bluestocking

\ \ [18] The term bluestockingfemale intellectual’ derives from the gatherings held at the houses of fashionable mid-18th- century hostesses to discuss literary and related topics. It became the custom at these not to put on full formal dress, which for gentlemen included black silk stockings. One habitué in particular, Mr Benjamin Stillingfleet, used to wear greyish worsted stockings, conventionally called ‘blue’. This lack of decorum was looked on with scorn in some quarters, and Admiral Boscawan dubbed the participants the ‘Blue Stocking Society’. Women who attended their highbrow meetings thus became known as ‘Blue Stocking Ladies’ (even though it was a man who had worn the stockings), and towards the end of the century this was abbreviated to simply bluestockings.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bluestocking — Blue stock ing, n. 1. A literary lady; a female pedant. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] Note: As explained in Boswell s Life of Dr. Johnson , this term is derived from the name given to certain meetings held by ladies, in Johnson s time, for… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bluestocking — An intellectual woman is a bluestocking …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • bluestocking — also blue stocking, 1790, derisive word for a woman considered too learned, traces to a London literary salon founded c.1750 by Elizabeth Montagu on the Parisian model, featuring intellectual discussion instead of card games, and in place of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • bluestocking — (izg. blȗstōking) ž DEFINICIJA knjiš. 1. u Engleskoj naziv za ženske grupe koje su se sredinom 18. st. sastajale u salonima gdje se s pozivanim književnicima i uglednicima raspravljalo o književnosti i umjetnosti 2. pren. pejor. zast. žena… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • bluestocking — ► NOUN often derogatory ▪ an intellectual or literary woman. ORIGIN in reference to literary parties held in London around 1750 by three society ladies, where some of the men favoured less formal dress (blue worsted stockings as opposed to the… …   English terms dictionary

  • bluestocking — [blo͞o′stäk΄iŋ] n. [from the unconventional blue (instead of black) stockings worn by Benjamin Stillingfleet at literary meetings in the home of Mrs. E. R. Montagu in London in the 1750s] a learned, bookish, or pedantic woman …   English World dictionary

  • Bluestocking — For other uses, see Bluestocking (disambiguation). Caricature of blue stockings by Rowlandson A bluestocking is an educated, intellectual woman. Until the late 18th century, the term had referred to learned people of both sexes.[1] However it… …   Wikipedia

  • bluestocking — bluestockingism, n. /blooh stok ing/, n. 1. a woman with considerable scholarly, literary, or intellectual ability or interest. 2. a member of a mid 18th century London literary circle: Lady Montagu was a celebrated bluestocking. [1675 85; so… …   Universalium

  • bluestocking — UK [ˈbluːˌstɒkɪŋ] / US [ˈbluˌstɑkɪŋ] noun [countable] Word forms bluestocking : singular bluestocking plural bluestockings British old fashioned, showing disapproval an educated woman who is interested in serious subjects …   English dictionary

  • bluestocking — Blue Blue (bl[=u]), a. [Compar. {Bluer} (bl[=u] [ e]r); superl. {Bluest}.] [OE. bla, blo, blew, blue, livid, black, fr. Icel.bl[=a]r livid; akin to Dan. blaa blue, Sw. bl[*a], D. blauw, OHG. bl[=a]o, G. blau; but influenced in form by F. bleu,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bluestocking — noun Etymology: Bluestocking society, 18th century literary clubs Date: 1790 a woman having intellectual or literary interests …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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