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Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2403)
Sat, 24th Oct '09 6:06 PM


You folks seem to always have an answer for everything, so here's a poser for you:
Yesterday, I heard Liza Minnelli singing "All That Jazz" on the radio.

I checked out the lyrics, and want to know WHAT was "rouging the knees" all about?? For the life of me, I can't figure out that'un at all. I heard the practice was popular among the Flappers of that era. (WHY were they called "Flappers"?)

".....Come on, babe
Why Don't we paint
The town?
And all that jazz
And all that jazz
I'm gonna rouge my knees
And roll my stockings down
And all that jazz
And all that jazz......"


Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 24th Oct '09 6:24 PM

It really was rouge, like you would put on your cheeks in the old days. It just brought attention to knees that had never previously been seen in polite society!

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2403)
Sat, 24th Oct '09 6:41 PM

Wow ....thanks, Janice!

Now, what about the term "Flapper"? Where did that originate?


Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 24th Oct '09 6:49 PM

Well, I always thought "flapper" was from that dance where they flap their elbows and knees. Lots of movement - best shown off with lots of fringe and beads!


"The "Flapper"

The term "flapper" first appeared in Great Britain after World War I. It was there used to describe young girls, still somewhat awkward in movement who had not yet entered womanhood. In the June 1922 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, G. Stanley Hall described looking in a dictionary to discover what the evasive term "flapper" meant:

[T]he dictionary set me right by defining the word as a fledgling, yet in the nest, and vainly attempting to fly while its wings have only pinfeathers; and I recognized that the genius of 'slanguage' had made the squab the symbol of budding girlhood.

Authors such F. Scott Fitzgerald and artists such as John Held Jr. first used the term to the U.S., half reflecting and half creating the image and style of the flapper. Fitzgerald described the ideal flapper as "lovely, expensive, and about nineteen." Held accentuated the flapper image by drawing young girls wearing unbuckled galoshes that would make a "flapping" noise when walking."

Mickeym  (Level: 87.5 - Posts: 1803)
Sat, 24th Oct '09 6:50 PM

My mother the flapper said that the stockings were rolled down to just below the knees, and a nice circle of rouge put on the center of the knee like on a cheek. Because the material was heavier at the roll, it was darker than the whole stocking, which was usually for evening black or red. The dresses came just below the knees, often with irregular hems, so this all showed as you danced or especially as you sat coyly. Or all that jazz.

Bigbird  (Level: 236.3 - Posts: 3300)
Sat, 24th Oct '09 11:49 PM

Hey Bev - I found this:

If you scroll down to the bottom, there is an explanation of many of the terms in the song.

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