Vaudeville Slag: No Applesauce!
November 21, 2002 1:19 AM   Subscribe

Vaudeville Slang. A boffo glossary of the language of American Vaudeville. Visit the main site for tons of links to famous performers and theatres. For more hokum, you can visit here to watch and hear some actual Vaudeville acts. No applesauce!
posted by Joey Michaels (5 comments total)
As someone who grew up in the Catskills myself, I think the Amazing Joey Michaels and his Fabulous Memes deserve some hand to hand music!
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:12 AM on November 21, 2002

Interesting. I always wondered where the name alley oop came from. This (first) site also tantalizingly addresses another long-standing question I've had: how did the word "blue" as a slang term for "pornographic" originate? I once even submitted this question to some internet "word detective" or something, but to no avail. I can't get no satisfaction...
posted by taz at 4:30 AM on November 21, 2002

*hand to hand music for Joey Michaels*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:36 AM on November 21, 2002

Great links, Joey Michaels. The slang page, like all such amateur efforts, is loads of fun but must be taken with a grain of salt, since there are no dates or sources and there's no way of knowing whether a given term is specific to vaudeville or (as is clearly the case with a lot of them) simply a general slang term that vaudevillians also used.

taz: "Blue" is a notorious conundrum; the Cassell Dictionary of Slang gives three possible derivations: from "bluegown" ('prostitute,' used in the 16th century, when incarcerated prostitutes wore blue uniforms), from the French Bibliothèque bleue, or as the opposite of "brown" (also a mid-19th-century term) 'worthy, earnest, totally devoid of any double entendre or smut' (from "the brown clothes popular amonng the sedulously pure Quakers").
posted by languagehat at 7:55 AM on November 21, 2002

Languagehat, I profoundly *heart* you! With the help of a few more accommodating threads, I imagine that I will eventually get to the root of a number of questions that have nagged my existence, and I won't be surprised if you are the source for a great many of those answers...
posted by taz at 10:16 AM on November 21, 2002

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