Word of the Day

Friday, October 04, 2013


\BLOO-stok-ing\ , noun;
a woman with considerable scholarly, literary, or intellectual ability or interest.
a member of a mid-18th-century London literary circle: Lady Montagu was a celebrated bluestocking.
...if you rolled the whole group into one girl, she would be what Norine said — a rich, assured, beautiful bluestocking.
-- Mary McCarthy, The Group, 1963
She reads such deep books—all about facts and figures: she'll be quite a blue-stocking by and by.
-- Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters, 1864-1866
Bluestocking originally referred to cheap blue socks worn by men, in contrast to fine white silk stockings. In the mid-1700s, these blue socks became associated with intellectuals who attended salons where female intellectuals were highly valued. Eventually bluestockings came to be a pejorative term for intellectual women, though it started out as a positive or neutral term.
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