It is amazing what you can learn on the Internet. From being called a slut to the whereabouts of Napoleon's little general. And Awooga Heddy Lamar
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 13, 2015 – Our weekly trivia adventure is a bit bawdy today, which means it is also, as always, titillating.
1 – The Term “Slut” Originally Described Men: Most people today apply the word slut to a person, usually a woman, of loose sexual morals. Believe it or not, though the term has always had a negative connotation, it was not always a reference to promiscuity or used to describe women.
The original use of the word slut is not known, but it did appear in 1402 in Middle English as slutte, which depicted “a dirty, untidy, or slovenly woman.”
However, Geoffrey Chaucer used the word sluttish as early as 1386 to describe a “slovenly man.” The attribution did not last long, rapidly yielding almost exclusively to females who were sexually licentious.
Even so, the earliest uses did not always pertain to sexuality. In 1450, it described a “kitchen maid or drudge” and maintained that significance into the 18th century. At that time, hard knots of dough found in bread were called “slut’s pennies.”
William Shakespeare used the word slutishness in his comedy As You Like It, written in either 1599 or 1600, and Samuel Pepys of Pepys’ Diary fame described a servant girl as “an admirable slut” who “pleases us mightily, doing more service than both the others and deserves wages better.”
Despite all that, men were first in line, proving once again that “what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.”
2 – When Was the First Nude Scene in a Mainstream Film?: The name of the picture was Ecstasy and the honor belongs to Hedy Lamarr in 1933. It was not an American film, however, and it took another five years before Lamarr made an appearance in a Hollywood production. Nevertheless, the scene did create an international outcry in its day.
The Czech-German actress, who was known as Hedy Kiesler at the time, played a woman named Eva who is seen swimming nude in a lake before running naked for several minutes through a forest.
Most countries throughout the world, notably the United States, banned the cinematic groundbreaker unless it was radically edited to remove the controversial scene.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that a recognized major movie star appeared nude in an American film. The picture was the forgettable Promises, Promises featuring the unforgettable Jayne Mansfield. The scene took place in a soapy bath followed by Mansfield’s stepping out of the tub to dry off.
Some people might dispute Mansfield’s claim by referring to a nude swimming scene in the 1933 pre-code movie “Tarzan and his Mate” starring Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O’Hara. “Jane” did swim without her clothes but the actress was a body double rather than Ms. O’Hara, leaving the subject open for debate.
Less known, and perhaps more important, about Hedy Lamarr is that she was an accomplished inventor whose technological advances were used heavily during World War II by the American military. Lamarr’s inventions have most recently led to advances that are now incorporated in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which led to her induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame last year.
3 – Where is Napoleon’s Masculinity?: Not that most people woke up today wondering why Napoleon Bonaparte was not buried intact, but it is curious that he went to his grave without his masculine gender.
Bonaparte died in 1821 as a result of stomach cancer. It was during the autopsy with 17 British and French officials present, that Dr. Francesco Antommarchi removed Napoleon’s liver and stomach and placed them in jars of ethyl alcohol.
Unfortunately for Napoleon, the doctor had a keen dislike for him and, in the process of performing his autopsy he quite literally “dismembered” his patient. The doctor did not retain Bonaparte’s digit, keeping only the emperor’s death mask and a couple of pieces of lower intestine for himself.
It was actually Napoleon’s chaplain, Abbé Ange Vignali, who kept the most intimate part of the royal anatomy. Two decades later Vignali family put the prized penis up for auction, in which it was described as “a mummified tendon taken from (Napoleon’s) body during post-mortem.”
Eccentric American collector A.S.W. Rosenbach purchased Napoleon’s better half for 400 pounds in 1924, using it as a conversation piece at parties. He also temporarily loaned it to the Museum of French Art in New York, where it was displayed on a small cushion of velvet, of course.
Years later, Dr. John K. Lattimer, America’s leading urologist, bought the item and had it X-rayed at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, which confirmed it as being a penis. Lattimer kept his trophy in a suitcase under his bed until he died in 2007.
Since that time, there has been at least one offer to Lattimer’s daughter, in the amount of $100,000 to buy the severed prize.
Thus, the Little Corporal went to his grave without his “little general” and, unlike his American counterpart, General George Custer, he never got the chance to make a last stand.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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