Monday, 31 January 2011

The Cat's Pyjamas

Today one of my students asked me to settle a disagreement about whether a chiwawa should wear tutu or not. It did slightly catch me off guard, having been off work for some time, I don't have answers to such questions on the tip of my tongue. I felt I gave a professional and considered answer but I would have loved to have thrown it back at her and asked whether she thought cats should wear pyjamas.

I am fascinated by etymology, I like the connection between the 1920s inspired jazz age terminology "cat" and the innovative fashion of the time, "pyjamas", even better that this slang phrase was coined by a cartoonist from San Fransisco. However my favourite snippet of information relating to the origin of the phrase, was a related publicity stunt, where a flapper walked down lower 5th Avenue in yellow silk pyjamas with four cats dressed in the same attire. Perfect. I did try to find the picture from the New York Times when the story was published on 6th November 1922, but to no avail, so I had to go to this fabulous flapper picture from Time magazine.

So all I need to do is add a few activities about slang, appropriate and inappropriate language, get computer support to unblock access to Urban Dictionary and pretty much that could be my lesson plan for next week. We could even debate whether the word flapper should have a capital letter and whether it's ok to stereotype, but maybe that's another lesson completely.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I also have an imminent ofsted- i wish they had cut them instead of all the actually helpful and positive services


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