[Ads-l] Venus Callipyga (and a colleague)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 24 02:19:26 UTC 2021

Don't forget Evelyn "$50,000 [nearly $600,000 in 2019 dollars] Treasure
Chest" West!

On Fri, Apr 23, 2021 at 5:51 PM James Eric Lawson <jel at nventure.com> wrote:

> Mencken's invention, 'ecdysiast' (or 'ecdysist'), gives short shift
> (okay, perhaps shrift) to the esthetic of erotic dance, which like any
> art must aim to produce a static rather than a kinetic emotion in the
> viewer. In the 1948 Supplement II of _The American Language_, Mencken
> observes, somewhat regretfully it seems, that 'ecdysiast' was "denounced
> as snobbish by Gypsy Rose Lee, the queen of the profession, but made its
> way in both the United States and England". He suggests that a 1944
> variant, 'ecdysiste', "apparently suggested by *artiste*", refined the
> term.
> My feeling is that, as long as or even if we're not resorting to
> entomology for an etymological source, the term 'eclosion', "emergence
> from concealment", from French *éclore*, produces the happier and more
> satisfying 'eclosiste' (or if the type of 'enthusiasm' is followed, as
> Mencken originally did, 'eclosiast').
> An anecdote printed in the _Daily News_, New York, 08 Apr 1940 (p 307,
> col 2) fleshes out the motivation behind Mencken's 'ecdysiast':
> ----
>     Georgia Sothern has been pleading with highbrow
> word-wrestlers--philologists and semanticists, she calls 'em--to think
> of a new term for strip-teasing. Having read a book she is quite
> literate and no doubt was able to cope with the letter she got Saturday
> from H. L. Mencken, author of "The American Language." Wrote Mr. M.:
>     "I need not tell you I sympathize with you in your affliction and
> wish that I could help you. Unfortunately no really persuasive new name
> suggests itself. It might be a good idea to relate strip-teasing in some
> way or other to the associated zoological phenomenon of molting. Thus
> the word moltician comes to mind, but it must be rejected because of its
> likeness to mortician.
>     "A resort to the scientific name for molting, which is *ecdysis*,
> produces both *ecdysist* and *ecdysiast*. Then there are suggestions in
> the names of some of the creatures which practice molting. The
> scientific name for the common crab is *callinectes hastatus*, which
> produces *callinectian* [which in this ADS-L context harkens back to
> 'callipygian' in the beauty part, if not the buttock part]. Again there
> is a family of lizards called the *geckonidae* and their name produces
> *gecko*. Perhaps your advisers may be able to find other suggestions in
> the same general direction."
> ----
> On 4/22/21 5:01 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> > In the same day’s paper (at least calculating from the printed
> > version dropped off on our doorstep this morning), we have the
> > semantically not unrelated “ecdysiastical” from an obit for Tempest
> > Storm (not her real name, but apparently a happily chosen one):
> >
> > "Routinely named in the same ardent breath as the great 20th-century
> >  ecdysiasts Lili St. Cyr, Blaze Starr and Gypsy Rose Lee, Ms. Storm
> > was every inch as ecdysiastical as they, and for far longer.”
> > https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/arts/tempest-storm-dead.html
> >
> > Sticking to the adjective and adverb (without stripping down to the
> > nominal “ecdysiast”), a search of the Times archives turns up (at
> > least) two instances of “ecdysiastic” and one of “ecdysiastically”
> > but none of “ecdysiastical”. This may be a “Times first”:
> > https://www.reddit.com/r/NYTFirsts/comments/mvkxnc/ecdysiastical/.
> >
> > OED has no entry for “ecdysiastical”, but helpful suggests I must
> > have meant “ecclesiastical”.  Close enough for…well, you decide what
> >  sort of work. The OED does confirm (correctly?) that the nominal
> > “ecdysiast” tracks back to a 1940 coinage by Mencken:
> >
> > "It might be a good idea to relate strip-teasing in some way..to the
> >  associated zoölogical phenomenon of molting... A resort to the
> > scientific name for molting, which is _ecdysis_, produces both
> > _ecdysist_ and _ecdysiast_.”
> >
> > LH
> --
> James Eric Lawson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

- Wilson
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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