1. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    "Walking out" Dating Lingo

    Discussion in 'Research' started by ChaseTheSun, Mar 15, 2017.

    I need to know what sort of phrase/s would be used to describe young, middle-class people dating in the late '50s - early '60s. I know at some point in history dating was described as 'walking out,' but I can't find info online about the time that term was used. Also, it needs to be what would have been used in Australia (I imagine it might have been the same as the British terminology. I gather our cultures were still very similar at that point in history.)
     
  2. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I know it was used in the 1930s in the UK--- witness its use in Sayers' Busman's Honeymoon--- but I have no clue about the '50s or '60s.

    In the States by that time it would have been "going out with" or "going steady," if you were describing an ongoing relationship.

    It'll be interesting to hear what the Aussies say.
     
  3. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    Oh yeah! Going steady sounds right! I knew 'walking out' was too old, but I was drawing blanks for more contemporary options. I messaged Mum to ask what Grandma would have said about herself and Grandad, and Mum responded a while later: "going out" - so I don't know if Mum asked Grandma, or if that was just assumption. But cool, either option sounds good! Thanks :)
     
  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    I always liked the term "parking" for making out. I know it's not what you asked, but you should work that in somewhere!
     
  5. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    I think guys would give their special lady their pin to indicate they were going steady.

    The first few minutes of this episode of The Honeymooners may shed some light on teenage dating in the 50s. I also highly recommend watching the whole episode simply because it's hilarious.
     
  6. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I know 'courting' is an old-fashion English term for dating, but not sure of its place in time.
     
  7. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    @Homer Potvin Oh dayum. ;)

    @OurJud I am pretty sure courting is from much earlier times.

    @newjerseyrunner Thanks for the link, I'll check the show out when I'm not using my hotspot data! :)

    So, you wise people, what about dating but not going steady? Like, seeing a different guy every few weeks? Is there a word for that? Would they have been saying 'seeing' or 'dating' in the 60s? This character is a floozy, as my mother would say!
     
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  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Not sure. What do they call it today? I haven't been on a date in 11 years.
     
  9. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    I never dated. I married my first boyfriend. So I'm totally clueless. I think it's become so common nowadays (dating a long string of people with no serious commitment) that people my age don't even use the word dating now, they just say "I saw this guy on the weekend," or "I'm seeing him again. But it's not a date! I'm just seeing him!" Argh. I don't even know what that means.
     
  10. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It would depend on how serious things got during those few weeks.

    "Playing the field" was the term if it was just a matter of seeing different people socially, without dispensing, uh, favors beyond a goodnight kiss. Nothing "floozy" about it, and it was what most parents wanted their high school aged children to do, to keep them from getting too serious, too fast.

    So a young person might say, "I've got a date with Stevie tonight" or "I'm taking Brenda to the movies."

    If the affection went well past a kiss . . . well, I can't tell you about the 1950s. But in the '70s I heard a girl like that referred to as "the handy pass-around pack," and a guy could get a reputation as a bedpost-notcher. Neither term was complimentary.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  11. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    So if a mother saw her 17-year-old daughter going out with a different guy every weekend in 1960, would it be fair to say that she might be concerned about the teen's reputation and morality, but also believe (perhaps wilfully) that the girl could be seeing these guys whilst still remaining 'chaste'? Would there be mothers who would prefer she just focus on school or would the girl's social activity have been pretty normal by this point in history?

    I don't have anybody to go to with these questions! Damn complicated relationships with grandparents!
     
  12. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    If she got home every time by curfew and was always where she said she would be if the parents checked up, and if she made the boys keep their hands to themselves, she'd just be seen as a popular girl who had lots of dates.

    There are YouTube videos about dating etiquette in the 1950s. It's true that many of them show what the grownups wanted to happen, but they might still be instructional.
     
  13. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    The village bicycle? (Because anybody could ride her...)

    If you want a lovely old-fashioned term, there's spooning...I don't know if it's specifically national, but I think it comes from the tradition of the Welsh love spoon (NOT the same as love handles!), which the young man would carve for, and present to, the girl of his choice; presumably, if his hands were busy carving, they weren't doing anything else.
     
  14. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Flower children would often be with multiple people, but that was during the sexual revolution. That hadn't happened yet in the 50s, so it probably didn't happen much, and if it did, people would certainly talk about it.
     

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