“DOODLEBUG” IS ONE OF THOSE quaint old terms that seems to have been around forever, and crops up in the news repeatedly: this past year saw the discovery of an orphaned kangaroo by that name and deep dive on the actual insect. At this point, though, the word can be used for any number of meanings from someone who simply likes to draw, to a person who wastes all sorts of time.
So what exactly is a doodlebug? All of these things.
1. A simpleton or time-waster
The term “doodle” actually dates back to the 17th century when it was used as a pejorative to describe simpletons. Over the next couple of centuries it increasingly came to be used as a verb meaning to waste or fritter away time, and it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that it seems to have taken on the specific association with drawing and scribbling. The term “doodlebug” seems to have arisen in 1800s, initially meant to once again mean, “idiot.” Today, the term has evolved to describe someone who incessantly draws.
2. An actual bug
The other most frequently used meaning of doodlebug is probably as a description of an actual insect. Doodlebugs, as they refer to an actual creature are usually associated with ant lions in their larval form. These squat little bugs, who mostly live in loose sand where they create pit traps, earned their goofy nicknames not because they are thought to be stupid, but instead because of their unintentional drawings. When the (frankly kind of scary-looking) ants move through the sand, their big butts drag behind them, leaving behind scribbly little trails. While ant lions are the most well known as doodlebugs, the term has also been used to describe other insects like pill bugs and some beetles, although this seems to be earned simply thanks to how goofy the nickname sounds.
3. Someone in the business, reputable and otherwise, of locating oil deposits
This usage of doodlebug actually started as an insult but seems to have been coopted as an affectionate name for those bold souls who head out in search of black gold. Dating back to 1940s America, the a “doodlebug” initially referred to devices that were said to be able to locate oil deposits, although in in the day, they were mainly just scams as miraculous oil detecting technology did not actually exist. The snake oil salesmen who peddled such devices came to be known as doodlebuggers. However, as the technology progressed, and more reliable methods of finding underground oil actually emerged, doodlebuggers came to mean people who head out into the wild and use actual methods (usually seismic mapping) to try natural resources trapped underground. It seems to be a much more affectionate nickname today.
4. A World War II-era drone bomb
Long before we were afraid of drone aircraft zooming silently overhead, there was were V-1 flying bombs, otherwise known as “doodlebugs.” This Nazi missile looked like a small plane, but inside was nothing but machinery and death. During World War II, the large bombs were deployed against Britain with devastating effect before countermeasures were developed that made the bomb planes essentially obsolete. The bombs got their misleadingly whimsical nickname from the sound their pulsejet engines as they flew overhead.
Alternately they were also known as “buzzbombs.” The nickname would later be applied to other experimental aircraft as well.
5. A self-propelled rail car
In the early 20th century, short rail lines and tracks that were in light use would employ single, self-propelled train cars that were known as “doodlebugs.” These autonomous cars were a welcome alternative to large locomotives and carriage cars, and often ran on gasoline or electricity. The nickname supposedly popped up when the first of these cars hit the tracks and a rail person described it as a “potato bug” (see above) which morphed into doodlebug.
6. A DIY tractor
From the Great Depression on into the World War II, material resources were scarce in America’s heartland, but that didn’t stop them from working! During this period a specific variety of homemade tractor began to pop up on farms across the country. Generally using old cars as the base, inventive farmers would crop and chop the vehicles into makeshift tractors most often called, doodlebugs (they were also known as Friday tractors and scrambolas, among other names). The conversions became so popular that custom kits even began being sold through catalogs.
6. Brogan Doodlebug: Frank Brogan Offered “Minimal Motoring” in Small Numbers
Minimal motoring” – small, no-frills, basic transportation – has never satisfied the American automobilist. In 1912, a cyclecar craze began in Europe and quickly spread to the United States, where more than 200 manufacturers sprouted and shriveled within 18 months. After Ford stopped producing the Model T in 1927, upstarts like Martin, Littlemac, American Austin, and Bantamattempted to fill the economy car void. But the public preferred large used cars over tiny small ones.
However, as the supply of dependable used cars dried up during World War II, pilot Frank Brogan believed attitudes would change. His B & B Specialty Company at Rossmoyne, Ohio, primarily manufactured a variety of screws, fasteners, and other machine products. But he also created the lightweight Brogan Foldable Monoplane that could be towed from the airport to the owner’s home for garage storage. Later, he designed a motor scooter for his daughter. And in 1944, his wife asked him to design a small car to make shopping tasks easier for women whose husbands took their primary vehicles to work.
So, Frank Brogan crafted a sleek, two-passenger runabout he called the Brogan Doodlebug. It featured a highly streamlined steel body with headlights and windshield posts seamlessly blended in. The topless, doorless three-wheeler measured 96 inches long, rolled on a 66-inch wheelbase, and could be turned around within its own length. With the buyer’s choice of rear-mounted, single-cylinder Briggs & Stratton or twin-cylinder Onan air-cooled engines, the Doodlebug could achieve a top speed of 45 miles per hour and travel nearly 70 miles on a gallon of gas.
Brogan designed the Doodlebug especially for women, so he made sure operation and maintenance were easy. Gear-shifting was automated using a mercury-actuated system similar to fluid drive, which eliminated the clutch pedal. Changing the hidden front tire simply required popping out the grille and unscrewing two bolts. The engine was removed just as quickly—lift the rear deck lid, release three pins, disconnect the gas line, and lift the engine from its position beside the five-gallon fuel tank and battery. Frank Brogan referenced an October 1944 clipping from The Washington Post, which featured Ray Russell’s Gadabout in his patent application.
After photos of the Doodlebug appeared in the nation’s newspapers and popular magazines, Brogan received an average of 200 postcards and letters per month. Requests to buy and distribute came from every state and 20 foreign countries. Brogan hand-built 30 Doodlebugs and sold them for $400 each before realizing he lost $100 on every car he turned out. Tooling for mass production required $150,000 that he didn’t have, so he suspended Doodlebug sales. Instead, he used the same chassis design for the three-wheeled Errand Boy delivery scooter, and developed the four-wheeled Brogan-Truck pickup and delivery van. Brogan-Trucks featured one steerable wheel upfront and three independently sprung wheels in the rear with power transferred via chain to the center rear wheel. The odd configuration eliminated the need for a costly differential. Brogan-Truck prices started at $450, and Frank Brogan sold more than 200 of them. But he still wanted to build passenger cars.
More information on Frank Brogan and his inventions is available from the second link below/
THERE’S no nice way to say this. These are Sydney’s ugliest buildings. Where are Miley and her wrecking ball when you need them?
SIMPLY being old should not guarantee buildings protection from the wrecking ball.
Jack Mundey and his union green bans saved Sydney’s The Rocks area from certain demolition, the result of which would have been a tremendous aesthetic and cultural loss. They saved buildings that meant something.
Now we save buildings of questionable character, and protect others that are downright ugly.
This week’s battle is over the striking Sirius apartments. Too ugly too stay? Too ugly to go?
And there are plenty of other eyesores in Sydney that really shouldn’t be allowed to stand the test of time.
One example is found in Kirribilli. Grounded in the housing shortages of the post-war era are the terrifyingly ugly Greenway Housing Commission Flats on McDougall Street. They are an eyesore for commuters who cross the bridge north to south each day, as deep red brick adds an unfortunate flash of colour to what should be one of the most beautiful commutes in the country.
The oddly shaped footprint was created by left-over public land after the completion of the Harbour Bridge. Perhaps inspired by the equally aggressive design elements in America, the building was completed in 1948 and its style nominated as “functionalist”.
A heritage listing note conveys that the building is “devoid of decorative detailing”. No kidding.
The worst part of the whole debacle, beyond the sad window coverings and slogans that appear in the windows from time to time is that the block appears to have been named after a true architectural genius — Francis Greenway, a convict turned public servant who is responsible for many of the great buildings left to us from colonial times.
There are more modern creations that many believe could be flattened without many tears shed.
Architect Vince Squillace, from the award-winning architectural firm Squillace, wouldn’t lose sleep if the Sydney Tower was dismantled.
“It looks like a plant room at the top of another building,” he said. He believes if it was a third taller, it might not be the eyesore it is today.
“Sydney has a height restriction that should be challenged,” he said.
UNIT BLOCKS: THE HORROR STORIES OF TOMORROW
More worrying for him is the standard of many of the unit blocks being built at breakneck speed today, that will surely be the architectural horror stories of tomorrow.
“Already you can see render cracking, and stains from tiles leeching,” he warned. But back to the bucket on a stick, the Sydney Tower. At 309 metres it’s very tall. You see, there is something good about it. And it does have the Skywalk attraction, and the restaurant, 360 Bar and Dining is really quite yummy. But the architecture is awful, and being capped off with a Westfiled sign makes Sydney appear to be one giant mall.
Blues Point Tower, stands like a lost kid’s building block on the carpet of North Sydney’s beautiful foreshore. It was completed in the early 60s and designed by the revered Harry Seidler. It doesn’t fit, work or enhance the harbourside landscape, and stands as a monument to what might have been.
The backstory to this edifice is that the tower is just one of many that were planned in a high density proposition for the location, but a planning backflip resulted in just one coming to fruition. Over the years there have been calls to tear it down, but in 1993 it was added to a local heritage register. Its saving grace is that the apartments themselves are good, and perhaps the building does tell part of Sydney’s architectural story.
UTS architecture has had a lot of publicity over the years. Most recently headlines were made after the Frank Gehry designed campus was opened to the public. The $180m Dr Chau Chak Wing Building demands a response — as do many of the world’s great artworks. They challenge the audience, they provoke discussion, they take the architectural landscape forward.
Does that make them successful, or even acceptable as part of our city? Here is a building that polarised opinion, from those who decried the wet paper bag aesthetic, to others who felt it was exciting.
At the very least it is a creative diversion from the other buildings in the UTS portfolio.
Who, in their right minds, could admire the brutalism (there’s that word again) of the UTS Broadway building? To say it lacks humanity is to underplay the ghastly functionality so popular in the late 60s.
It needs a makeover, as do so many of Sydney’s buildings, soon.
Warning: Some people might find the following images to be offensive.
It seems like just yesterday that Little Suzy and Bobby were playing with miniature minstrel kits and toy dogs that could smoke cigarettes. Well… maybe not yesterday.
Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign titled “Politically Incorrect Toys,” our eyes have been opened to the ridiculous and highly insensitive world of vintage playthings. From a suspiciously accurate replica of a detective’s gun to a packet of “housewife” necessities aimed at young girls, the project seeks to bring odd relics of our past back into the spotlight.
“This project is a social commentary on how toys have changed over the years and how we, as a society can change our views about what is or is not socially acceptable,” explains Hawaii-based photographer David Murphey, the mastermind behind “Politically Incorrect Toys,” on his Kickstarter page.
“As a country, we’ve made great strides to equality, but at the same time we’ve gone backwards in some ways. We’ve lost the ability to laugh at ourselves and enjoy the individuality in each other. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put aside some of our sensitivities (once in a while) and find humor in our differences?”
