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Flop sweat

Posted by ESC on January 29, 2003

In Reply to: Flopsweat posted by ESC on January 29, 2003

: : : Hello, I was just wondering whether any one might know the definition and origin of the term "flopsweat". Thanks in advance for any information.

: : Fear of being a flop?
: : Sudden, nervous perspiration is called "flop sweat" in the acting profession.
: : The apocrine sweat glands, nestled in with the hair follicles in your scalp, underarms, and groin, respond to the adrenaline that's produced when people get nervous or scared.
: : This is a sweat that contains fatty oils that react with the bacteria on the skin's surface, generating a sour smell.
: : Yuck!!

: For a demonstration, see the movie "Broadcast News."

flop sweat -- n. Theater. nervous perspiration caused by fear of failure before an audience. From Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994. This earliest citation in this reference is: 1966 Susann "Valley of the Dolls" 292: The applause had been deafening on her entrance, but after ten minutes the air was heavy with "flop sweat."

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