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Tipping the velvet

Posted by ESC on June 27, 2003

In Reply to: Tipping the velvet posted by Bookworm on June 27, 2003

: : : : : : : When did this euphemism start? and exctly who did it refer to?

: : : : : : VELVET - The tongue in expressions such as "tip the velvet." Cant., late 1600s, British English. (From "Slang and Euphemism: A Dictionary of Oaths, Curses, Insults, Ethnic Slurs, Sexual Slang and Metaphor, Drug Talk, College Lingo and Related Matters" by Richard A. Spears (New American Library, Penguin Putnam, New York, Third Edition, 2001)

: : : : : That's handy for origin, but it doesn't say what it means - "tipping" would imply the use of a tip - eg the tip of a tongue - "the velvet" well the tongue does have a velvety quality - whilst the expression initially suggests using the tip of the tongue, I guess it refers to cunnilingus, as a woman's "secret garden" could also be described as "the velvet", could it not?

: : : : It didn't say what it means. And I don't think I want to know.

: : : I've seen the light. There's a series on BBC America -- Tipping the Velvet. I've only watched part of an episode but it's about two young women in love. Or something like it.

: : velvet The vagina. Although literary from th 19th century, an affectionate, if rarely used, word to describe the female sexual organs. Partridge also notes the interesting 'tip the velvet' meaning cunnilingus.
: : From _The Slanguage of Sex_ by Brigid McConville & John Shearlaw
: : ----------
: : tip the velvet. 'To tongue a woman'(B.E.['s _Dictionary of the Canting Crew_, prob. dated 1698-9]): late C. 17-20: c[ant] >, by 1800, low s[lang] (Grose, [_Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue_,] 1st ed.)
: : From _A Dictionary of Slang and Uncoventional English, 8th edition_ () by E. Partridge & P. Beale
: : ----------
: : VELVET, a Tongue. Tip the Velvet; To tongue a Woman.
: : From B.E.'s _Dictionary of the Canting Crew
: : ----------
: : TO TIP. To give or lend. Tip me your daddle; give me your hand. Tip me a hog; give me a shilling. To tip the lion; to flatten a man's nose with the thumb, and, at the same time to extend his mouth, with the fingers, thereby giving him a sort of lion-like countenauce. To tip the velvet; tonguing woman....
: : From Grose's _Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue_ Grose

: I also saw the websites about the BBC production, and a question came to my mind. May this term be used generally, or only for lesbian relationships? (The definitions above don't imply an exclusivity, but I thought that it may exist).

Don't know. I'd never heard the expression before.