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What happens when the Amish start reading Amish romance novels?
March 22, 2013 4:42 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible for a genre of fiction to re-dress a people? "Bonnet rippers" are overwhelmingly written by evangelical Christians whose worldview is very different from the Amish culture their books ostensibly depict. Their Amish readers respond to this cultural gap in various ways.
posted by sy (55 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bodice-rippers? Every time I think every viable avenue of romance novel has been exhausted, somebody goes one further.

On a related note, I always assumed the Bible-thumpers who dressed their kids out of "Little House on the Prairie" were yearning for an era that never existed.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:54 AM on March 22, 2013


Bodice-rippers? Every time I think every viable avenue of romance novel has been exhausted, somebody goes one further.

My personal favorites are the "medical romances." "My heart thumped wildly whenever he was near. I know, becauase I was hooked up to an EKG..."
posted by jonmc at 4:58 AM on March 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


My personal favorites are the "medical romances."

I refuse to be treated by any doctor not named Kiki Fender.
posted by dumbland at 5:10 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are these the 21st C version of those 19th C anti-Catholic novels where the naive young Catholic heroine travels through melodrama and danger to find both love and solace in the bosom of the CofE?
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:14 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


GenjiandProust: "Are these the 21st C version of those 19th C anti-Catholic novels where the naive young Catholic heroine travels through melodrama and danger to find both love and solace in the bosom of the CofE?"

Glurge!
posted by dunkadunc at 5:18 AM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think this is fantastic and interesting. If Amish women are finding ways to respond to these distorted reflections of themselves, that means they have a new avenue to help figure out who they really are and why, within a socially accepted structure. I know almost nothing about actual modern Amish people. Are there any Amish women who are writing fiction themselves, about themselves? Is that allowed?
posted by Mizu at 5:25 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are these the 21st C version of those 19th C anti-Catholic novels where the naive young Catholic heroine travels through melodrama and danger to find both love and solace in the bosom of the CofE?

Oh, man, I used to read the 20th-century versions of something similar. Young girls would be seduced by a kind Mormon man, taken to the wilds of Utah, discovered that they were the third or fourth wife, and then discover the One True Jesus and leave their sinful husbands for a new life in Christ.

I have a great love for Christian historical romance novels. I devoured them between the ages of 10 and 14, collecting all the Janette Oke novels I could get my hands on. If it took place on a prairie/on a farm/in the Canadian forest, I was all over it.

I think a lot of it was because it was safe, you know? There wasn't any actual sex to face up to, it helped me forget what a mess of hormones and confusion I was. I could lose myself in these books and dream about finding someone without having to think about that big scary demon in the room called sexual desire.

I bet a lot of the same feelings tie into these novels.

It's like how preteen girls go for "non-threatening boys", y'know?

Of course, at the time I was also reading VC Andrews, Stephen King and a hell of a lot of Star Trek novels. I didn't say I was a normal child...
posted by Katemonkey at 5:27 AM on March 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


Bodice-rippers? Every time I think every viable avenue of romance novel has been exhausted, somebody goes one further.

Which in terms of the state of society in general is a very good sign. The central conceit driving the plot of "rom coms" is some external force that keeps the lovers apart. Class, race, parents, all are incredible forces that are used as plot devices. That class or race are not considered realistic plot devices seems to be an indicator that they are less an actual force in the world.
posted by sammyo at 5:28 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are these the 21st C version of those 19th C anti-Catholic novels where the naive young Catholic heroine travels through melodrama and danger to find both love and solace in the bosom of the CofE?

I don't think so. Despite that being the plot of the first member of the genre, apparently. But I get the impression that evangelicals are just using the Amish as window-dressing for some other purpose, whether they're aware of it or not. I've finished the article feeling very much like these books say way more about evangelicals than the Amish response says about the Amish.
posted by hoyland at 5:29 AM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was thinking a bit more like the novels that The Little Professor blogs about (although she's talking about Sherlock Holmes at the moment). They sound both wonderful and horrible.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:31 AM on March 22, 2013


In 2012, a new Amish romance novel appeared on the market about every four days.

