Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Lips That Touch Liquor Can Never Touch Mine"

I was curious to know when this temperance slogan first appears--and it is later than I would have guessed.  I found an 1894 Yale Literary Magazine reference to it--as a filler between ads.
"The lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine,"
The ugly young lady recited,
And the wicked old drunkards in the back of the hall
Clapped their hands and looked muchly delighted.

The earliest reference that I can find to this phrase is a book reviewed in Meliora: A Quarterly Review of Social Science (1869), which indicates that a Miss Glazebrook came up with this phrase, apparently as a song title.

In case you are wondering why I am looking for something like this: one of the subjects for class this week is the Second Great Awakening, and the subsequent moral reform movements that come out of it: temperance; abolitionism; mental hospital reform; discouragement of prostitution and other extramarital sex.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating subject. I would research dictionaries of antiquated words. They contain a treasure trove of historical information.

    I was interested in the subject of mental hospital reform but "back-burnered" the blog idea. I had read somewhere the wealthy entertained themselves by touring lunatic asylums. The cruel nature of this exposure was said to be the catalyst for shedding light on conditions, and ergo reform.