Old words, like new

All this time I thought cuddle parties were a product of the early 21st Century imagination — a hideous but inevitable aftereffect of a decade of ecstasy and too much yoga — but the unofficial Flapper’s Dictionary reveals they were popular back in the 1920’s.

At least people were more candid about the purpose of them then. There was none of this peace, love and understanding bullshit. They were gatherings designed to facilitate fondling and so were called “petting parties.”

A lad who frequented them was a “snugglepup” (or, in 21st Century parlance, “horndog”); a pettable flapper was a “biscuit” (still working on the modern-day equivalent).

Anybody know if the appropriate response to a petting party invitation was, as it is now: “Go fuck yourself, you ridiculous California-damaged ninny“?

Other highlights from the Flapper’s Dictionary:

Butt me: give me a cigarette

Dingledangler: one who persists in telephoning

Finale hopper: Young man who arrives after all bills are paid

They: refers to objecting parents

If you get a kick out of mastering old lingo, check out the BBC’s “linguistic love-in,” in which readers are invited to create a story of up to 150 words including tiddly-om-pom-pom, buzz, Trekkie, sacred cow, and other words that became common in the last century. (Thanks to Kate Guttman and Mick Stingley, respectively.)


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