Bluestocking

Blue"stock`ing

(), n. 1. A literary lady; a female pedant. [Colloq.]
[1913 Webster]

As explained in Boswell's "Life of Dr. Johnson", this term is derived from the name given to certain meetings held by ladies, in Johnson's time, for conversation with distinguished literary men. An eminent attendant of these assemblies was a Mr. Stillingfleet, who always wore blue stockings. He was so much distinguished for his conversational powers that his absence at any time was felt to be a great loss, so that the remark became common, "We can do nothing without the blue stockings." Hence these meetings were sportively called bluestocking clubs, and the ladies who attended them, bluestockings.
[1913 Webster]

2. (Zol.) The American avocet (Recurvirostra Americana).
[1913 Webster]

 

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Tue 11th December 2018