Murphey has photographed a plethora of strange (and often shocking) toys, hoping to create a limited edition photography portfolio of all the knick knacks that somehow evaded exile on the Island of Misfit Toys. Scroll through a preview of the portfolio below, but be warned — your eyebrows will likely rise in confusion. If you’re hooked on the idea, you can help fund the project here.
Classic cartoon enemy musclemen Popeye and Bluto haven’t kissed but they have made up in this animated campaign behind Minute Maid orange juice. The two have overcome their differences to such a degree that some in the gay community (and the straight media too, such as Slate.com ad reviewer Rob Davis) have wondered if the sailors are supposed to suddenly be romantic partners.
The two play like school children on a swing, a see-saw, bury each other in sand on the beach, and get tattoos together that say “Buddies for Life.” At the end, they ride a two-person bicycleùpassing usual romantic interest Olive Oyl, who calls out “Oh, boys!” and they ride past her without notice. She offers a confused, if not suspicious, look as they pedal away.
An ironic development for Minute Maid, given the anti-gay “Save Our Children” crusades by former Florida Orange Juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant in the 1970s.
Before the campaign was conceived, Dave Linne, the Popeye ad’s creative director at ad agency Leo Burnett Co says the concept is “the opposite of the clich? of getting up on the wrong side of the bedö where people wake up in a good mood.
Linne came up with about 12 conceptual examples of people acting out of character and being nicer than normal, including an elementary school cafeteria line that resembles a Depression-era soup kitchen — except for one cheery server. Another example has a husband doing “wifely” weekend activities such as laundry and brings breakfast in bed to his wife to her surprise as she wakes up.
They also wanted an example of classic enemies who become friends. “We looked at movie villains and there are so many arch enemies, so we thought, ‘Let’s do an animated spot.’ We looked at lots of cartoon characters and we liked Popeye and Bluto for two reasons: I haven’t seen them in a commercial before, and they’re human characters instead of animals.”
So as they were making the ad, the creative team decided to put Popeye and Bluto in various playful situations. “The only reason we put them on a two-person bicycle was because it seemed so stupid,” Linne says. As they pass Olive Oyl, who Linne notes “is usually the catalyst to make them fight” not even she can get between them this time.
Linne says gay innuendo was not intentional but is intrigued about its possibility. “I think it’s interesting if you can read it both ways. I guess it’s working on all kinds of levels,” he mused.
While Linne seems impressed that his work can be read into by the gay community, the same cannot be said for officials at Minute Maid headquarters. “We’re not going to go there,” says Dan Shafer, a spokesman for Houston-based Minute Maid. “Any intent to draw a (gay relationship) parallel would be wrong. Anyone who knows Popeye and Bluto understands that’s not the case, there’s no intent like that.”
Commercials: Out of the Closet
Is Popeye gay? An ad company using the cartoon sailor’s likeness says no, but the commercial is still being featured on a new site of gay-themed ads.
POPEYE AND BLUTO may be the most recent celebrity couple to be outed by the media.
In a recent Minute Maid orange juice ad, the pair is seen palling around on a swing-set, burying each other in sand on the beach and riding a bicycle built for two as they gleefully pass by a scorned Olive Oyl. They even get matching tattoos that say “Buddies for Life.”
The animated spot, created by the ad agency Leo Burnett, is one of the latest additions to The Commercial Closet, an online museum of gay-themed ads from around the world, which launched Monday.
CommercialCloset.org compiles video clips and storyboard stills of hundreds of commercials featuring gay characters or themes, including several that never made it on the air. The archive includes ads representing 150 different ad agencies and 250 major advertisers, including American Express, Coca-Cola, Nike and the Gap.
Ranging from innocuous to offensive, the ads are grouped into four major categories: positive, negative, neutral and gay vague; and 50 subcategories such as “hustlers/ pornographers/murderers/pedophiles” and “sissies and queens.”
Michael Wilke, a former reporter for Advertising Age, created the site to promote awareness of the “evolution in the portrayal of lesbians and gays in advertising as it reflects the public’s perception of them,” and to raise money for a documentary film he’s making to further explore that theme.
Over the past 30 years, “there’s been an evolution from complete invisibility to popular stereotypes to more neutral and positive portrayals of gays in advertising,” Wilke said.
While there’s an increasing number of gay-themed ad campaigns cropping up today, according to Wilke, it’s still a mixed bag. “There’s definitely an increase in gay-positive ads, but the negative stereotypes continue to be a popular source of comedy in commercials,” he said.
Transgendered individuals in particular almost always end up the butt of the joke in commercials, which earned them their own sub-category in Wilke’s archive, called “(Straight) Dude Looks Like A Lady.”
But not all ads in this category are negative. Some manage to cast transgender characters in funny situations without making them out to be villains or clowns.
A 1996 Australian commercial for air-freshening spray Domestos, for instance, riffs off the cult classic Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, featuring a Terrance Stamp look-alike who asks to use the ladies’ room in a roadside bar. Finding it filthy, she pulls Domestos out of her purse and clears the air. Later she proclaims the bathroom “fit for a queen.”
“It’s not that transgendered people can’t be funny,” Wilke said, “but there’s a difference between laughing at someone and laughing with them.”
Although there may be more gay-themed ads on the air today, there’s a popular misconception in the media about who gay people are and what motivates them as consumers, according to Kathy Renna, a director at the media advocacy organization Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
“There’s the perception that gays and lesbians are very affluent, own three cars and buy 100 CDs,” Renna said. “That’s not reflective of the whole gay community. One thing that is true is that it’s a very loyal demographic.”
Companies with gay-positive reputations include American Airlines, Absolut vodka and Coors, she said.
But while marketing to gays and lesbians is an important priority for many corporations, advertisers and ad agencies must still walk a fine line when depicting them in ads.
Today, ads featuring gay people among other minorities in a happy-people world are relatively safe bets for corporations wanting to project a multicultural image.
A 1994 Ikea ad about a gay couple buying a dining table together, for instance, was controversial as one of the first gay-positive commercials by a major corporation.
Part of a three-part ad campaign depicting people in alternative lifestyles buying furniture -– the other two being a single mom and a white couple with an adopted Asian baby -– the ad was meant to “reflect real life and real people and not the middle-of-the-road all-American family,” according to Kathy Delaney, the executive creative director at Deutsch, the agency that made the ad.
But while homosexuality remains a touchy subject fraught with political correctness, that doesn’t mean advertisers should only approach it with kid gloves, Wilke said. Still, many agencies and advertisers would rather avoid the topic altogether than open a can of worms.
Then there’re companies such as Calvin Klein, Diesel and Benetton that, instead of shying away from controversy, promote a fashion-forward or youth-oriented brand and deliberately provoke people with their ads.
A notorious example is Benetton’s 1992 “Pieta” print ad depicting AIDS activist David Kirby on his deathbed. The emaciated Kirby, surrounded by his friends and family, bore an eerie resemblance to Jesus, which sparked controversy among Christian groups and AIDs activists who were uncomfortable with the religious tone used in association with the disease and, ultimately, to sell clothes.
On the other hand, the ad was also one of the first in many countries to show AIDs in the context of real human suffering and compassion. Although it was singularly criticized, the ad was part of a larger, ongoing campaign for AIDs prevention and awareness that included the distribution of condoms in Benetton stores.
Some companies, by contrast, seem reluctant to acknowledge any controversy their ads may create.
The Popeye and Bluto spot, for instance, is included in the “Gay Vague” category, because the advertiser’s message related to gay people isn’t very clear. In fact, there’s no substantial proof that the two adversaries are in fact lovers, as they are never seen kissing.
In a interview with Wilke, the creative director for the Popeye ad seemed pleasantly surprised at the suggestion that it implied a relationship between the two erstwhile foes, and that the spot was simply meant to show two enemies who become friends, supposedly transformed by drinking Minute Maid orange juice.
Minute Maid, meanwhile, firmly denied that Popeye and Bluto are an item.
“Any intent to draw a (gay relationship) parallel would be wrong,” Minute Maid spokesman Dan Shafer told Wilke. “Anyone who knows Popeye and Bluto understands that’s not the case, there’s no intent like that.”
Ad Report Card: Minute Maid Makes You Gay! (Happy, That Is)
Some months ago the Ad Report Card devoted not one but two installments to commercials that turned on references (oblique or otherwise) to homosexuality. Often the reference served as a punch line of one sort or another, and in some cases I was critical of the way in which this or that advertiser used gayness as a joke. Responses were many and spirited. Some suggested I was being ridiculous, seeing gay themes where there were none. Others, some claiming to have inside knowledge of the ad business, argued I was naïve, overlooking the benign influence of gays who work in “ad creative.” I have no way of checking the latter claim, but both critiques came to mind when a couple of people e-mailed me recently about a Minute Maid orange juice spot featuring Popeye and Bluto. The ad is part of a series, the theme of which is that drinking Minute Maid makes you gay.
As in happy.
Now, some observers have suggested that, in addition to promoting the happy-making power of Minute Maid, the Popeye spot might just be an example of “gay vague,” along with another commercial that I haven’t seen, which is airing in Europe—read this for more. You can see the spots in the U.S. campaign below: the Popeye one, another featuring Bobby Knight, a third about a “helpful hubby,” and a fourth centered on a suspiciously cheerful lunch lady. My main focus is the Popeye spot.
Popeye The ad: Here they are, two of the most famous rivals in cartoondom, playing happily together on a swing and then a seesaw. Popeye good-naturedly pats sand over Bluto on the beach; sappy pal music plays. The pair gets matching “Buddies for Life” tattoos. What’s going on? An announcer says cheerfully: “Somebody had their Minute Maid this morning. It takes a minute, but the feeling”—the unbridled joy and affection we’re seeing here—“lasts all day.” Popeye and Bluto pedal along on a tandem bike. Olive Oyl waves (“Oh boys!” she calls), but they ride straight past, blithely ignoring the object of their traditional erotic rivalry.ADVERTISEMENThttps://39598048fe002d9e70fc861e576fdf63.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
CoachHmmm. Perhaps it’s ridiculous of me to ask, but what exactly is it that’s preventing these Minute-Maid-drunk boys from including Olive in their fun? On the other hand, what is it that makes it inevitable that almost any prominent male pair is inevitably subject to some kind of what-if-they-were-gay speculation—good-natured, homophobic, or somewhere in between? (Perhaps you’ve heard spurious gossip about the relationship between Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Or read my Slatecolleague David Plotz’s exploration of the fan fiction subgenre devoted to the imagined couplings of Kirk and Spock, among others. Or recall a New Yorkercartoon that one of my correspondents remembers, featuring none other than Popeye and Bluto holding hands, having finally figured out “where all that anger was coming from.”)
Bed What about the other Minute Maid spots? You could say that they all play it straight. Hothead basketball coach Bobby Knight, having had his Minute Maid, coddles and dotes on his players, bursting into the post-game locker room to ask “Who wants a treat?” A spot featuring a surprisingly helpful husband has him forsaking football to bustle around neatening things up, heading off to “market,” and setting his iron for chiffon. A chipper lunch lady minces through a school cafeteria asking, “Who wants tiramisu?”