So a devoted reader could easily keep up with every Amish romance novel published. You could start a newsletter and make yourself the one person journalists call when they need an expert.
posted by pracowity at 5:32 AM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


One blogger suggested that the readers are “non-Amish religious women who somehow wish they could be even more repressed by a traditional Western religion than they already are.”

Oh, good--in other words, they're comedies.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:44 AM on March 22, 2013


pracowity: "So a devoted reader could easily keep up with every Amish romance novel published. You could start a newsletter and make yourself the one person journalists call when they need an expert."

That sounds like a good premise for a sitcom.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:45 AM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Okay, tangent - what exactly has prompted this whole weird obsession with Things Amish lately? These books have been out for a while, I've seen, but all of a sudden it seems a lot of networks are falling all over themselves to have their Exploitative Amish Show and the Amish Books are getting big and even PBS does an Amish documentary, and I keep wondering whether I missed a memo that declared that Amish was the new black or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:49 AM on March 22, 2013


You know, with the advent of e-readers, people don't have to worry about other people seeing the cover of what they're reading.

You could do market research to see what your target demographic would want to read if nobody knew, and then scientifically design books with What Readers Want cranked up to 11.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:53 AM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was thinking a bit more like the novels that The Little Professor blogs about (although she's talking about Sherlock Holmes at the moment). They sound both wonderful and horrible.

The Christian romance genre in general does incorporate conversion narratives, but they're just as likely to be about struggles worked out by those who are already comfortably in the faith. Moreover, there are often pretty strict guidelines for these kinds of novels imposed by the Christian publishing houses, some of which would, ironically enough, rule out some of the harder-hitting anti-Catholic novels of the sort I usually discuss. (Especially the American novels, which tend to be more...lascivious...than their British counterparts.) Lynn Neal has an interesting study, Romancing God, about how evangelical women actually read and respond to these books.

Although I didn't see it touted anywhere in the article, the author has a book just out about the Amish romance genre.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:00 AM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


The thing that bugs me about Amish romance novels is that they really clog up my public library's ebook historical novel section. When you browse historical novels on Overdrive it's nothing but Amish romances and romances about lovable 18th century rogues and the independent-minded titled ladies who love them (whatever those are called).

Not that what I read isn't equally silly, I just want to be able to hide the Amish romances and only show long, slightly pretentious novels about people who get involved in secret societies that are trying to rule the world by hiding clues in the novels of Edith Wharton. Is that so hard?
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:00 AM on March 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


One thought: the Amish are probably the one group who are guaranteed not to pirate e-books. Maybe in a couple of decades all novels will be aimed at the Amish market...
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:06 AM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Believe or not, there is a previously.
posted by Miko at 6:13 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


So a devoted reader could easily keep up with every Amish romance novel published. You could start a newsletter and make yourself the one person journalists call when they need an expert.

The only snag is that when they came seeking my expertise they'd find me crouched wide-eyed in the corner of a dark room and all they'd get out of me would be little tarsier noises.
posted by Segundus at 6:16 AM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Okay, tangent - what exactly has prompted this whole weird obsession with Things Amish lately?

A related tangent: In Lebanon Levi's home county, which is heavily Mennonite, there are no secular bookstores. There are several Christian bookstores, and many, many local shops and grocery stores have small displays of Amish/Mennonite inspirational books and novels. One area library's young adult book section has an overwhelming number of cross-bearing labels on the spines of the books (not true of the entire system, of course). In the used book aisles of Christian-run secondhand shops, there is often a disclaimer: "We do not vet the contents of all books for compatibility with our beliefs; please choose carefully." The sheer number of inspirational books available on the shelves is way out of proportion, and for good reason -- in that area, the merchants know their audience well...which results in a very quiet, very subtle, very strong meta-message about what kind of book *everyone* should be reading.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:17 AM on March 22, 2013


lovable 18th century rogues and the independent-minded titled ladies who love them (whatever those are called).

