Don't Be Such a Big Girl's Blouse

Posted by ESC on March 05, 2002

In Reply to: Don't Be Such a Big Girl's Blouse posted by maskim on March 04, 2002

: : : This ranks among the strangest expressions I learned in Britain. I would like to know it's origin and a precise explanation of its meaning.

: : : Word Camel

: : Origin? I don't have the slightest idea. Meaning? Very similar to the semi-archaic "don't be such a wet blanket"... i.e. don't be such a wimp. It is an insult to be exclusively applied to us men in an effort to shame us into taking some usually ludicrous and reckless action by impugning our frangible male pride - it's such fun being a member of the gender that is so easily malleable.

: Big girl's blouse. A weakling; an ineffectual person. The expression originated in the north of England in the 1960s and was popularized by northern-based televion programmes such as the SITCOM _Nearest and Dearest_ (1968-72), featuring Hylda Baker and Jimmy Jewel as brother and sister Nellie and Eli Pledge who inherit a pickle-bottling factory. ...
: I find it bizarre that , while men are praised to the skies every time they come over all big girl's blouse, women are still penalized for getting in touch with their masculine side.
: --INDIA KNIGHT in _Sunday Times_ (17 October 1999)
: From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

: big girl noun (Derogatory) an effeminate male: I reckon blokes who don't take on dares are big girls. Also, big girl's blouse.
: From _The Macquarie Book of Slang_

: I was, I explaine, a big girl's blouse when it came to crumbling ledges, sheer drops, being underwater for unreasonable length of time and squeezing into jam jar sized spaces. (_Outdoor Walking_, 1992)

Does this have any connection with calling a man a " undergarment in two pieces with short pants buttoning to the shirt at the waist..." (World Book Dictionary)?