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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., May 13, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane’s female teachers were asked what they thought of a controversial proposal at Wellesley College to fine college girls who refused to “cut out the slang.”

They would be fined every time they used such unladylike words as “peach,” “swell,” “dewdabs,” “bat,” “fudge,” “piffle,” “peanut,” “quiz,” and (believe it or not) “believe me.”

The preceptress of Spokane College said she had no intention of following Wellesley’s lead, because these slang words were so vulgar her girls would simply never use them.

“I am positive that the girls here could not be induced to use many of the expressions that are generally classed as slang,” the preceptress said.

“Our devotional exercises, which are observed twice daily, are a great aid in assisting the girls to select proper language.”

Several other educators said using these terms would “cause a girl to be classed other than a lady.”

The story helpfully defined “dewdabs” as masculine kisses, “peanut” as an unreliable person and “peach” as an expression of admiration.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1917: Three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.



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