Regency?
posted by drezdn at 6:32 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read Beverley Lewis's The Shunning once, partly because I kept seeing it everywhere and thought I might as well see what it was like. Dear God, was it bad. Katie's mourning her boyfriend (a rebel who had a clandestine guitar) who has supposedly drowned. When the author made a point of saying his body was never found, I just rolled my eyes because I knew what that meant. And it only got stupider. Katie finds out she's been adopted because her birth mother (a wealthy young girl from the Mainline in Philadelphia — birth parents are always wealthy and attractive and successful in bad novels, never poor and drug-addicted) just handed her baby over to this Amish couple at the hospital. And then once Katie gets shunned, her first act is to head into town to a formal dress shop to try on bridesmaid and prom dresses so she can "find out what she's been missing". And of course the way the Amish practise their religion is portrayed as too restrictive and joyless, so Katie is depicted as evolving towards a freer and truly satisfying Christian lifestyle which coincidentally is the one subscribed to by the author. For all her supposed free thinking ways, Katie never questions the underlying tenets of religion.

As a Mennonite friend of mine says, the Amish have a PR problem. Since they don't do PR, their only press comes from a) people who aren't Amish and don't tend to be all that well informed and b) bitter ex-Amish. Such novels are written by the former group of people, and such novelists use an Amish setting as they use a historical one: for its exoticism and picturesque appeal. They fail to create an authentically Amish world and characters because they haven't lived the life and they don't understand it or the Amish mindset that well, though they think they do. It paralllels what my friend tells me about Amish jokes. She finds mainstream humour about the Amish really stupid, and says that Amish people do have lots of jokes about themselves that are really funny but that outsiders don't get at all.

Such novels will depict, for instance, an ex-Amish stepping easily into mainstream society. Hah. My friend says she can always tell an ex-Amish from a mile off, because they never do figure out how to dress, and they can come across as really backward in many other ways — they have barely any education, and don't know anything about mainstream cultural references. Some grew up with more exposure to mainstream society, and those people find it easier to make the transition. Many just become Mennonites.

You want a realistic couple of stories about what happens when the Amish cut loose? Be warned, it doesn't look romantic, but absurd. A friend of mine once saw three young Amish men doing donuts in a black van in a church parking lot, and yelling, "HEY BABY!!" at a couple of Mennonite girls who were walking by.

Or I have another story about the time a friend was walking in the woods near her home and heard noises from a clearing. She stepped into the clearing, and beheld two Amish men and an Amish woman having a very noisy and enthusiastic threeway. All three were buck naked with the exception of the woman's bonnet. The bonnets, it would seem, don't actually get ripped.
posted by orange swan at 6:41 AM on March 22, 2013 [66 favorites]


My personal favorites are the "time-travel viking romances"."medical romances."

Fixed.
posted by Fizz at 6:42 AM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Amish proprietor of the Gordonville store is not eager to speak with me about the novels, who is buying them, or how well they are selling. Perhaps he doesn’t care for fiction in general, or at least fiction written by members of another Christian tribe about his own. Perhaps he worries that the plain women who buy the novels will get fancy notions in their heads about how their men should be, or that they will read for hours while dirty clothes molder in the hamper.

Awesome idea for a sitcom: A hot young actor goes to an Amish community to learn about the way they live for a film he's planning on starring in and producing, and he puts ideas into all the young women's heads, much to the chagrin of the men in that community. Hilarity ensues.
Two questions:

Does anybody else remember that Mr Belvedere where Kevin tries to become Amish?

Why did they never correct the Dutch to Deutsch?
posted by discopolo at 6:57 AM on March 22, 2013


Regency?

I'm thinking of this kind of thing which is maybe Regency with more sex? The only Regency romances I've read are Georgette Heyer and they're not my cup of tea so I don't know much about it.
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:57 AM on March 22, 2013


And of course the way the Amish practise their religion is portrayed as too restrictive and joyless, so Katie is depicted as evolving towards a freer and truly satisfying Christian lifestyle which coincidentally is the one subscribed to by the author. --orange swan

This is what the purpose is, I think. And I've read a lot of these novels.
posted by cass at 7:12 AM on March 22, 2013


I think some social conservatives will identify with the Amish because of their own separatist impulses. They probably see the Amish as keeping it real in the face of the evils of The World. It's a kind of survivalist/zombie invasion fiction where you can pretend that you're returned to some barely post-Edenic state where the current categories don't apply, but you get to choose it instead of just having everything you know ripped away.

