#1
Old 03-23-2010, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 3,758
Rouging one's knees

In the musical Chicago, Velma sings:

I'm gonna rouge my knees
And roll my stockings down
And all that jazz


What the heck does it mean to "rouge one's knees"? Why would you do it?

And for that matter, what is a "lavaliere"? Roxie sings:

And I'll appear in a lavaliere
That goes all the way down to my waist


A low-cut dress? A necklace?

Last edited by a35362; 03-23-2010 at 11:09 PM. Reason: left out a word
#2
Old 03-23-2010, 11:13 PM
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Location: CentralArkansas
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http://slangcity.com/songs/all_that_jazz.htm

Explains some 1920's slang.

Quote:
rouge my knees and roll my stockings down -- put pink makeup on the knees, which are exposed by the rolled down stockings. Prior to the 1920s, women's fashions covered the knees. Daring women called flappers began the fashion of showing them, which was considered super-sexy at the time.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-23-2010 at 11:16 PM.
#3
Old 03-23-2010, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 29,355
And lavaliere.
Quote:
lavaliere: A piece of jewelry hung around the neck on a chain.
This kinds of jewelry is named after the Duchesse de La Valliere, the lover of King Louis XV.
See the picture at that site.

So the necklace would be extra long, showy, and extravagant, just as you'd expect of Velma.
#4
Old 03-23-2010, 11:26 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12,056
trivia

a microphone suspended from a cord around the neck is called a lavaliere microphone, popular before they became small enough to be clipped on.
#5
Old 03-23-2010, 11:35 PM
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Location: Northern Illinois
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Wow, that was quick!

Gee, youse guys is swell!
#6
Old 03-24-2010, 01:22 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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In the Fifties and Sixties, sometimes a college girl got "lavaliered" which was a step between going steady (wearing his class ring as a sign that you weren't dating anyone else) and getting pinned (wearing his fraternity pin as a sign that you were engaged to be engaged.) The lavaliere necklace that you wore may have had something to do with his fraternity also. I've forgotten. Gee I'm old.
#7
Old 03-24-2010, 02:04 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Denver
Posts: 7,243
Ha! In my day, you could get "dropped" (a symbol, usually the frat letters, on a chain; if no frat, then the guy's initials). It was considered not quite as serious as getting pinned (his fraternity pin--or whatever pin he could scare up) which led directly to engagement, but about on a par with, if not exactly like, getting lavaliered. The lavalier people seemed to be from further south.

As to the knees: they were rouged to stand out.

My mother rolled her stockings from the 1920s until the 1970s, when she started wearing those knee-high things. She had a permanent crease just below her knee from doing it. However, she gave up putting blush on her knees (as we would say today) when she gave up short skirts--which was probably 1929.

It was done to make the knees look more dimpled. Exposed knees were very new in those days.
#8
Old 03-24-2010, 08:18 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western Reserve
Posts: 8,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe View Post
In the Fifties and Sixties, sometimes a college girl got "lavaliered" which was a step between going steady (wearing his class ring as a sign that you weren't dating anyone else) and getting pinned (wearing his fraternity pin as a sign that you were engaged to be engaged.) The lavaliere necklace that you wore may have had something to do with his fraternity also. I've forgotten. Gee I'm old.
We still do it in Ohio. It is the college equivalent of going steady.
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