flappers

flapper

[flap-er]
noun
1.
something broad and flat used for striking or for making a noise by striking.
2.
a broad, flat, hinged or hanging piece; flap.
3.
a young woman, especially one who, during the 1920s, behaved and dressed in a boldly unconventional manner.
4.
a young bird just learning to fly.
5.
Slang. the hand.

Origin:
1560–70; flap + -er1

flapperdom, noun
flapperish, adjective
flapperism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flapper (ˈflæpə)
 
n
1.  a person or thing that flaps
2.  (in the 1920s) a young woman, esp one flaunting her unconventional dress and behaviour

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

flapper
"forward young woman," 1921 slang, from flap (v.), but the exact connection is disputed. Perhaps from flapper "young wild-duck or partridge" (1747), with ref. to flapping wings while learning to fly; but other suggested sources are late 19c. northern Eng. dialectal use for
"teen-age girl" (on notion of one with the hair not yet put up), or an earlier meaning "prostitute" (1889), which is perhaps from dial. flap "young woman of loose character" (1610s). In Britain the word took on political tones in ref. to the debate over voting rights.
" 'Flapper' is the popular press catch-word for an adult woman worker, aged twenty-one to thirty, when it is a question of giving her the vote under the same conditions as men of the same age." ["Punch," Nov. 30, 1927]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

flappers definition


A nickname given to young women in the 1920s who defied convention by refusing to use corsets, cutting their hair short, and wearing short skirts, as well as by behavior such as drinking and smoking in public. (See Jazz Age and Roaring Twenties.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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