There's some stuff that's sort of a shame there. They probably think going without television and a Ford dually would be the most radical changes to their way of life. If a few of them actually tried to integrate with an anabaptist community, they might learn a few things about humility and pacifism. The notion of Gelassenheit might be a useful corrective to the rabid free market individualism that's been grafted onto their faith and made part of their identity.
posted by mph at 7:39 AM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


If they option The Shunning for a movie, they'd have to attach Jack Nicholson purely on principal.

ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES ABRAHAM A PLAIN BOY
posted by dr_dank at 7:48 AM on March 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


Why did they never correct the Dutch to Deutsch?

It wasn't the result of confusion, even if it is confusing.
posted by hoyland at 7:48 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man, these books are so popular with the teenage girl homeschooler crowd where I live (and in my previous post in Central MN). I can't keep them on the shelf. Anything by Bethany House Publishing gets checked out over and over until they fall apart. Personally, I think it's great that these girls are going ape-shit over books, no matter what the topic. Janette Oke! Beverly Lewis! Lauraine Snelling! Lo, here comes Albert from the next farm over! Le sigh!

I find that they're just as much coming-of-age stories as they are idyllic romances. They are kind of like Regency novels, insofar as the heroine never gets more than a kiss (or the scene will fade to black with ellipses...) and everything is very innocent. They're also like Regency novels in the sense that the worlds in which the books are set don't really exist. It's idealized. That's okay, I don't know what kind of market there would be for non-fiction romances!
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:49 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


They point out glaring inaccuracies in some of the books, such as one Amish person calling another “Mr.” or “Mrs.”

Does anyone know what they call each other instead? A quick Google doesn't bring up any answers and this will gnaw at me for days.
posted by scratch at 8:00 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they option The Shunning for a movie, they'd have to attach Jack Nicholson purely on principal.

Fact, it is already a movie and I have seen it and you can get it at a Redbox.
posted by liketitanic at 8:04 AM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


And Jack Nicholson is definitely not in it.
posted by liketitanic at 8:09 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, with the advent of e-readers, people don't have to worry about other people seeing the cover of what they're reading.

You could do market research to see what your target demographic would want to read if nobody knew, and then scientifically design books with What Readers Want cranked up to 11.


Look no further than this huge long list of Harlequin publishing guidelines for their various series! Of interest to this discussion are the Heartwarming and Heartsong lines.

From the latter:

Relationships must emphasize the foundation of a true and honest faith in God.
Main characters must be Christians or convert to Christianity by the end of the book.
A character's faith must be evident in their daily lives, such as through prayer, bible study, fellowship, and ministry.
Stories should end with a wedding or a bridal scene.
No divorced heroes or heroines.
No drugs, alcohol, gambling, profanity or immodest dress. No dancing in contemporary stories.
No graphic violence or sex within the course of the story.


Of course you can also go the other direction and write sexy werewolf/vampire stories instead...
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:11 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've read a couple Amish romance novels, and the both centered around a high-powered (non-Amish) woman who for some reason was wounded by her life (in one case, literally badly wounded in an accident at work) and ended up recuperating, physically and emotionally, in Amish country (in one story, with a grandmother who was Amish) and fell in love with Amish men. But it wasn't really about the romance (or even the religion!) as much as it was about the longing for a slower, idyllic pace of life embedded in a community where people take care of one another and where you can be a useful part of that community.

I actually felt like the romance was an afterthought in both cases, in that marrying an Amish dude was just a way she could stay making quilts and serving food at barn raisings.

