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bluestocking

[bloo-stok-ing] /ˈbluˌstɒk ɪŋ/
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
1675-1685
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)
Related forms
bluestockingism, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for blue stocking

bluestocking

/ˈbluːˌstɒkɪŋ/
noun
1.
generally (derogatory) a scholarly or intellectual woman
Word Origin
from the blue worsted stockings worn by members of a C18 literary society
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for blue stocking

bluestocking

n.

also blue-stocking, 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. French bas-bleu, Dutch blauwkous, German Blaustrumpf.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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