Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
WOMEN OF 1917 THE "FLAPPER"
'A Young Bird Unable to Rise in Flight"
BY WINONA WILCOX
"Flapper" -will doubtless prove the
most abused word in the list of 1917
names of feminine types.
We Americans do remarkable
stunts with other peoples' languages:
we change the final "o" in kimono to
an "a." and congratulate ourselves
on improving the ancient Japanese;
we pronounce the first syllable of lin
gerie as if it .were spelled "long" and
feel that no Parisian could do better;
and we have already misconstrued
the English-Tapper before we have
become acquainted with the true
The "flapper" originated in English
society a dozen years -ago. She is
just becoming known in this coun
try, mainly as having given a smart
name to certain fashions for girld.
. in her native land, the flapper is
an honest, talkative, critical 'and
very active girl, 15 or 16 years old.
She has no respect whatever lor her
brother's opinions and she makes fun,
of his friends or quarrels with them.
And she is not the least sentimen
tal, outwardly. Probably the flapper
does dream, of ierself as a Sleeping
Beauty, and of a Prince Charming
who has already started to search
the world for her; and perhaps it is
because she1 cannot reconcile her
prince with the kind of young man
she knows that she is so unnecessar
Her indifference to the opposite
sex makes her most irritating to all
young gentlemen. She is a good
sportswoman, she goes in for the
game and not for the clothes and
often she can beat a male opponent.
She takes honors in school, too.
She is more nearly the equal of the
male than at any other age, and she
is very apt to let him know it This
little trait does not add to her popu
larity with the boys, but it does give
them a good excuse for ridiculing the
Persons who apply the word to the
rouged, coiffured, fantastically dress
ed and precociously sentimental little
girls who vulgarize modern ideals of
maidenhood are maltreating a very
good bit of slang. Its derivation
doubles its significance: in the Eng
lish sportsman's vocabulary a flapper
is a young bird unable to rise in flight,
especially a young; wild duck.
fcMCMftfcfc AEftjfr sft-ittfe " ---;