Monday, 2 March 2009

What is a bluestocking?

In mid-18th-century England, any of a group of women who met to discuss literature. Attempting to replace the playing of cards and such social activities with more intellectual pursuits, they held "conversations" to which they invited men of letters and members of the aristocracy with literary interests. The term probably originated when Mrs. Elizabeth Vesey invited the learned Benjamin Stillingfleet to one of her parties; he declined, saying he lacked appropriate dress, until she told him to come "in his blue stockings" — the ordinary worsted stockings he was wearing at the time. The word bluestocking came to be applied derisively to a woman who affects literary or learned interests.

~ definition of Bluestocking, from

According to Wikipedia:

The Blue Stockings Society was created in imitation of the French society of the same name, but emphasizing education and mutual co-operation rather than the individualism which marked the French version.

The Society was founded in the early 1750s by Elizabeth Montagu and others as a women's literary discussion group, a revolutionary step away from traditional non-intellectual women's activities. They invited various people to attend, including botanist, translator and publisher Benjamin Stillingfleet. One story tells that Stillingfleet was not rich enough to have the proper formal dress, which included black silk stockings, so he attended in everyday blue worsted stockings. The term came to refer to the informal quality of the gatherings and the emphasis on conversation over fashion.

Dansk (Danish)
n. - blåstrømpe, kvindelig intellektuel

Nederlands (Dutch)

Français (French) 
n. - (fig) bas-bleu

Deutsch (German) 
n. - Blaustrumpf

Ελληνική (Greek) 
n. - (καθομ.) (ψευτο)διανοούμενη, κουλτουριάρα

Italiano (Italian) 
donna intellettuale, avocetta

Português (Portuguese) 
n. - sabichona (f) (coloq.)

Русский (Russian) 
образованная женщина

Español (Spanish) 
n. - literata, marisabidilla

Svenska (Swedish) 
n. - blåstrumpa

中文(简体) (Chinese (Simplified)) 
女学者, 装做有学问的女人

中文(繁體) (Chinese (Traditional)) 
n. - 女學者, 裝做有學問的女人

한국어 (Korean) 
n. - 여류문학자

日本語 (Japanese) 
n. - 才女, 女流文学者

العربيه (Arabic) 
‏(الاسم) امرأة رفيعه التعليم‏

עברית (Hebrew) 
n. - משכילה, אינטליגנטית

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