School Anyway, subtext or no subtext, this is a pretty good campaign. All the spots, but especially the Popeye one, are attention-getting and make a clear case for the alleged powers of a morning glass of Minute Maid. The helpful hubby installment is the weakest, but the Bobby Knight one is hilarious. Mushing together grades for all four into one composite score, I’d give them a solid B. When I watch these ads, I feel … happy.
‘Which one is the man and which one is the woman?’ just isn’t cool, says The Guyliner
It’s the 21st century, so there’s a very, very good chance you already have at least one gay friend in your circle – but how do you talk to these most precious and rare of beasts? Will they still understand your banter? Does your chitchat have to be a no-fun zone, packed with PC platitudes and virtue signalling? Well, no, of course not. But if you’re going to be getting tanked up with your ‘mo mates, it might be worth remembering there are some subjects that might make them a little… prickly.
Which one is the man and which one is the woman?
If being a gay guy around straight men has taught me anything, it’s that they’re all secretly fascinated by gay sex. Usually this curiosity manifests itself in fear or suspicion that they’ll catch whatever mythical illness it is that makes you want gay sex, but occasionally straight guys will go on a fact-finding mission. The detailed machinations seemingly beyond them, one of the first questions they’ll ask – and usually the deepest level they’re prepared to go to – is who plays at being man and who is the woman. It’s like the only way they can process what happens is to apply it to what they do. The thing is, when two gay men are doing it, there is no woman present – that’s generally the whole point of it, to be honest – so this doesn’t really make sense. Also, it’s not particularly appropriate to ask anyone what they do in the sack, let alone when you’re steamrolling in there with your clumsy comparisons. Get a gay man drunk enough and he’ll tell you what they get up to. Just don’t wince when he does. We literally get to hear about your ins and outs all the time; your turn now.
When did you first decide you were gay?
It was a beautiful day, a proud day. I’d spent quite a long time planning it all, making sure I’d got everything just right. I scanned hundreds of brochures, tried on a variety of outfits, and listened to mixtapes of Ocean Colour Scene, Kylie, Madonna, PJ Harvey, Guns N Roses and Will Young – just to make sure this was what I wanted. And then I made the decision and my life changed for ever. OK, OK, you’re trying to show an interest, but very few people actually “decide” to be gay. It can be a long drawn-out process marked with self-doubt, worry and disastrous experimentation.
But don’t get the idea that it’s a touchy subject or we don’t want to talk about it. We do, even years after coming out, and most of us will be pleased a straight guy is interested in hearing it, because historically it’s been the opposite. “When did you first realise?” or “What was it like growing up gay?” might be better ways to put it. Calling our gayness a “lifestyle choice” might seem innocuous but it’s an old stealth insult used by terrible old homophobes who like to think gay people are taking over the world and are just being gay to annoy everyone. No.
Do you fancy me?
We’re not dead inside. We may have idly wondered what you might be like with no clothes on and maybe we’ve had an awkward dream about you. But the idea we’re panting and pining over you in the hope that one day you’ll clear your throat, tell us you’ve got something you always wanted to say, and then touch our bare knee – because suddenly we’re in sports gear in some locker room we’ve never seen before and oh wow it’s just like all the movies said it would be – is, frankly, way off the mark. Any man-crush we may have been harbouring vanished the first time we saw you light your own farts or cry because you lost a life on Super Mario.
Can we go to a gay club? I’m dying to know what it’s like
You’re our straight friend and we know you’re brilliant – that’s why we’re friends with you – and we know you’d enjoy yourself and be totally respectful but, and here’s the thing, everyone else in the bar or club doesn’t. They don’t know you and they don’t particularly care, but once you get too many straight guys in a gay venue, the vibe changes and the LGBT+ lot (that’s us) start getting a bit edgy that we can’t be ourselves, that we’re kind of an exhibit for your amusement. So it’s probably going to be a no for now, unless we can sneak you in somewhere relatively anonymously. Sometimes they might make you snog a man to prove you’re gay so you can get in, by the way, and we’re not offering. Don’t get mad this is closed off to you – practically the entire world welcomes you wherever you go. Let us have this.
No offence, but…
As far as I know, preceding something heinous or offensive or homophobic with “no offence” doesn’t stand up in a court of law. There is, apparently, no guarantee available to make sure whoever you’re saying this to won’t be offended. You’re right: life is unfair.
I can’t say anything these days
We live in cautious times, where many are afraid to be lighthearted or risqué in case it offends someone. We don’t want to be the killjoys in any situation, and you forcibly checking your own behaviour and sitting in furious silence because you can’t let rip is sometimes more uncomfortable for us than hearing a few poof jokes. Know your audience, be sensitive if there’s someone new and, generally, take the lead from us. We spent most of our formative years trying to laugh our way out of awkward situations, so we know how to take the piss out of ourselves – just make sure we get to set the tone. And if you really want to say a certain word or talk in a particular way and feel vexed that you can’t “be yourself”, ask yourself a couple of questions: why would you want to say it in the first place, and is this really the “yourself” you want to be?
I’ll kiss you for a dare
Don’t f*ck with us. Don’t use our sexuality as something for your own amusement, our emotions a toy for you to play with and then toss aside, like they’re meaningless. Gay men want to kiss men who are interested in them, who want our precious and passionate snogs – not guys who want to show how “cool they are with the gay thing” or how much of a man they are. If you’re that cool with it, then treat us with respect and acknowledge the fact that if we were to kiss another gay guy in public we could expect, at the very least, some verbal abuse or rancid leering from people who didn’t approve. Like the toilets in The Ivy, our tongues are for customers only – fire up Grindr if you’re determined to snog a stranger.
I hope you’re not going to try it on with me
Maaaaaate, why would we waste all this effort trying to chase after you and recruit you to our cause when there are plenty of gay men out there we wouldn’t have to try anywhere near as hard with? Gay hookup apps have rendered lusting after our straight mates all but obsolete. Seriously, we can’t even be bothered to wank over you any more. Team Straight has nothing to fear – unless you want to star in our new webcam series.
That’s so gay
When you’re using “gay” as an insult, or to describe something as inferior you are, whether you realise it or not, saying that gayness itself is equally inferior. Imagine if your name were Alex and overnight, whenever someone wanted to mock a thing, or signify that it was second-rate, they said it was “so Alex”. You might laugh it off for a bit, but if it carried on, you’d eventually feel like shit, wouldn’t you, Alex? So typical of you, Alex. What a load of Alex. If some of your gay mates use “gay” in this way, that’s very unfortunate for them and everyone else, and they should probably have a think about that – but, either way, it doesn’t mean you can.
I know a gay guy who’d be perfect for you
This is very kind of you, but gay people don’t automatically like each other. In fact, spend a good 20 minutes in a gay bar and you’ll see the reality is quite the reverse. Leave the matchmaking to characters in Jane Austen novels. We’ve probably already shagged him anyway, tbh.
Can you get me some drugs?
When are you getting married?
Just because we can, doesn’t mean we want to. Anyway, your lot have booked up all the best venues years in advance, so we’ll just come to your wedding and get drunk without all the responsibility, if it’s all the same to you.
You can’t tell you’re gay!
When straight people say this to gay people it’s meant to be a compliment, but if you stop and think about it, why is the ability to “pass” as a straight person supposed to be such an honour? Why should we be pleased you didn’t notice? It suggests we should act a certain way so that you can tell us apart from everyone else. It exposes that you have a very stereotypical way of thinking about gay people. And it also hints that our behaviour is all about pleasing, or deceiving you. You can’t tell we’re gay? That’s because you’ve never seen us suck a dick. Are you offering?
From dusty-sandal epic to zany comedy, these LGBTI characters from the Bible deserve some movie magic.
Ruth and Naomi
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o (Ruth) and Oprah Winfrey (Naomi)
Premise: At a time of famine, a mother who has lost her sons finds love, strength and hope in the unlikeliest place.
Plot: Naomi and her family flee to Moab to find food. Her husband and then her sons die. One of her daughters-in-law leaves, but the other, Ruth, refuses to go.
‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’ (Ruth 1:16)
Together they travel to Bethlehem and build a new life.
David and Jonathan
Starring: Channing Tatum (David) and Zac Efron (Jonathan)
Premise: One was the lowly shepherd who slew the giant Goliath. The other was the Prince of the Israelites. Their love would rock a nation.
Plot: David kills Goliath and becomes a great warrior. Prince Jonathan, heir to King Saul, falls in love with him.
They make a ‘covenant’, a sworn, lifelong friendship agreement – more marriage than bromance.
‘Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.’ (1 Samuel 18:4)
They make out: ‘They kissed each other and wept together’.
Saul tries to kill David, fearing he would take the crown. Jonathan repeatedly warns his lover, saving his life.
Saul and Jonathan die in battle. David becomes king and writes the ancient world’s gayest song of mourning:
‘I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.’ (2 Samuel 1:17)
Daniel and Ashpanez
Starring: Jamie Bell (Daniel) and Dev Patel (Ashpanez)
Premise: Babylon. The greatest city on Earth. A slave finds love with his eunuch overlord. Together they will defy the king and win eternal glory.
Plot: King Nebuchanezzer overruns Jerusalem and brings Daniel to Babylon to be his slave.
‘Now God brought Daniel into favor and tender [physical] love with the prince of the eunuchs’, Ashpanez, the man whose job it was to train the slaves to serve the king. (Daniel 1:9)
When Daniel refuses to eat the food the king commands, Ashpanez helps him. Daniel becomes the most ribbed and powerful of the king’s servants and goes on to survive action sequences in a fiery furnace and den of lions.
Jesus and the Beloved Disciple
Starring: Jared Leto (Jesus) and Darren Criss (John)
Premise: The Greatest Love Story Never Told.
Plot: John is one of Jesus’ first disciples and is repeatedly called ‘The Beloved Disciple’. He is next to him at The Last Supper.
‘Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.’ (John 13:23)
At the crucifixion, Jesus tells his mother Mary that this ‘beloved disciple’ is ‘your son’ and tells him that she is ‘your mother’.
Later, he is one of the first to find Jesus’ tomb empty and is visited by Jesus after his death.
The Ethiopian Eunuch
Starring: Morgan Freeman
Premise: Judea. 31 AD. Around about teatime. And it doesn’t take much to save a eunuch.
Plot: An angel sends Philip to a desert road between Jerusalem and Gaza. He comes across a ‘born’ eunuch (gay man or possibly intersex person) who is the treasurer of the queen of the Ethiopians. (Acts 8:27)
When the Ethiopian Eunuch sees some water, he asks Philip to baptize him. But after they emerge from the water, Philip has simply disappeared…
The Centurion and his Lover
Category: Romantic comedy
Starring: Hugh Jackman (the centurion) and Russell Tovey (his lover)
Premise: Boy meets centurion. Centurion falls in love with boy. Boy falls sick. Centurion visits Jesus and asks for miracle.
Plot: Hugh Jackman stars as the beefy Roman Centurion who falls in love with his slave. But when the young man falls sick, nothing will stop him from finding a cure, even if it means humbling himself in front of a conquered Jew, Jesus.
