bluestocking

bluestocking

[bloo-stok-ing]
noun
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.

Origin:
1675–85; so called from the informal attire, especially blue woolen instead of black silk stockings, worn by some women of the group (def 2)

bluestockingism, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bluestocking (ˈbluːˌstɒkɪŋ)
 
n
derogatory usually a scholarly or intellectual woman
 
[from the blue worsted stockings worn by members of a C18 literary society]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bluestocking
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 ostentatious evening attire, simple dress, including Benjamin Stillingfleet's blue-gray
tradesman's hose which he wore in place of gentleman's black silk, hence the term, first applied in derision to the whole set by Admiral Boscawen. None of the ladies wore blue stockings. Borrowed by the neighbors in loan-translations, cf. Fr. bas-bleu, Du. blauwkous, Ger. Blaustrumpf.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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