What's a Dollypartridge?

In a discussion about period writing about 18th- and 19th-Century Ireland, someone referenced a ‘dollypartridge’ as being an appropriate reference to make. Problem is, I don’t know what they’re talking about, and Google’s no help. Perhaps some kind Doper could help me out here?

Thanks. :slight_smile:

It sounds like Dolly Parton to me. Were they talking about someone Dolly-Partonesque?

That’s all I’ve got… I’m sorry.

sulks away

I think she was Keith and Lori’s grandma. :smiley:

Was this a spoken or written conversation?

Without any further context, my best guess is that it might be a mangling of “Dolly Varden.” (Flashy women were commonly called “Dolly Vardens” in the 19th century, after the Dickens character. The butt-ugly fish came to be called that later.)

Bad GQ form, relying on memory like that.

Digging around for a cite, I find that “Dolly Varden” was applied to the costume of said women, not the women themselves. :smack:

Dickens’ description:

My apologies, of course, if Dolly Varden has no connection whatsoever to dollypartridge.

The Celts believed birds to be celestial messengers and bearers of magical power. The raven is the bird of prophecy, the pheasant of good fortune and the **partridge ** is a symbol of cunning and also of Christ; hence the “partridge in a pear tree”.

The partridge has two opposing meanings. It may be used as a symbol of the church and truth, or as a symbol of deceit and theft. Most commonly, however, the partridge is considered a symbol of the devil.

The “Doll Partridge” referred to by your frinds was a slang term applied to a harlot who played the young innocent. It described the dual nature of the role, and the affected sweet “doll” quality she would use.

Not really…I just made that bit up. I have no clue what they are talking about either.

“Dollypartridge” sounds like one of these things.

A double-breasted partidge.

The ironically named Eric Partridge doesn’t list either “dollypartridge” or “dollypartridge” in his Dictionary of Historical Slang (1937; Penguin, 1972). However, he does have separate entries for “dolly” and “partridge”.
Dolly had quite a few meanings, but it could mean a mistress or a prostitute. As an adjective, it meant silly or foolish. Slang usage of partridge was narrower: it’s a late 17th and early 18th century term for a prostitute.
Seems likely that they meant a prostitute, citrus (or thought they did).

It’s a game bird, usually seen flying around a Dollyllama.

I know, I’m not helping…

OK, citrus. You got some shaggy partridge stories and you gots some good guesses.

Can you give us any more help as to whether you heard/spelled it right?

Could it have been “Dolly Varden?”

What kind of a discussion were you in? University setting? If so, could you ask the person who cited it for a further explanation?

Well, bonzer’s research suggests it may be a bird on the game, anyway. :smiley:

It’s on an online writing forum. People have a habit of posting work, and then disappearing, so I wasn’t optimistic about having the author offer an explanation.

Seems like ‘prostitute’ is the most likely candidate. Thanks a lot, gang. :slight_smile: