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MatC
291819.  Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:21 am Reply with quote

There was a splendid article last Christmas, by the legendary GP and activist, Dr Julian Tudor Hart, in which he recommended a stethoscope as a perfect xmas gift. It’s a truly excellent piece, and you should read the whole thing, here:
http://www.welshcommunists.org/index.php?id=105

His description of the alternative uses of a stethoscope, and of its history, is very QI. But for the immediate purposes of this thread, I found this interesting:

Quote:
Then, as now, a large part of the definition of doctors was their ability to keep a stethoscope poking out of a pocket or, more recently, slung casually over their necks and shoulders.


So - the fashion has changed, as regards the wearing of stethoscopes (just as it does with the wearing of scarves, or the knotting of ties.)

 
dr.bob
291944.  Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:31 am Reply with quote

The brother of a friend of mine is a doctor. When he was working as an SHO, he explained that the habit commonly depicted on TV of doctors wearing the stethoscope around their neck was no longer fashionable (this was in the late 90's) and the truly "a la mode" doctors just slung them over one shoulder.

Personally, I could never understand how they prevented them from just sliding off, but I guess fashion has never been about good sense.

 
MatC
291949.  Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:39 am Reply with quote

Presumably, it would be an awful faux pas in 2008 to wear the steth in the late 90s style - so I wonder what the latest fashion is?

 
MatC
301394.  Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:53 am Reply with quote

St Wulstan, when Bishop of Worcester, considered long hair on men to be so “highly immoral, criminal, and beastly” that he carried a small knife in his pocket and whenever a longhair knelt before him to receive his blessing, “he would whip it out slyly, and cut off a handful, and then, throwing it in his face, tell him to cut off all the rest, or he would go to hell.”

In the time of Henry I, Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, republished a decree of excommunication and outlawry against longhairs. But long curls on men became the fashion at court, until Serlo, king’s chaplain, preached a sermon which was so convincing about the torments in hell awaiting longhairs that “several of them burst into tears, and wrung their hair, as if they would have pulled it out by the roots.” The king himself was observed to be in tears, and Serlo pulled out a pair of scissors and cut the king's hair there and then. Short hair then became the fashion for a while. But within six months, long hair was back in vogue. The king and the archbishop so fell out over the issue, that when Anselm died, the king allowed the see to remain vacant for five years, so that he and his courtiers could wear long hair in peace.

In France, Louis VII chopped off his long curly hair, in obedience to priestly demands, and wore a monk's hair cut. Unfortunately, his wife - Eleanor - “never admired him in this trim,” and eventually they were divorced; thus France lost the provinces of Guienne and Poitou, which had been her dowry. She herself married Henry II of England, which alliance gave England “that strong footing in France which was for so many centuries the cause of such long and bloody wars between the nations.”

While Richard the Lionheart was away at the crusades, his subjects cropped their hair and shaved their beards. But William “Longbeard” Fitzosbert - “the great demagogue of that day” - wore his beard to his waist, and encouraged any who claimed to be of Saxon descent to wear their hair long, so as to distinguish them from the hated Normans.


S: “Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds” by Charles Mackay (Wordsworth Editions, 1995).

LINK to the "last blonde" myth, under Finland


Last edited by MatC on Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:29 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Flash
301398.  Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:57 am Reply with quote

There's definitely material there.

Jazz musicians of the '50s referred to classical musicians as 'long-hairs'.

 
MatC
301417.  Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:14 am Reply with quote

I still do.

 
MatC
301467.  Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:13 am Reply with quote

Q: In the early 19th century in London, what was the answer to the question?
F: What question?
A: Quoz!

“Many years ago” wrote Mackay in the 1850s*, the one-word phrase which answered almost every purpose amongst Londoners was “Quoz!” It “took the fancy of the multitude in an extraordinary degree, and very soon acquired an almost boundless meaning.”

It seems it could be used in response to just about any question (though was not limited to that). It expressed incredulity: if someone said something you found unbelievable, you’d reply “Quoz!” meaning something like “Leave it out!” If someone asked you to do something which you considered outrageous - lend him a fiver, say - you'd reply “Quoz!” meaning, roughly, “I should flippin’ cocoa!” The expression could be used simply for fun; “mischievous urchins” would look “a fellow passenger” in the face and cry out “Quoz!” for the mirth of the man’s embarrassment and puzzlement.

Best of all, from our point of view, it meant “Whatevah!” Thus: “... getting summarily rid of an argument which he could not overturn, he uttered the word ‘Quoz,’ with a contemptuous curl of his lip and an impatient shrug of his shoulders.”

While it lasted, “Every alehouse resounded with ‘Quoz’; every street corner was noisy with it, and every wall for miles around was chalked with it.”

S: “Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds” by Charles Mackay (Wordsworth Editions, 1995).

*(Annoyingly, I can find no source to give us a clearer date; Partridge only mentions quoz via Mackay, and no-one else seems to mention it at all.)