‘Lord, my “pais” [servant or same-gender lover] lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly… I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.’ (Matthew 8:6)
Who would join a club that celebrated the beheading of a 17th century king? Well, rich Londoners it seems…
On the 30th January, 1649, king Charles I stepped out of a first floor window of the Banqueting House in Whitehall (a building you can still see today though much restored) and on to a wooden scaffold. In front of a great crowd, the king’s head was chopped off. This was the culmination of the English Civil War – a bitter conflict between the forces of the king and those of parliament. The latter, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, won. The decision to kill Charles wasn’t taken lightly and followed a trial after which 59 Commissioners signed his death warrant.
When the monarchy was restored in 1660, several of those Commissioners were hunted down and then hanged, drawn and quartered – a slow and dreadful way to die. Any talk of sympathy for the regicides was treason. So it’s rather surprising to find that reports began to emerge in the early eighteenth century of a gentlemen’s club that actually celebrated the beheading of Charles I.
They did this in a rather macabre way. At a tavern in Suffolk Street, a large dish of calves’ heads was served up each dressed in a different way to represent the late king and other royalists who’d died in a similar manner. When the cloth was whipped away to reveal the strange meal, the revellers sang an anniversary song. A calf’s skull filled with wine was then passed around and every man toasted the regicides and their good work.
In 1735, the gentlemen got a little carried away and chucked a bloodied calve’s head out of the tavern window. According to an account titled the Secret History of the Calves’ Head Club or the Republican unmasked, this act – on the anniversary of the king’s beheading, provoked a riot. At least that was the widely circulated version of events.
Lord Middlesex, who was one of the revellers, wrote an indignant letter to a friend of his, Mr Spence, who he referred to playfully as “Spanco”. According to his lordship, there was indeed a drunken party and the gentlemen even made a bonfire outside the tavern door for a bit of fun. But they suddenly realised that such an act on the 30th January would make it look as if they were celebrating the execution of Charles I, which they definitely weren’t, he wrote.
However, a mob of royalist Londoners was not so easily convinced and gathered round the tavern to rain rocks through the windows for an hour . To try and fend off the mob, the party shouted “The King, Queen and Royal Family!” Only the arrival of some soldiers saved the gathering from getting their heads bloodied. After that incident, we don’t hear about the Calves Head Club again.
From the web site of Pascal Bonenfant
THE CALVES’ HEAD CLUB
The Calves’ Head Club, in “ridicule of the memory of Charles I.,” has a strange history. It is first noticed in a tract reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany. It is entitled “The Secret History of the Calves’ Head Club; or the Republican unmasked. Wherein is fully shown the Religion of the Calves’ Head Heroes, in their Anniversary Thanksgiving Songs on the 30th of January, by them called Anthems, for the years 1693, 1694, 1695, 1696, 1697. Now published to demonstrate the restless implacable Spirit of a certain party still amongst us, who are never to be satisfied until the present Establishment in Church and State is subverted. The Second Edition. London, 1703.” The Author of this Secret History, supposed to be Ned Ward, attributed the origin of the Club to Milton, and some other friends of the Commonwealth, in opposition to Bishop Nixon, Dr. Sanderson, and others, who met privately every 30th of January, and compiled a private form of service for the day, not very different from that long used. “After the Restoration,” says the writer, “the eyes of the government being upon the whole party, they were obliged to meet with a great deal of precaution; but in the reign of King William they met almost in a public manner, apprehending no danger.” The writer further tells us, he was informed that it was kept in no fixed house, but that they moved as they thought convenient. The place where they met when his informant was with them was in a blind alley near Moorfields, where an axe hung up in the club-room, and was reverenced as a principal symbol in this diabolical sacrament. Their bill of fare was a large dish of calves’ heads, dressed several ways, by which they represented the king and his friends who had suffered in his cause; a large pike, with a small one in his mouth, as an emblem of tyranny; a large cod’s head, by which they intended to represent the person of the king singly; a boar’s head with an apple in its mouth, to represent the king by this as bestial, as by their other hieroglyphics they had done foolish and tyrannical. After the repast was over, one of their elders presented an Icon Basilike, which was with great solemnity burnt upon the table, whilst the other anthems were singing. After this, another produced Milton’s Defensio Populi Anglicani, upon which all laid their hands, and made a protestation in form of an oath for ever to stand by and maintain the same. The company only consisted of Independents and Anabaptists; and the famous Jeremy White, formerly chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, who no doubt came to sanctify with his pious exhortations the ribaldry of the day, said grace. After the table-cloth was removed, the anniversary anthem, as they impiously called it, was sung, and a calf’s skull filled with wine, or other liquor; and then a brimmer went about to the pious memory of those worthy patriots who had killed the tyrant and relieved their country from his arbitrary sway: and, lastly, a collection was made for the mercenary scribbler, to which every man contributed according to his zeal for the cause and ability of his purse.
The tract passed, with many augmentations as valueless as the original trash, through no less than nine editions, the last dated 1716. Indeed, it would appear to be a literary fraud, to keep alive the calumny. All the evidence produced concerning the meetings is from hearsay: the writer of the Secret History had never himself been present at the Club; and his friend from whom he professes to have received his information, though a Whig, had no personal knowledge of the Club. The slanderous rumour about Milton having to do with the institution of the Club may be passed over as unworthy of notice, this untrustworthy tract being the only authority for it. Lowndes says, “this miserable tract has been attributed to the author of Hudibras;” but it is altogether unworthy of him.
Observances, insulting to the memory of Charles I., were not altogether unknown. Hearne tells us that on the 30th of January, 1706-7, some young men in All Souls College, Oxford, dined together at twelve o’clock, and amused themselves with cutting off the heads of a number of woodcocks, “in contempt of the memory of the blessed martyr.” They tried to get calves’-heads, but the cook refused to dress them.
Some thirty years after, there occurred a scene which seemed to give colour to the truth of the Secret History. On January 30, 1735, “Some young noblemen and gentlemen met at a tavern in Suffolk-street, called themselves the Calves’ Head Club, dressed up a calf’s head in a napkin, and after some hurras threw it into a bonfire, and dipped napkins in their red wine and waved them out of the window. The mob had strong beer given them, and for a time hallooed as well as the best, but taking disgust at some healths proposed, grew so outrageous that they broke all the windows, and forced themselves into the house; but the guards being sent for, prevented further mischief. The Weekly Chronicle of February 1, 1735, states that the damage was estimated at ‘some hundred pounds,’ and that the guards were posted all night in the street, for the security of the neighbourhood.”
In L’Abbé Le Blanc’s Letters we find this account of the affair:—”Some young men of quality chose to abandon themselves to the debauchery of drinking healths on the 30th of January, a day appointed by the Church of England for a general fast, to expiate the murder of Charles I., whom they honour as a martyr. As soon as they were heated with wine, they began to sing. This gave great offence to the people, who stopped before the tavern, and gave them abusive language. One of these rash young men put his head out of the window and drank to the memory of the army which dethroned this King, and to the rebels which cut off his head upon a scaffold. The stones immediately flew from all parts, the furious populace broke the windows of the house, and would have set fire to it; and these silly young men had a great deal of difficulty to save themselves.”
Miss Banks tells us that “Lord Middlesex, Lord Boyne, and Mr. Seawallis Shirley, were certainly present; probably, Lord John Sackville, Mr. Ponsonby, afterwards Lord Besborough, was not there. Lord Boyne’s finger was broken by a stone which came in at the window. Lord Harcourt was supposed to be present.” Horace Walpole adds: “The mob destroyed part of the house; Sir William (called Hellfire) Stanhope was one of the members.”
This riotous occurrence was the occasion of some verses in The Grub-street Journal, from which the following lines may be quoted as throwing additional light on the scene:—
“Strange times! when noble peers, secure from riot,
Can’t keep Noll’s annual festival in quiet,
Through sashes broke, dirt, stones, and brands thrown at ’em,
Which, if not scand- was brand-alum magnatum.
Forced to run down to vaults for safer quarters,
And in coal-holes their ribbons hide and garters.
They thought their feast in dismal fray thus ending,
Themselves to shades of death and hell descending;
This might have been, had stout Clare Market mobsters,
With cleavers arm’d, outmarch’d St. James’s lobsters;
Numskulls they’d split, to furnish other revels,
And make a Calves’-head Feast for worms and devils.”
The manner in which Noll’s (Oliver Cromwell’s) “annual festival” is here alluded to, seems to show that the bonfire, with the calf’s-head and other accompaniments, had been exhibited in previous years. In confirmation of this fact, there exists a print entitled The True Effigies of the Members of the Calves’-Head Club, held on the 30th of January, 1734, in Suffolk Street, in the County of Middlesex; being the year before the riotous occurrence above related. This print shows a bonfire in the centre of the foreground, with the mob; in the background, a house with three windows, the central window exhibiting two men, one of whom is about to throw the calf’s-head into the bonfire below. The window on the right shows three persons drinking healths; that on the left, two other persons, one of whom wears a mask, and has an axe in his hand.
There are two other prints, one engraved by the father of Vandergucht, from a drawing by Hogarth.
After the tablecloth was removed (says the author), an anniversary anthem was sung, and a calf’s-skull filled with wine or other liquor, and out of which the company drank to the pious memory of those worthy patriots who had killed the tyrant; and lastly, a collection was made for the writer of the anthem, to which every man contributed according to his zeal or his means. The concluding lines of the anthem for the year 1697 are as follow:—
“Advance the emblem of the action,
Fill the calf’s skull full of wine;
Drinking ne’er was counted faction,
Men and gods adore the vine.
To the heroes gone before us,
Let’s renew the flowing bowl;
While the lustre of their glories
Shines like stars from pole to pole.”
The laureate of the Club and of this doggrel was Benjamin Bridgwater, who, alluding to the observance of the 30th of January by zealous Royalists, wrote:—
“They and we, this day observing,
Differ only in one thing;
They are canting, whining, starving;
We, rejoicing, drink, and sing.”
Among Swift’s poems will be remembered “Roland’s Invitation to Dismal to dine with the Calf’s-Head Club”:—
“While an alluding hymn some artist sings,
We toast ‘Confusion to the race of kings.'”Wilson, in his Life of De Foe, doubts the truthfulness of Ward’s narrative, but adds: “In the frighted mind of a high-flying churchman, which was continually haunted by such scenes, the caricature would easily pass for a likeness.” “It is probable,” adds the honest biographer of De Foe, “that the persons thus collected together to commemorate the triumph of their principles, although in a manner dictated by bad taste, and outrageous to humanity, would have confined themselves to the ordinary methods of eating and drinking, if it had not been for the ridiculous farce so generally acted by the Royalists upon the same day. The trash that issued from the pulpit in this reign, upon the 30th of January, was such as to excite the worst passions in the hearers. Nothing can exceed the grosness of language employed upon these occasions. Forgetful even of common decorum, the speakers ransacked the vocabulary of the vulgar for terms of vituperation, and hurled their anathemas with wrath and fury against the objects of their hatred. The terms rebel and fanatic were so often upon their lips, that they became the reproach of honest men, who preferred the scandal to the slavery they attempted to establish. Those who could profane the pulpit with so much rancour in the support of senseless theories, and deal it out to the people for religion, had little reason to complain of a few absurd men who mixed politics and calves’ heads at a tavern; and still less, to brand a whole religious community with their actions.”
The strange story was believed till our own time, when it was fully disproved by two letters written a few days after the riotous occurrence, by Mr. A. Smyth, to Mr. Spence, and printed in the Appendix to his Anecdotes, 2nd edit. 1858: in one it is stated, “The affair has been grossly misrepresented all over the town, and in most of the public papers: there was no calf’s-head exposed at the window, and afterwards thrown into the fire, no napkins dipt in claret to represent blood, nor nothing that could give any colour to any such reports. The meeting (at least with regard to our friends) was entirely accidental,” etc. The second letter alike contradicts the whole story; and both attribute much of the disturbance to the unpopularity of the Administration; their health being unluckily proposed, raised a few faint claps but a general hiss, and then the disturbance began. A letter from Lord Middlesex to Spence, gives a still fuller account of the affair. By the style of the letter one may judge what sort of heads the members had, and what was reckoned the polite way of speaking to a waiter in those days:—
“Whitehall, Feb. ye 9th, 1735.
“Dear Spanco,—I don’t in the least doubt but long before this time the noise of the riot on the 30th of January has reached you at Oxford; and though there has been as many lies and false reports raised upon the occasion in this good city as any reasonable man could expect, yet I fancy even those may be improved or increased before they come to you. Now, that you may be able to defend your friends (as I don’t in the least doubt you have an inclination to do), I’ll send you the matter of fact literally and truly as it happened, upon my honour. Eight of us happened to meet together the 30th of January, it might have been the 10th of June, or any other day in the year, but the mixture of the company has convinced most reasonable people by this time that it was not a designed or premeditated affair. We met, then, as I told you before, by chance upon this day, and after dinner, having drunk very plentifully, especially some of the company, some of us going to the window unluckily saw a little nasty fire made by some boys in the street, of straw I think it was, and immediately cried out, ‘D—n it, why should not we have a fire as well as anybody else?’ Up comes the drawer, ‘D—n you, you rascal, get us a bonfire.’ Upon which the imprudent puppy runs down, and without making any difficulty (which he might have done by a thousand excuses, and which if he had, in all probability, some of us would have come more to our senses), sends for the faggots, and in an instant behold a large fire blazing before the door. Upon which some of us, wiser, or rather soberer than the rest, bethinking themselves then, for the first time, what day it was, and fearing the consequences a bonfire on that day might have, proposed drinking loyal and popular healths to the mob (out of the window), which by this time was very great, in order to convince them we did not intend it as a ridicule upon that day. The healths that were drank out of the window were these, and these only: The King, Queen, and Royal Family, the Protestant Succession, Liberty and Property, the present Administration. Upon which the first stone was flung, and then began our siege: which, for the time it lasted, was at least as furious as that of Philipsbourg; it was more than an hour before we got any assistance; the more sober part of us, doing this, had a fine time of it, fighting to prevent fighting; in danger of being knocked on the head by the stones that came in at the windows; in danger of being run through by our mad friends, who, sword in hand, swore they would go out, though they first made their way through us. At length the justice, attended by a strong body of guards, came and dispersed the populace. The person who first stirred up the mob is known; he first gave them money, and then harangued them in a most violent manner; I don’t know if he did not fling the first stone himself. He is an Irishman and a priest, and belonging to Imberti, the Venetian Envoy. This is the whole story from which so many calves’ heads, bloody napkins, and the Lord knows what, has been made; it has been the talk of the town and the country, and small beer and bread and cheese to my friends the garretteers in Grub-street, for these few days past. I, as well as your friends, hope to see you soon in town. After so much prose, I can’t help ending with a few verses:—
“O had I lived in merry Charles’s days,
When dull the wise were called, and wit had praise;
When deepest politics could never pass
For aught, but surer tokens of an ass;
When not the frolicks of one drunken night
Could touch your honour, make your fame less bright;
Tho’ mob-form’d scandal rag’d, and Papal spight.”
To sum up, the whole affair was a hoax, kept alive by the pretended “Secret History.” An accidental riot, following a debauch on one 30th of January, has been distributed between two successive years, owing to a misapprehension of the mode of reckoning time prevalent in the early part of the last century; and there is no more reason for believing in the existence of a Calves’ Head Club in 1734-5 than there is for believing it exists in 1864.
John Timbs Club Life of London Vol. I London, 1866
Dick Hughes is mentioned in the Newgate Calendar as a robber who came to London at the start of the eighteenth century to make money the dishonest way. He’d already been arrested and tried in Worcester for theft. On that occasion he’d been whipped at the cart’s tail “crying carrots and turnips” as he was dragged along and beaten.
Hughes fell into bad company the moment he arrived in the capital. After being caught stealing three shillings from a house in Lambeth, he pleaded for mercy at the Kingston-upon-Thames assizes and was not hanged – as could easily have happened. But instead of turning a new leaf, Hughes became ever more audacious.
He robbed houses in Tottenham Cross, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Hackney, Hammersmith and a tobacconist in Red Cross Street. His luck run out when Hughes was caught breaking into the house of a certain George Clark in Twickenham. Very soon, he was languishing in Newgate prison.
During a previous short stretch of imprisonment at the Fleet Prison, Hughes had married a very kind-hearted woman. On the 24th June, 1709, she had to watch her husband transported in a cart through the parish of St Giles towards the gallows at Tyburn. As the cart paused, she ran up to Hughes and asked whether she or the sheriff were supposed to buy the rope to hang him!
Her husband, a bit thrown by this question, said it was the sheriff’s business to do that. Rather sheepishly, his wife produced a length of rope:
I wish I had known so much before. it would have saved me twopence for I have been and bought one already.
Sarcastically, Hughes advised her to keep it as it might come in useful for her second husband. And so, aged 30, Hughes dangled at the end of rope provided by the authorities and not his dear lady wife. Afterwards, he was taken to the Surgeons’ Hall and dissected – a common practice for the bodies of poor criminals.
Americans rarely use the word “penis” in conversation. We say pecker or prick, willie or wang. Or whopper, wiener, wiggle stick, wrinkle beast, wobbly warhead, even wife’s worst enemy. “We, as humans, love to play with language, and mixing taboo language with clever wordplay to get coinages is a really common endeavor simply because it gets such a great reaction in others,” slang lexicographer Grand Barrett says. As a result, we’re always creating new slang for “penis,” and a lot of it can be traced back to these 11 words.
11 c. Sword
An instrument of death and destruction. A symbol of power and strength. A protector. An avenger. A slayer. The mighty sword is the ultimate symbol of masculinity. So, of course, it became one of the earliest slang terms for the penis, although a flaccid penis does not necessarily benefit from the comparison. Suddenly, swordplay is much less impressive.
While it’s possible that “cock” developed its sexual affiliation from its second meaning, “spout,” it’s more likely that it came from similarities to the wobbly red bits on a rooster’s neck. Just as a man’s penis reacts to arousal, an angry or excited cock’s wattles fill with blood, swell and brighten. Additionally, when a rooster crows, he arches his neck and tips his head back. Sound familiar? “Cock” eventually became so associated with the penis that the word “rooster” was created in the late 18th century to replace it.
Modern derivations: pillicock, peacock, cockroach, cockaroony, doodle
“Tail” has been used to refer to both male and female genitals since the 14th century, but “penis,” the Latin word for “tail,” was not introduced to the English language until 1676. And it wasn’t until 1965 that “schwanz,” the German word for “tail,” was assimilated. The usage creates an entirely new meaning to the phrase “tail wagging the dog.”
Before its induction into the dick-tionary, “doodle” was used to denote a simpleton. In the late 18th century, this became associated with a man who thinks not with his “big brain” but with his small one. Of course, “doodle” could also be a distant cousin of “cock,” born from a rooster’s crow—cockadoodle-doo. Either way, the word is at its best from the lips of Rainn Wilson in Juno, “This is one doodle that can’t be undid, home skillet.”
More derivations: doodad, doohicky, loodle, whangdoodle, wang
While Richards everywhere have borne the modern weight of the penis-name burden, they aren’t alone. In fact, “Roger” was the first in a long line of names applied to the penis. “Thomas” was second, introduced in 1811, followed by “Dick,” “Peter” and “Willie.” In general, these poor gentlemen are simply victims of having a common name. But let’s be honest, all Richards who choose to go by Dick are asking for it.
More derivations: Pete, Pepe, Rudy, Willer, Stanley, Johnson
The 19th century was a time of discretion and delicacy, not description. Americans were prone to replacing distastefully specific words with more general and thus less offensive ones. “Breasts” was replaced with “bosom,” a word that referred to a woman’s entire midsection. “Legs” was replaced with “limbs.” And “penis” was replaced with “dingus,” a word derived from Dutch dinges that simply means “thing.”
It is said that “dong” first became associated with the penis after the publication of Edward Lear’s poem “The Dong with a Luminous Nose.” As the story goes, a one-eyed creature referred to as The Dong attempts to find himself a lady using a long, red lamplike probe. Tragically, light-up noses are not great lady-finders, and all his searching is in vain. Good thing he has his flesh light to keep him company.
Wienerwursts, literally “sausages of Vienna,” became familiar in the United States in the late 19th century. But the word “wiener” was not created until the “-wurst” was dropped in 1905. The wiener was not commonly associated with the penis until five years later. This means it took more than a decade for the most phallic food in history to be officially associated with the penis. How disappointing.
More derivations: wienie, wee, weeter, wee wee, weedle, wenis, sausage
German and Yiddish — both Germanic languages — share many of the same words. For example, “putz” and “schmuck” roughly translate to “ornament or decoration” in both languages. However, Jews used “schmuck” and “putz” to refer to a penis, and Germans used them to denote jewelry or Christ’s manger in a Nativity scene. Despite the inevitable miscommunications the holiday season may bring, Jews and Germans agree that there’s nothing like a good “putz” to put everyone in a festive mood.
More derivations: wantz, schmeck, schmeckel
While the exact origination of “junk” is unclear, there are theories that claim “junk” was a common word for male genitalia in gay culture in the early ’80s. During that time, “junk” was usually associated with being kicked. Since then, “junk” has ameliorated; it has lost some of its potency. Today, “junk” is commonplace. It could mean anything from male or female genitalia to worthless stuff.
More derivations: package, lunch box, picnic basket
2009 Disco Stick
Although Lady Gaga’s homemade euphemism confused audiences at first, the infamous hook “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick” would carry “LoveGame” into top-ten charts in more than ten countries. Gaga cleared up any confusion on the words’ meaning in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying, “It’s another of my very thoughtful metaphors for a cock.” Barrett attributes creations like this to young people’s propensity to be “a hell of a lot more fun, which leads to lots more wordplay and goofing with language just for the heck of it.”
More derivations: meat stick, blow stick, jolly stick
Before A Penis Was A Penis: Sex Slang Throughout History
What word did people use for “vagina” in 1714? Or for “testicles” in 1300? Along with the rest of language, sex terminology has been evolving since humans started talking. Lest you assume that the vestiges of modern-day sex talk have been lost in the annals of time, the world’s foremost slang lexicographer is here to say it ain’t so. And, he should know; he can tell you exactly what a vagina was called in 1714.
