Posted by Masakim on January 24, 2003
In Reply to: A guess posted by ESC on January 24, 2003
: : What's an Agony Aunt?
: This is a guess -- isn't that a type of newspaper advice column? Like Ann Landers/Dear Abby in the U.S.?
agony aunt n. [1970s +] a problem-solving (usu. woman) columnist
of newspapers and magazines to whom the lovelorn and generally wretched can write;
their letters willk be answered in print or privately; thus the male equivalent,
_agony uncle_. [the first _OED_ citation is 1975, but it refers, in a biog. of
the prototype Evelyn Home, to 'the "agony aunties" [of] the 'thirties'; note AGONY
COLUMN n. dates from 1950s]
From _Cassell's Dictionary of Slang_ by Jonathon Green
Fifty new 'agony aunts' will be recruited by the Women's Royal Voluntary Services as a first stage in the crack-down on Army bullying. ... The network of Service Welfare ladies ... will listen to the problems of young soldiers. (_Daily Telegraph_, January 28,1988)
Since working together on Forum magazine in the early seventies, their paths have continue to cross and cross. They [Anna Reburn & Phillip Hudson] have ... become identified ... as the agony aunt and uncle of our media. (_Guardian_, June 20, 1985)