Words: slut, n.

IT WAS logical enough at the time that the Rev John Skipp's Bible class introduced me to Noel Coward's songs. And so, one now sets aside Tyndale to pick up the new edition of his Complete Lyrics (the American edition is on better paper). It contains 200 lyrics which Mr Skipp cannot have known, such as "A Little Slut of Six" (1924): "When I'm safely married / I'll learn lots of lovely tricks / To save myself from having / Any little sluts of six." The Lord Chamberlain objected, and Coward sort of obliged with: "I shall count my little chicks / And maybe, if I'm lucky / I'll have lots of sluts of six."

The OED doubts Johnson's assertion of Dutch origins, but remarks upon Northern use, and reminds us of those excellent words, hussy and jade.

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