Jonathon Green has dedicated his life to studying slang. His book, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, chronicles the march of English-language slang through the past five centuries — an epic Urban Dictionary for the ages that covers 10.3 million words (with citations) and has understandably solidified Green’s role as slang lexicography’s finest.
Now, Green and TimeGlider have graced us with interactive online charts that break out perhaps the most fascinating genre of Green’s research: sex slang. Humans have been “bumping uglies” since our cave days, but we certainly didn’t call it that back then. So, which period in history lays claim to the most inventive terms for genitalia and sex?
TheTimeline of Slang Words for the Vaginabegins in 1250, with the first recorded appearance of the (now-derogatory) word “cunt.” Fortunately, the vagina was eventually lavished with more poetic euphemisms, including “Venus’s honeypot” (early 1700s), “quim whiskers” (late 1800s), and, descriptively, “that thing” (early 1900s). The minds of vagina-label innovators apparently turned to food by the end of the 20th century, as evidenced by the monikers “bikini burger,” “hairy doughnut,” and “bacon sandwich.”
Thepenis slang timelinebegins with the year 1300 and the first known usage of the word “ballocks.” This term’s proved its worth via longevity; you can find it on the lips of frustrated Brits even today, with a slight vowel adjustment. And, English speakers only got more creative from there. “Fiddle,” “spindle,” and “pulling prick” all cropped up in the Middle Ages to describe the penis, while “bush-whacker,” “cranny hunter,” “fornicating engine,” and “Captain Standish” (yes, seriously) are just a few of the nicknames born at the turn of the 20th century. And, the sexy-talk walk through history doesn’t end there.
For even more linguistic amazingness, explore the charts that track the evolution of slang for intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, orgasm, bodily fluids, and contraception. In honor of this week’s #tbt, why not sprinkle some seriously old-timey diction into your sexting? While the effect would be most dramatic if you delivered your message by horse (or raven), your iPhone will do just fine. And, if your partner asks if you’d like to “navigate the windward passage,” just be sure to consult Green’s chart before you agree. It may be safer to stick with the word “fuck” — thatone’s been around since the 1500s, and still means the same exact thing.
101 Funny Slang Names for the Male Penis
Did you know that Inuit people have 50 different words for snow? It’s an indicator that snow is an important part of their lives and has been for a long time. That’s really telling when you think about how many words there are for a man’s genitals. While “penis” is the technical medical term, it’s the one we use the least. This list has 101 different names for your junk (that makes 102). You’ll get a laugh out of at least a few of them.
1. Womb Broom
Any ladies need help cleaning their closet? Ok, that might not make sense, but this is still a good one. 2. Womb Raider
We’d play all 20 installments of this game series. 3. Weapon of Ass Destruction
This one speaks for itself. 4. Vlad the Impaler
It’s a classic for a reason. 5. UncleReamus
This probably has British origins. They’re still the masters of dirty language. 6. Trouser Snake
Sometimes this is a euphemism. Sometimes it’s a terrifying camping story. 7. Tan Banana
This is only true for the bold. Some might find the prospect of a sunburned penis terrifying. 8. Sex Pistol
Which came first — the band or the slang term? 9. Russell the One-Eyed Muscle
If you can think of another name that rhymes with muscle, feel free to sub it. 10. One-Eyed Monster
There are a lot of “one-eyed” slang terms. It’s important to have variety. 11. One-Eyed Trouser Trout
Whoever decided to call a penis a trouser trout probably has an interesting story. 12.Rumpleforeskin
Be honest. You’re disappointed youdidn’t think of this first. 13. Richard and the Twins
Speaking of Richard, a kid called us a Richard Cranium once. It took us a while to get it. 14. Purple Helmeted Warrior of Love
Any reference to the dong being a purple helmet is gold in my book. 15. Puff the One-Eyed Dragon
It breathes fire when it gets puffed! Well, sort of. 16. PrinceEverhardof the Netherlands
This could also be the name of a band. Or an album! 17. Pleasure Pump
It’s accurate, simple, and effective. 18. Moby Dick
Every young boy in the world laughed the first time he heard this book title. It had to be on the list. 19. LordHardwick
Our penises are definitely nobility. How about yours? 20. Long Dong Silver
Have you ever read Treasure Island? Now you don’t have to! 21. Lap Rocket
Well, it can be explosive at times. 22.Knobgoblin
This has to be the most demeaning term you can level at another human being. 23. King Dong
I mean, obviously. Right? 24. Just-in Beaver
Easily the best thing to come from Bieber’s famed career. 25. Herman vonLongschlongenstein
Remember it’s pronounced “Stine” and not “Steen.”
26. Heat Seeking Moisture Missile If thisdoesn’t make you rethink everything about your own penis . . . 27. Frank n’ Beans It’s a weird mental image if you think about it too hard. 28. Fuck Puppet Right to the point! 29. Excalibur You’ve made this joke. Don’t lie. 30. Energizer Bunny That ad campaign has been around for a long time. So has this nickname. 31. Disco Stick This feels dated until you realize disco is still a thing in Europe. No, really. 32. TheDicktator You just chuckled, didn’t you? Welcome to your future. It’s all dad jokes from here. 33.Cocktapus If you have eight members, you need to see a doctor. Or a publicist. 34. Clam Hammer It even helps produce pearl necklaces. 35. Cave Hunter It’s not the funniest name on the list, but it still feels appropriate. 36. Blue Veined Aristocrat The little guy only has to be an aristocrat in public. Behind closed doors is another story. 37. Atomic Turtle We’re honestly not sure why it’s atomic, but it feels right. 38. Action Jackson Try not to conflate this with a Disney Channel show you watched as a young child. 39. Mutton Dagger There seems to be a recurring theme of objects that pierce and meat. 40. Yogurt Slinger An all-time classic. It’s funny. It’s gross. It has everything. 41. Meat Scepter Remember gents, mushroom stamps are a form of harassment. 42. Wedding Wrecker Oofa. This might be a little too true. 43. Spam Javelin Another meat piercer. Cool. 44. Tuna Torpedo The theme reigns. 45. Dora the Explorer It’s a joke that had to be made. But at what expense?! 46. Vagina Miner Is this a real occupation??? 47. Jurassic Pork You’ll never watch those movies the same way again. 48. Tiny Tim Hopefully, thisdoesn’t imply your Tiny Tim needs a crutch. Although, he probably has a nasty cough. 49. The Bone Ranger Hi-yo Silver! 50. Woody Womb Pecker At some point, you’re going to have to come to terms with your fear of children. 51. Ass Opener You might not believe it, but this is actually a very old nickname. It stems from the1890s. 52. Ass Wedge This is also from the1890s. It’s hard to say which is better. 53. Bayonet Does this make implications aboutBayonetta? 54. Beard Splitter Great. Now we’re associating vaginas with dwarves or some shit.
55. Best Leg of Three
This is just truth. 56. Brat Getter
Well, go get ‘em. 57. Bum Tickler
It’s ok if you giggled. It’s the right response. 58. Bush Whacker
This does not mean you should attach a hair trimmer to your penis. Put it down! 59. Creamy Hunter
Well, yeah. 60. Customs Officer
This is my new favorite. 61. Dr. Johnson
Let’s be real. The little guy has earned a title of respect. 62. Eye Opener
Sometimes it’s also an eye closer. 63. Father Confessor
If he can elicit cries to God, then this sounds about right. 64. Foreman
Yes, it’s a pun. You know you like it. 65. Lance of Love
An oldie but a goodie. 66. Leather Stretcher
Try not to associate this one withLeatherface. 67. Life Preserver
If someone is drowning, don’t throw them your penis. 68. The Heimlich
The next time someone shouts “Giver her the Heimlich!” You know what to do. 69. Love Dart
It’s important to practice your aim. 70.Manroot
This makes an odd amount of sense. 71. Master of Ceremonies
He’s good at it too. 72. Meat Skewer
This one isn’t trying too hard, is it? 73. Milkman
What does this make the milkman’s daughter? 74. Mole
He does like to burrow into a hole. 75. Pee-Wee
This got meta when Pee-Wee Herman got in trouble for showing his Pee-Wee.
76. Skyscraper You wish. 77.Tentpeg Youshouldn’t be pitching a tent right now . . . 78. Silent Flute Well, sometimes sound comes out. 79. Skin Flute But it’s not always melodic. 80. Sweetener If you tell this lie enough times it might actually work. 81. Redcap Maybepurplecapwould be better, but that’s not a pun. 82. Majesty Forget aristocracy! He’s royalty. 83. Charmer When the snake becomes the charmer . . . 84. Champion He really is. After all that abuse you’ve put him through, it’s the only right word. 85. Baby Fetcher You’re still flinching? You know where babies come from, right? 86. Axe If the female counterpart is called an axe wound, then this one has to be on the list. 87. Nightstick You can use it during the day too. It’s ok. 88. Joystick There might never have been a truer name for a man’s junk. 89. Gospel Pipe You just want to believe this one. 90. Drill I took this too literally once. I’m still dizzy. 91. Family Organ Get it? Eh? 92. Crown Jewels Also known as the family jewels. 93. Ham Bone I’ll never understand why the male member is associated with pork. 94. Old Boy This is actually the most British thing ever said. 95. Ambassador He is vital to foreign relations. 96. Organ Grinder Ouch. 97. Bald-Headed Sailor We probably don’t relate to the baldness of our penises enough. 98. One-Eyed Rattlesnake Thankfully he’s not venomous. 99. Tonsil Tickler Only on a good day. 100. Toothpick It might imply a small penis, but the oral connotation is worth it. 101. The Fantastic Four This name can be adapted to many forms: the furious five, the salacious six, the dirty dozen. The idea is that you’re implying the length of your penis in the joke. The key is to never use the same phrase twice. You want to keep people guessing.
Ten Words That Have Surprisingly Offensive Origins
While the etymology of many words we use today has faded into obscurity, there are some that are more offensive than we can ever imagine. There may be some words you use every day without a thought to their original meanings. Here are ten that it pays to be aware of.
noun | bug·ger | \ˈbə-gər, ˈbu̇-gər\
2. a worthless person
3. a small or annoying thing
eg. “put down my keys and now I can’t find the buggers”
As well as being a noun as described above, Australians tend to use this word as a tamer expletive than some of its four-lettered cousins. However, though many people know its secondary meaning as ‘a sodomite’ or ‘sodomy’, not many know that the word was originally racially charged as well. Bugger comes from Middle English bougre which was derived from Medieval Latin Bulgarus — a literal translation for ‘Bulgarian’. This came by through association with a Bulgarian religious sect called the Bogomils, whose ways were so unorthodox that they were accused of sodomy.