You could sort-of tell the authors weren't Amish and didn't know a whole lot about the Amish beyond what you can learn from Wikipedia and "The Witness" because the interactions among the women (which were at the heart of the story) were sort-of glossed over, and the courting was very stilted. But there was OH SO MUCH QUILTING!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:20 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


You could do market research to see what your target demographic would want to read if nobody knew, and then scientifically design books with What Readers Want cranked up to 11.

You've heard about Fifty Shades, yeah?
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:22 AM on March 22, 2013


To paraphrase Brian Aldiss, Amish romances are no more written for the Amish than ghost stories are written for ghosts.
posted by interplanetjanet at 8:42 AM on March 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


Does anyone know what they call each other instead?

About Amish:
Most Amish are uncomfortable with calling people by anything other than their first names. They don't usually like to address someone as "Mr.", "Mrs." (and forget Ms.), sir, or ma'am. There is one exception... when they write letters, they would write to "Mrs. David Furlong" instead of "Saloma Furlong." Or if they were writing to both of us, it would be "Mr. and Mrs. David Furlong."
posted by pracowity at 8:52 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


pracowity: "So a devoted reader could easily keep up with every Amish romance novel published. You could start a newsletter and make yourself the one person journalists call when they need an expert."

dunkadunc: That sounds like a good premise for a sitcom.


It can't be any worse than Whitney.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:52 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


You could sort-of tell the authors weren't Amish and didn't know a whole lot about the Amish beyond what you can learn from Wikipedia and "The Witness" because the interactions among the women (which were at the heart of the story) were sort-of glossed over, and the courting was very stilted.

My favorite bit of the main article is the very end, with the woman and her daughter giggling in the interview over how on the cover of one of the books, "the woman was wearing her dress BACKWARDS!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:07 AM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Awesome idea for a sitcom: A hot young actor goes to an Amish community to learn about the way they live for a film he's planning on starring in and producing, and he puts ideas into all the young women's heads, much to the chagrin of the men in that community. Hilarity ensues.

It's sort of been done, if you like Jeremy Irons. Also if Small Town Britain = Amish.
posted by sneebler at 9:32 AM on March 22, 2013


It's a kind of survivalist/zombie invasion fiction where you can pretend that you're returned to some barely post-Edenic state where the current categories don't apply, but you get to choose it instead of just having everything you know ripped away.

Tangentially, there are a few of these hybrids floating around too. I started, but could not finish, a YA novel where some sort of "blood disease" impacts the rest of the world but the Amish community is safe, until (bum bah bum) a young woman falls in love with an infected (?) outsider hiding in their barn. Will she betray her faith and community to find love with the vampire? If you finish it, let me know.

I just tried to find this online, and am laughing now at the number of books that come back when I search for "amish vampire romance."
posted by librarianamy at 9:39 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fact, it is already a movie and I have seen it and you can get it at a Redbox.

MetaFilter, I love you so much! Any experience I may wish to have, you have already had, and you can let me know if it is worth the bother! And you are stylish and good looking and have a great personality! You are all the best!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:43 AM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


You know, with the advent of e-readers, people don't have to worry about other people seeing the cover of what they're reading.

Yup. One of the interesting side effects of e-readers is that they basically killed the mandatory performative aspect of reading in public. You can be reading 50SOG on the bus -- or creepy Evangelical bodice-rippers, for that matter -- and if anyone asks, tell them you're reading Gravity's Rainbow.

I've read a couple Amish romance novels, and the both centered around a high-powered (non-Amish) woman who for some reason was wounded by her life (in one case, literally badly wounded in an accident at work) and ended up recuperating, physically and emotionally, in Amish country (in one story, with a grandmother who was Amish) and fell in love with Amish men.

Huh that sounds kinda familiar.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:07 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I look forward to the next article in the series, where a group of vampires and werewolves read a paranormal romance novel together and boggle at the numerous inaccuracies.
posted by ErikaB at 10:11 AM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not infrequently, I think I should write fiction instead of dry software and hardware user guides.

The thing is, I don't have any stories in me. And that's what seems to drive good novelists: they are possessed by a story that demands to be told.

