[Ads-l] "a red mike" USN/USNA slang

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 22 02:52:16 UTC 2019

It seems to me that many people were less worried about "giving the wrong
impression" than they have been more recently.

In Civil War camps and on the frontier, when women were scarce, "stag
dances" were common.  There wasn't a lot to do, and if music was available,
men would dance lively dances like polkas with men. It was no secret and
was considered innocent, ridiculous fun.

Comic drag shows, in ridiculous costumes, were often put on aboard ship
during World War II. Few seem to have regarded them as anything other than
obvious, heterosexual clowning around.


On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 9:40 PM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> The "Happy Hour" entertainment on the USS Arkansas in 1914 included
> "feminineless tango" lessons.
> Either they were more open than we normally suppose, or they were just not
> as uptight as we generally imagine - or it was the Navy and they simply
> made do with what they had.
> https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2014/04/history-and-etymology-of-happy-hour.html
> ------ Original Message ------
> From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> To: ADS-L at listserv.uga.edu
> Sent: 8/21/2019 6:01:43 PM
> Subject: Re: "a red mike" USN/USNA slang
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: "a red mike" USN/USNA slang
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Homosexuality was so taboo a subject in 1908 that if Annapolis cadets were
> using a special term to refer specifically for gay men, it would
> undoubtedly have been a lot cruder than "Red Mike," and it wouldn't have
> appeared in their yearbook in any case.
> Unless I misread history, "woman-hater," rather like "misogynist," didn't
> ordinarily carry any specially gay overtones.
> JL
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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