Use instead: Depending on the context in which you’re using the word, you might instead call someone a ‘nuisance’. If you’re use it as an expletive… well, there’s really no reason not to enjoy the four-lettered classics.
adjective | up·pi·ty | \ˈə-pə-tē\
•putting on or marked by airs of superiority, eg. “uppity technicians” “a small uppity country”
The word uppity is commonly used to put down someone who is seen to be acting above their station — putting on airs and speaking out of turn, generally being a nuisance. While the word can be applied to pretty much anyone these days, its origins were in the United States’ racist heyday, during segregation. In this period, Southerners used the term “uppity” to describe black people who didn’t know their place in society. The word doesn’t sound so casual anymore when you consider that people have likely been lynched at one point in history due to being too “uppity”.
Use instead: ‘Arrogant’ and ‘pretentious’ are both great words to knock someone down a peg, without those nasty racist overtones.
noun | \ˈjip\
•cheat, swindler, eg. “Is that all they give you? What a gyp!” “we were very disappointed when the “free weekend in Las Vegas” offer turned out to be a gyp”
“Gyp” or “gypped” has universally come to mean being cheated or swindled, and though there’s no solid evidence for the origin of this slang term, it’s highly likely that it is derived from ‘gypsy’, a derogative term for the Romani people. While many people know little of “gypsies” other than what we see in Disney movies and costume shops, the Romani people have a long history of persecution — including their attempted genocide at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.
Use instead: ‘Swindled’ is an oldie but a goodie, or if you’re feeling ripped off, ‘highway robbery’ is a fun phrase without the racist undertones.
#4 Paddy wagon
noun | pad·dy wagon | \ˈpa-dē-\
•an enclosed motortruck used by police to carry prisoners, eg. “The cooperative family was being escorted into the paddy wagon”
While the racist meaning of paddy wagon is more overt to anyone who stops to think about it, it’s also so ingrained in our lexicon that it’s hard to stop and think in the first place. For those who are blissfully unaware, paddy wagon is the slang term for a police car. And where it came from? “Paddy”, short for “Patrick”, was a pejorative term for any Irishman — a group who have been the butt of many jokes for much of the last century. Whether the term came into use because there were many Irish criminals or because of a large number of Irish policemen, the association is still not the best one to be making. Interestingly enough the similar term ‘meat wagon’ seems to be used by people misinterpreting this phrase as ‘patty wagon’.
Use instead: “Police car” or “police van” should suffice.
noun | hoo·li·gan | \ˈhü-li-gən\
%bull;a usually young man who does noisy and violent things as part of a group or gang, eg. “shouldn’t you hooligans be in school instead of threatening old ladies?”
While the term ‘hooligan’ is fairly dated these days — I can only seem to think of that crotchety old man yelling “you hooligans get off my lawn!” — other forms of the word are still in common usage. ‘Hooliganism’ in particular is one that the media seems keen to trot out as often as they can. But as in the case of ‘paddy wagon’ hooligan originally came from some poor sod’s surname — Houlihan. The name was used for a rowdy fictional Irish family in a popular drinking song, and soon after the word came to be a catchall for anyone displaying rowdy, violent tendencies.
Use instead: ‘Hoodlum’ is a word with a longer, non-racist history. ‘Hoon’ is also a uniquely Australian take on the concept.
noun | Es·ki·mo | \ˈes-kə-ˌmō\
•a member of a group of peoples of northern Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and eastern Siberia
Far from being those cute, fur-wearing, nose-kissing people of the Arctic regions, this is actually an offensive term for the Inuit people. The reason? The word ‘Eskimo’ comes from the Danish loanword ‘ashkimeq,’ literally translated to ‘eaters of raw meat’. Calling an extensive group of different societies by such a gross generalisation is a great way to limit understanding of the entire culture.
Use instead: The proper term is Inuit, meaning “the people”. That’s it, unless you know the proper name of each individual nation.
#7 Hip hip hooray!
•an exclamation of congratulations especially in response to a call for ‘Three cheers for’ the person.
The racist origin of this common celebratory cry is controversial, but it potentially stems from the Hep Hep Riots — anti-Semetic riots conducted throughout Germany in the 19th century. The participants in these demonstrations reportedly cheered “hep hep” as they chased Jews from their homes. “Hep hep” was a traditional German call that shepherds would use while herding their sheep, but was given another meaning entirely in 1819 when it was Jews who were hunted under this rallying cry.
Use instead: ‘Hooray’ by itself is completely harmless, or the more old-timey ‘hoorah’.
#8 No Can Do
informal + humorous
•used in speech to say that one cannot do something that he or she has been asked or told to do, eg. “Can you give me a ride to work tomorrow?” “Sorry— no can do. My car is in the shop.”
The game of Chinese Whispers has been renamed in the past few years for its racist connotations, but few know that the common phrase “no can do” is a similar riff on the idea that Chinese people speak broken English. While it has since moved into common parlance, this phrase was originally used as a mimicry of a Chinese person with a heavy accent — and the same is true of ‘long time, no see’.
Use instead: Going back to the origin of the phrase “I can’t” or “I can’t do it” would be your safest option.
#9 Basket case
1. a person who is very nervous, tired, etc., and is not able to think or act normally
2. something (such as a company or a government) that is in very bad condition and close to failure
eg. “I was so worried about losing my job that I was a complete basket case.”
Oddly enough the term basket case is not commonly used by its dictionary meaning today, and seems to now have connotations of someone being crazy (perhaps being mixed up with terms like head case and mental case). As it was originally used, however, a basket case refers to someone who is useless or not functioning well. The reason for this has its origins in WWI, when a ‘basket case’ was someone who had lost all four limbs and therefore had to be carried around in a basket. Not the best mental image and potentially offensive to amputees.
Use instead: ‘Nervous wreck’ or ‘bundle of nerves’ are nicely evocative terms that don’t risk making fun of quadruple amputees.
noun | hys·te·ria | \his-ˈter-ē-ə, -ˈtir-\
1. a state in which your emotions (such as fear) are so strong that you behave in an uncontrolled way
2. a situation in which many people behave or react in an extreme or uncontrolled way because of fear, anger, etc.
eg. “A few of the children began to scream, and soon they were all caught up in the hysteria.”
Hysterical’s modern usage is problematic enough by itself, with the word most often being applied to women — looking at the first dictionary definition, you might be able to tell why that’s an issue. However the connotations behind calling a woman ‘hysterical’ have far-reaching implications beyond even the 2011 film Hysteria.
The term comes from the Greek ‘hysterikos’, meaning ‘of the womb’ or ‘suffering in the womb’. The Greeks believed that the uterus was the direct cause of a number of female ailments, based on the premise that the uterus was essentially its own organism. The womb was said to be so obsessed with creating children that it would wander the body, pressing up against other organs and causing medical havoc unless it was pregnant. Yup.
Use instead: Try ‘overwrought’, ‘frenzied’ or ‘agitated’ if you really have to call someone ‘hysterical’ without resorting to womb-based comparisons.
In the 1960s, it was almost unheard-of to find an out Queer person on television. Those that held a Queer identity were often forced into a ‘celluloid closet’ and made to keep their identities silent and hidden from public consumption. This was the case of Nancy Kulp, a closeted lesbian who is most remembered for her appearance as Miss Jane Hathaway in almost all of the 274 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, a television series airing on CBS from 1962 to 1971. Kulp would eventually come out, using her own terms, in a 1989 interview.
Nancy Jane Kulp was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on August 28th, 1921 to Marjorie and Robert Kulp; the family would later move to Dade County, Florida. The only daughter of a lawyer and schoolteacher, Nancy was a bookish child from an early age and dreamed of becoming a journalist. Nancy would take the first step toward her goal when she graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1943. During her years at FSU, Kulp worked as a feature writer for the Miami Beach Tropics, working on celebrity profiles.
Though she planned on continuing her education and obtaining her master’s degree, Nancy joined WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) in 1943 to aid the US Navy during World War Two. While it was her patriotism and desire to work in an “all-female” atmosphere that led to her enlistment, Nancy determined that it was not her destiny to hold a career in the armed forces and left in 1945 after reaching the rank of junior-grade lieutenant. After leaving WAVES, Kulp took a position in Miami as a publicity director for a local radio station in 1946.
At the age of thirty, Nancy Kulp exchanged vows in an April Fool’s Day wedding celebration to Charles Dacus on April 1, 1951. While the marriage was short-lived, both parties parted on good terms and the relationship had a long-lasting impact on Nancy Kulp’s life. Nancy said that it was Charles Dacus who encouraged Kulp to leave her career as a publicist to achieve a career in acting (though she also later said that this inspiration came from director George Cukor). Following this encouragement, Nancy made her way to Hollywood where she took a position as a film publicist while she waited for her big break.
This break would come only three weeks later when she was discovered by A-list, gay, director George Cukor. Later that year, Nancy Kulp would make her big screen debut in Cukor’s 1951 film, The Model and the Marriage Broker. This role was larger than most others she would hold in movies though it was mostly silent and demeaning as she took on the role of a young woman desperately seeking matrimony from a marriage broker. This role was Kulp’s first foray into the sort of character she would often be type-cast to play- the spinster.
In 1954, Nancy would be cast in another Cukor film, the Judy Garland- led A Star is Born, though the scene in which she appeared would later be cut without the director’s knowledge or consent. Kulp would make several smaller appearances in many successful films such as Sabrina (the 1954 film starring Audrey Hepburn), The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Strange Bedfellows (1965), and The Parent Trap (1961), where Kulp played the butch troop leader.
While Nancy appeared in movies, most of her acting work was done for the small screen. She made several appearances, largely comedic, on various television shows. Her first recurring television role was as a bird-watcher named Pamela Livingstone on The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1959). The writer for The Bob Cummings Show, Paul Henning, would go on to write for The Beverly Hillbillies, and created a role specifically for Kulp. Nancy would become known across the country as Miss Jane Hathaway, a smart and confident secretary that worked for a bank. Miss Jane, as most of the characters called her, was also a character that played into Kulp’s type-casted role as a spinster. Kulp received an Emmy Award nomination in 1967 for her performance on the show.
After the final episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, Kulp was given a regular role on the Brian Keith Show (1973-1974) and made appearances on Sanford and Son (1972-1977), The Love Boat (1977-1987), and Fantasy Island (1978-1984). Kulp also appeared on stage at summer stock and dinner theaters before eventually landing a role in Paul Osborn’s 1982 production of Mornings at Seven.
In 1984, the patriotic Nancy Kulp, who had long been interested in politics, decided to run for Congress in her district in central Pennsylvania, having settled in Port Royal. She ran as a Democrat against the Ninth District’s incumbent Republican representative, Bud Shuster. While she received an endorsement from friend and fellow showbiz personality Ed Asner, her Hillbillies costar Buddy Ebsen recorded a radio advertisement claiming that Kulp was “too liberal for Pennsylvania.” Kulp was enraged by Ebsen, a California resident, getting involved in her campaign, stating that she “was speechless at such a betrayal, and something so needless and cruel.”
Nancy Kulp would go on to be defeated by Shuster and would spend the next year at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, teaching film and drama. She would later return to California to serve on the board of the Screen Actors Guild and take an active role in non-profits including the Humane Society of the Desert, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Desert Theater League.