And then I read about YA fiction and I figure, hell, maybe I can't be a good novelist, but I bet I can be a bad novelist! I could write an overwrought romance involving poorly-defined characters in historically inaccurate settings behaving in ways that aren't true to life!

Then I remember that I'd like to respect myself in the morning.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:26 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I look forward to the next article in the series, where a group of vampires and werewolves read a paranormal romance novel together and boggle at the numerous inaccuracies.

You should pick up Tanya Huff's Blood Price. One of the main protagonists is a vampire who writes romance fiction. A bit of tongue-in-cheek genre fun.
posted by Fizz at 12:29 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter, I love you so much! Any experience I may wish to have, you have already had, and you can let me know if it is worth the bother!

I mean, I did kind of like it, in the way that you like terrible things!
posted by liketitanic at 3:38 PM on March 22, 2013


She stepped into the clearing, and beheld two Amish men and an Amish woman having a very noisy and enthusiastic threeway. All three were buck naked with the exception of the woman's bonnet.

I'll be in my barn.
posted by resplendentoops at 4:56 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a Mennonite friend of mine says, the Amish have a PR problem. Since they don't do PR, their only press comes from a) people who aren't Amish and don't tend to be all that well informed and b) bitter ex-Amish.

and

c) Mennonites.

Actually there are lots of people who left the community and aren't bitter about it. My fraternal grandparents were Old Order but all of their 3 sons joined the military in WWII which is pretty definitively an exit. My dad was Methodist, they just seem like less-dedicated Mennonites.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:04 PM on March 22, 2013


I'm thinking of this kind of thing which is maybe Regency with more sex? The only Regency romances I've read are Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer and her ilk would be known as "traditional Regency" nowadays whereas the Sarah MacLean book linked would be thought of as Regency - or just plain old historical romance.

I'll admit it: traditional Regency is my crack. If I'm feeling crap, I will mainline Georgette Heyer, old-school Loretta Chase, some Mary Jo Putney and chase it with select Mary Balogh. I am not proud of it but it cheers me up no need. After I got my Kindle last year I started exploring more recent historical romance and it has definitely become more raunchy in recent years.

For anyone curious about romance novel (which accounts for a big chunk of the publishing market, incidentally) I can recommend the following sites:

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: written by women for women who know that some of the books are utterly terrible but still love the hell out of them. If we were still in the 1990s I'd call SBTB 'sassy & streetwise'.
Dear Author: Review site. I love them for their takedown of 50SOG but the site itself is well worth a bookmark. Romance authors often show up in the comment section and the book discussions are often smart, thoughtful and always sincere.
Teach Me Tonight: An academic slant on romance - blog posts often refer to teaching romance and how to understand recurrent tropes in the genre. It is an excellent read.
posted by kariebookish at 5:10 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Between the Amish threesome and Twilight Sparkle's fiance, Metafilter has given me a lot of laughs tonight.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:56 PM on March 22, 2013


I flipped the link for this thread to my Mennonite friend. Here's what she said about it:

I was reading through the thread. Fascinating. Glad to see there is a Wikipedia page on why Dutch is not “deutsch”. And I see someone also answered the question as to what Amish call each other. Interesting trivial point, they refer to women by their husband’s name, i.e., “John Streicher Lizzie”. The old order Mennonites do the possessive, i.e., "Leeanderse", Leeander being the husband and “se” being the possessive. Nicknames are also endemic i.e., “Smiling John” and “Curve Noah”, because first and last names are highly repetitive.

Also... think of the size of Amish families — clearly a bodice is getting ripped somewhere.


And I hope you can forgive some shameless self-promotion on my part, but I think some of you might be interested in reading a post I wrote for my knitting blog about the old Amish "wedding stocking" custom. They were the Amish version of fancy lingerie.
posted by orange swan at 10:32 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Between the Amish threesome and Twilight Sparkle's fiance, Metafilter has given me a lot of laughs tonight.

Hey, I don't get anything like enough chances to tell my Amish threeway story, so thank you, Metafilter.
posted by orange swan at 8:36 AM on March 29, 2013


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