Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Sheiks and Shebas, it’s another Jazz Age Wednesday. Today I’m here with a little trivia. If you’re a regular, then you know that I like to use Roaring Twenties slang in my replies to comments. They had such fun with language back then.
One of my favorite 1920s compliments is You’re the cat’s pajamas! Which, of course, means something along the lines of “You’re terrific.” It describes someone (or thing) who is the best at what they do, something highly sought after and desirable.
To break it down, a cat was slang for a man, especially an unconventional man. So we already know it means someone (or thing) cool. However, there’s a little more to it than that. Because of the “pajamas” it has a rather risque undertone.
Yes, really. Pajamas were something new, especially for women. That automatically made them at least questionable, and therefore cool, just for being new. Plus they were trousers, which were oh so risque for ladies. There’s no wonder flappers thought they were, well… the cat’s pajamas!
The History Part
Not as exciting, but… The term pajama comes to us from India, and words like “pae jama” and “pai jama,” meaning leg clothing. Or “piejamah,” which described loose pants that were tied at the waist. Pajamas as a word dates back to the Ottoman Empire.
Folks in the Roaring Twenties were quite intrigued by that part of the world. They were fascinated by celebrities from the area, such as Princess Dürrüşehvar Sultan.
During the early 1900s men began wearing pajamas instead of the usual nightshirts. The trend didn’t catch on for women until the 1920s.
Coming Up in the Real World
Artist and activist, Rob Goldstein is hosting me at his place. Please click over and say hello!
Chris Graham (the Stroy Reading Ape) and I are currently collaborating on a short story. We’re bringing back his character Artie for an all new adventure in the Pip-verse! Watch for that on the next Jazz Age Wednesdays post!
October, 18th, I’ll be part of Teri Polen’s yearly October event, Bad Moon Rising! We’ll be chatting about all sorts of Halloween-ish things, as well as my novella, Brother Love — a Crossroad. I hope everyone will join us for the fun.
Thanks for visiting. Ya’ll are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas!
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2019 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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