 
Flash
301559.  Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:18 pm Reply with quote

Apparently Wulstan (who became Bishop of Worcester in 1062) vigorously opposed not only long hair but also the slave trade in the port of Bristol, which he got banned. He retained his See after the Conquest.
http://www.hullp.demon.co.uk/SacredHeart/saint/StWulstan.htm

 
MatC
302041.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:02 am Reply with quote

Quoz, says Mackay, faded as suddenly as it had been born, and the next catchphrase to rule London was “What a shocking bad hat!”

Quote:
No sooner had it become universal, than thousands of idle but sharp eyes were on the watch for the passenger whose hat showed any signs, however slight, of ancient service. Immediately the cry arose, and, like the what-whoop of the Indians, was repeated by a hundred discordant throats.


Quote:
When such a man, and with such a hat, passed in those days through a crowded neighbourhood, he might think himself fortunate if his annoyances were confined to the shouts and cries of the populace. The obnoxious hat was often snatched from his head, and thrown into the gutter by some practical joker, and then raised, covered with mud, upon the end of a stick, for the admiration of the spectators, who held their sides with laughter, and exclaimed in the pauses of their mirth, "Oh! what a shocking bad hat! .... What a shocking bad hat!" Many a nervous, poor man, whose purse could but ill spare the outlay, doubtless purchased a new hat before the time, in order to avoid exposure in this manner.


That bad hat arose from an election in Southwark, where one of the candidates was

Quote:
an eminent hatter. This gentleman, in canvassing the electors, adopted a somewhat professional mode of conciliating their good-will, and of bribing them without letting them perceive that they were bribed. Whenever he called upon or met a voter whose hat was not of the best material, or, being so, had seen its best days, he invariably said, "What a shocking bad hat you have got; call at my warehouse, and you shall have a new one!" Upon the day of election this circumstance was remembered, and his opponents made the most of it, by inciting the crowd to keep up an incessant cry of "What a shocking bad hat!" all the time the honourable candidate was addressing them. From Southwark the phrase spread over all London, and reigned, for a time, the supreme slang of the season.


S: “Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds” by Charles Mackay (Wordsworth Editions, 1995).

 
Flash
302050.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:18 am Reply with quote

It is very interesting that these things managed to gain wide currency without benefit of television. The subject feels like it ought to be usable, for sure.

I wonder whether there are comparable fads recorded from ancient times?

Of course there are instances of grumpy attempts to legislate formally against fads like having very long toes on your boots.

Just thinking aloud here, in silence.

 
MatC
302079.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:03 am Reply with quote

Another post-quoz term which “served to answer all questions” was “Hookey Walker,” eventually shortened to Walker ...

Quote:
uttered with a peculiar drawl upon the first syllable, and a sharp turn upon the last. If a lively servant girl was importuned for a kiss by a fellow she did not care about, she cocked her little nose, and cried "Walker!" If a dustman asked his friend for the loan of a shilling, and his friend was either unable or unwilling to accommodate him, the probable answer he would receive was "Walker!" If a drunken man was reeling along the streets, and a boy pulled his coat-tails, or a man knocked his hat over his eyes to make fun of him, the joke was always accompanied by the same exclamation. This lasted for two or three months, and "Walker!" walked off the stage, never more to be revived for the entertainment of that or any future generation.


S: “Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds” by Charles Mackay (Wordsworth Editions, 1995).

 
MatC
302082.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:05 am Reply with quote

Re these being pre-radio - Hookey Walker was apparently "derived from the chorus of a popular ballad." So I suppose that one is more explicable in modern terms. But quoz, for instance, seems to have come from nowhere.

 
Flash
302090.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:13 am Reply with quote

At school one term, we used to say "Chunky" and stick one elbow out to the side. It had no meaning at all that I can remember, and it only lasted that one term. I guess these things are very common in closed communities - the curious thing is when (and why) they escape into the wild.

 
MatC
302093.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:15 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The next phrase was a most preposterous one. Who invented it, how it arose, or where it was first heard, are alike unknown. Nothing about it is certain, but that for months it was the slang par excellence of the Londoners, and afforded them a vast gratification. "There he goes with his eye out!" or "There she goes with her eye out!" as the sex of the party alluded to might be, was in the mouth of everybody who knew the town. The sober part of the community were as much puzzled by this unaccountable saying as the vulgar were delighted with it. The wise thought it very foolish, but the many thought it very funny, and the idle amused themselves by chalking it upon walls, or scribbling it upon monuments. But, "all that's bright must fade," even in slang. The people grew tired of their hobby, and "There he goes with his eye out!" was heard no more in its accustomed haunts.


S: “Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds” by Charles Mackay (Wordsworth Editions, 1995).

 
MatC
302096.  Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:16 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Another very odd phrase came into repute in a brief space afterwards, in the form of the impertinent and not universally apposite query, "Has your mother sold her mangle?" But its popularity was not of that boisterous and cordial kind which ensures a long continuance of favour. What tended to impede its progress was, that it could not be well applied to the older portions of society. It consequently ran but a brief career, and then sank into oblivion.


S: as before

 

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