In a 1989 interview with author Boze Hadleigh for the book Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo to Foster, Kulp responded to Hadleigh’s “Big Question” (the question of her sexuality which she renamed the “Fatal Question”) Nancy remarked in her own words:
“As long as you reproduce my reply word for word, and the question, you may use it,” she told Hadleigh. “I’d appreciate it if you’d let me phrase the question. There is more than one way. Here’s how I would ask it: ‘Do you think that opposites attract?’ My own reply would be that I’m the other sort–I find that birds of a feather flock together. That answers your question.”
Never in the course of the interview did she refer to herself as a lesbian.
Nancy Kulp would die of cancer only two years later, on February 3, 1991, at her home in Palm desert, California. While she never actively owned a lesbian label, Nancy Kulp was hailed as being a lesbian ground-breaker in the field of acting for having portrayed her identity (though a secret) in her work.
Former “Beverly Hillbilly” Says She Didn’t Play The Political “Game″
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Nancy Kulp of ″The Beverly Hillbillies″ fame doesn’t blame fellow Hillbilly Buddy Ebsen for her election defeat last fall – but says he should have stayed out of the congressional race.
Ebsen, who starred with Ms. Kulp on the long-running television program in the 1960s and early 1970s, recorded a radio commercial for her opponent, Republican Rep. Bud Shuster. In the spot, aired several weeks before the election, Ebsen said, ″Nancy, I love you dearly but you’re too liberal for me.″
Ms. Kulp still bristles when she thinks about the ad. ″How dare he 3/8 It wasn’t his business,″ she said.
But she said there were other reasons for her defeat, notably her lack of political savvy, a shortage of campaign dollars and the popularity of President Reagan in Shuster’s sprawling rural Pennsylvania district.
“I didn’t play the game, I guess,″ Ms. Kulp, 63, said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. She left her restored, three-story farmhouse in Port Royal, Pa., after the election and drove to California to visit friends.
While she raised $73,143 during 1984, Shuster, who was seeking his seventh House term, reported contributions of $269,597, according to campaign finance reports. Ms. Kulp reported gifts of $29,471 from political action committees, Shuster $138,817.
After years of involvement in local party politics and with the Screen Actors Guild, Ms. Kulp said seeking office was satisfying because ″you finally get to put your convictions on the line. It was one of the highlights of my life.″
But the experience left her with a helpless feeling that there was an image barrier between her and the voters that she could not surmount.
“You’re turned off by the distortions,″ she said. ″My feeling is a candidate is elected because they are perceived to be something. Ronald Reagan never talked issues; he waved the flag and the people loved it.
“I was perceived to be an ultra-liberal. If that is their perception – even if they like me – then I can’t win.″
The experience, she said, has left her ″ambivalent″ about the elective process and doubtful that she will seek public office again.
A central Pennsylvania native born in Harrisburg, Ms. Kulp began her acting career in 1952. She appeared in such films as ″Three Faces of Eve″ and ″The Parent Trap,″ and was featured on ″The Bob Cummings Show″ on television before the ″Beverly Hillbillies″ premiered in 1961.
On the ″Beverly Hillbillies,″ she played the secretary of a banker managing the account of a millionaire hillbilly, played by Ebsen. She and Ebsen used to talk politics on the set; they rarely agreed about issues, she said.
Ms. Kulp said she now is thinking about returning to the East Coast, possibly to teach. Juniata, a small liberal arts college 120 miles east of Pittsburgh, has expressed interest in her, perhaps for an ″artist-in-re sidence″ program, said college spokesman Robert Howden.
Who the F Is … Actress and Politician Nancy Kulp?
Who she was:A well-regarded character actress who eventually ran for public office and came out — rather obliquely.
What she accomplished:Nancy Kulp (1921-1991) endeared herself to baby boomers with her role on a silly but successful TV sitcom,The Beverly Hillbillies.From 1962 to 1971, she played the prim, efficient Miss Jane Hathaway, secretary to banker Milburn Drysdale. She and Drysdale were managing the millions of the Clampett family, a backwoods clan who had relocated from Tennessee to Beverly Hills after striking oil. The comedy arose from the contrast between the beyond-unsophisticated Clampetts — who made moonshine, kept “critters,” and called their swimming pool “the cement pond” — and the upscale Southern Californians who surrounded them. Hathaway, always called “Miss Jane” by the Clampetts and their kin, was unaccountably attracted to the dim-witted Jethro Bodine, nephew of patriarch Jed Clampett. Critics had no love for the show, but viewers found it hilarious, and it had an extended life in syndication.
Born in Harrisburg, Pa., Kulp studied journalism in college, then served in the WAVES during World War II. After the war she worked as a publicist for radio and TV stations in Florida, then came to Hollywood in the 1950s with an eye to continuing in publicity. Someone encouraged her to try acting — some accounts say it was her then-husband, Charles Dacus, whom she refused to discuss in later years; others say it was esteemed director George Cukor. At any rate, she quickly won a small role in a Cukor film,The Model and the Marriage Broker,starring Jeanne Crain, Scott Brady, and Thelma Ritter. It was one of the great filmmaker’s lesser efforts, but it launched her career. She played supporting parts, often uncredited, in some noteworthy movies —Shane, Sabrina,the Judy Garland version ofA Star Is Born,also directed by Cukor — and some now-forgotten ones. She also worked in TV anthology series and in guest-starring roles. BeforeHillbillies,she was a regular onThe Bob Cummings Show,playing a spinsterly bird-watcher named Pamela Livingstone. (Bird-watching was also one of Miss Jane’s hobbies.)
AfterThe Beverly Hillbilliesended, she continued to guest-star on various TV series; she had a recurring role onSanford and Sonfor a time, and like many aging actors she appeared onThe Love BoatandFantasy Island.She also performed on Broadway inMorning’s at Sevenin the early 1980s. But she had a passion for politics, dating back to Adlai Stevenson’s presidential campaign in 1952, and in 1984 she returned to central Pennsylvania to run for Congress. She was an underdog as a Democrat in a heavily Republican district represented by a popular incumbent. She got support from showbiz friend Ed Asner, but herHillbilliescostar Buddy Ebsen, who had played Jed, did a commercial in which he called her “too liberal” and endorsed her opponent. It caused a rift between them that lasted for years, although they reportedly eventually made up. She lost the election to the incumbent, Bud Shuster. Later, she taught acting at a Pennsylvania college and made some stage appearances, including one as the Nurse inRomeo and Julietat the 1987 Georgia Shakespeare Festival in Atlanta, then retired to the California desert, where she kept busy with volunteer work. Among other things, she served on the board of the Screen Actors Guild.
In 1989 she addressed her sexual orientation — to a degree — in an interview with Boze Hadleigh, published in his bookHollywood Lesbians.“As long as you reproduce my reply word for word, and the question, you may use it,” she said. “I’d appreciate it if you’d let me phrase the question. There is more than one way. Here’s how I would ask it: ‘Do you think that opposites attract?’ My own reply would be that I’m the other sort — I find that birds of a feather flock together. That answers your question.” Miss Jane would have appreciated the imagery. She also expressed admiration for gay congressman Barney Frank, and when Hadleigh asked if she would have come out in Congress, she said, “Not voluntarily. If I were outed, then I would not deny it.” Hadleigh waited to publish the book until 1994, when all his subjects were dead. Kulp died of cancer in 1991 at her home in Palm Desert, Calif.
Choice quotes:“If one is past 50 or 60, it’s almost like saying that most of your life you’ve been too embarrassed to admit it or to speak up.” — to Boze Hadleigh, on the possibility of coming out
“I think I’ve been successful in making the distinction between actress and politician. But there’s always someone who screams, ‘Where’s Jethro?’” — toPeoplemagazine, during her congressional campaign
10 times Miss Jane Hathaway let loose and ditched her pressed suit on The Beverly Hillbillies
Take a tour of Nancy Kulp’s silliest costumes.
At its heart, The Beverly Hillbillies was about breaking out of your comfort zone, and it wasn’t just the Clampetts experiencing the growing pains. Fans know that Miss Jane Hathaway, the snooty bank secretary who keeps an eye on the Clampetts, had as much to learn from the hillbillies about having fun as they did from her about fitting in with fine society.
We first meet Jane Hathaway in the bank, dilligently taking notes for Mr. Drysdale, her boss, the insanely wealthy bank manager. She’s wearing her signature pressed suit, a drab number we’d see her sport throughout most of the initial seasons. But it wouldn’t take the writers, costumers and hillbillies long to wrestle Miss Jane out of those stuffy suits and neckerchiefs just to stuff her into funnier outfits that drew extra laughs precisely because she’d been set up as such a straight character. It was one of many ways the show had fun with its audience.
Below, we’ve gone back through our favorite episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies to offer up this tour of Miss Jane Hathaway’s most dazzling and outrageous outfits over nine seasons. Played brilliantly by Nancy Kulp, Miss Jane remains one of the show’s most memorable characters, and here’s a parade of standout moments that show us how her wardrobe helped cement her legacy.
1.Miss Jane Hathaway the Artist
It only took seven episodes before we saw Nancy Kulp slip into something sillier, this artist look that we consider her character’s first masterpiece in transformation.
2.Is that Nancy Kulp or Groucho Marx?
In the later seasons, the volume got turned up on Nancy Kulp’s costumes, and this was perhaps the height of that hilarity.
3.A hillbilly before the first season ends.
By the end of the first season, we got our first look at Nancy Kulp in hillbilly garb, and even doing a dance with the whole Clampett family! Talk about letting loose! This primed us to expect the unexpected from the typically kempt Miss Jane.
4.Remember when Miss Jane posed as Uncle Sam?
The color episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies do not disappoint when it comes to costumes, especially this red-white-and-blue suit arguably louder than any other suit she donned the whole series.
5.Miss Jane, the pageant queen.
There were many plots that involved Elly and Jane in competition for a suitor’s attention, but this beauty contest in the third season was the first time they turned that trope into a swimsuit competition!
6.Don’t think Miss Jane’s beneath a denim suit!
Need proof that Miss Jane Hathaway is a trendsetter? Check out this denim suit she donned at the very start of the ’70s. It was her idea of beach attire, and the bucket hat just perfects the look, don’t you think?
There were plenty of times, as we’ll get into soon, when Nancy Kulp showed up looking stunning on The Beverly Hillbillies, but we get flashes of Carol Burnett and Friends when we saw this particular evening attire and wacky updo!
8.Miss Jane’s very first evening look.
Let’s take a moment to just genuinely appreciate how Nancy Kulp completely owned silk, pearls and simplistic elegance. Bask in the very first time we saw her in a seriously stunning evening look from the first season.
9.That’s not to say she didn’t also know how to overdo it…
Between the wig, costume jewelry and dangly everything, Miss Jane almost looks as out of sorts in this outfit as Elly May did in an evening gown!
10.Proper, even in pajamas.
Last look is all the proof you need that Miss Jane even prefers to sleep in a suit, donning these neat blue pajamas in contrast to Granny’s gowns, but that changes soon when the writers get her character stuck in a sleeping bag that Granny’s trying to free her from here. It’s just one more example of all the physical humor that came just from shaking up Jane Hathaway’s wardrobe!