy-cat neck ribbons, with bows".

From a piece on summer fashions in France from 1887, reviewing the fashions seen at a gathering at the British Embassy to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee:

"The same unanimity was visible in the arrangement of the materials around the throat.  High officer collars, Charles IX. cravats, pussy-cat neck ribbons, with bows under the ears, were almost the rule, with only a solitary exception here and there."

Sunday Truth (Buffalo, New York), July 31, 1887, page 3.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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