Word Origin & History
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.