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The meaning and origin of the expression: In an interesting condition

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In an interesting condition

Meaning

A euphemism for pregnant.

Origin

'Interesting' has been used since the 18th century as a euphemism for pregnant. Women were said to be in an interesting state or interesting situation and subsequently of course there was an interesting event (childbirth); for example:

Tobias Smollett, Roderick Random, 1748 - "So that I cannot leave her in such an interesting situation, which I hope will produce something to crown my felicity."

Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby, 1838 - "Mrs. Lenville (who, as has been before hinted, was in an interesting state)."

Westmorland Gazette, June 1899 "'Interesting event' at Peterhof. Another daughter!"

It was in America that we find the first reference to an interesting condition as a euphemism for pregnant. The Hagerstown Torch Light printed the phrase in an edition in September 1846:

... "the elopement of a blacksmith named Samuel Fellows and a Mrs. Betsey Reynolds. Mrs. Reynolds is about 31 years of age, and is good looking. She took her family of five children with her. She was also in an interesting condition. Fellows took his two children - making quite an interesting company."

See other phrases that were coined in the USA.