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  #1  
Old 04-21-2005, 09:26 AM
peepthis peepthis is offline
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Definition and origin of "pearl-clutching"?

SDMB archives and Google haven't shed much light, so I'd like to ask the masses if you could explain what "pearl-clutching" means? From context I'm guessing it's similar to "bluenose" or "puritanical." Any help with definition and origin would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2005, 09:30 AM
TellMeI'mNotCrazy TellMeI'mNotCrazy is offline
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I apologize for not having a definitive answer, but I always just assumed it had to do with the stereotypical image of an uptight, puritanical woman clutching at her pearls when ruffled or morally mortified.
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:42 AM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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There is an expression or two that refer to one's virginity as a pearl. This is just another wild guess.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:05 AM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TellMeI'mNotCrazy
I apologize for not having a definitive answer, but I always just assumed it had to do with the stereotypical image of an uptight, puritanical woman clutching at her pearls when ruffled or morally mortified.
I agree with this answer. It's the first mental image that came to me when I read the OP.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:32 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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The expression refers specifically to a pearl necklace, which is seen as the type of ornamentation worn by a woman who is old-fashioned, staid, prissy, conservative, or just plain unfashionable. Think of the frumpy dress of someone like Dana Carvey's Church Lady character, who doesn't happen to wear pearls, but does have the unfashionable hairstyle, eyeglasses, and neck-to-ankle drab, shapeless outfit.

Such women are supposedly easily shocked or mortified by "vulgar" displays of lewdness or intimacy and in their anxiety, they might clutch at or fiddle with their pearl necklaces. That's the image being invoked.

Quote:
There is an expression or two that refer to one's virginity as a pearl. This is just another wild guess.
That's not what's being referenced.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:57 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray
The expression refers specifically to a pearl necklace, which is seen as the type of ornamentation worn by a woman who is old-fashioned, staid, prissy, conservative, or just plain unfashionable.
Well, really!

[Simultaneously clutches pearls and glares through lorgnette]
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:01 AM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray
The expression refers specifically to a pearl necklace, which is seen as the type of ornamentation worn by a woman who is old-fashioned, staid, prissy, conservative, or just plain unfashionable. Think of the frumpy dress of someone like Dana Carvey's Church Lady character, who doesn't happen to wear pearls, but does have the unfashionable hairstyle, eyeglasses, and neck-to-ankle drab, shapeless outfit.
Do you have a cite for this, or are you going on contextual use?
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:06 AM
swampbear swampbear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve
Well, really!

[Simultaneously clutches pearls and glares through lorgnette]
Hoardes of indignant dowagers are going to descend on ascenray glaring through their lorgnettes and saying "Well, really!. Then ascenray will be beaten about the head with strands of one, three and five pearls.

I am glad I am not ascenray!
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:37 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampbear
Hoardes of indignant dowagers are going to descend on ascenray . . .
" . . . I vill show the vorld that I can be its mistress. I shall perfect my own rice of pipple—a rice of indignant dowagers vhich vill conquer the vorld!"
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2005, 03:13 PM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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To "clutch your pearls" means to be alarmed or suddenly dismayed -- to "get excited" as in "Don't get excited."

The definition I read for it referenced it as being "from the prima donna's clutching her pearls when she hits a wrong note."
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:42 PM
Powers Powers is offline
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This thread was referenced in Slate!

http://www.slate.com/articles/double...og_clich_.html


Powers &8^]
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