Author Topic: "Cytherean" - term used in Scottish newspaper 1861  (Read 255 times)

Offline loobylooayr

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"Cytherean" - term used in Scottish newspaper 1861
« on: Saturday 29 January 22 17:20 GMT (UK) »
Hiya,

I'm doing some research, looking at newspaper reports in Ayrshire newspapers in 1860s.

I've come across a report of an assault -
"Marion Leslie, a Cytherean, pled guilty to assaulting the wife of Francis McGinty, a labourer..."

I wasn't sure what a Cytherean was or meant ??? A search online has informed me the term relates to : the planet Venus, the Greek island Cythera, Aphrodite/Cytherea goddess of love.
So, would the use of the word "Cytherean" in the above newspaper quote be a delicate euphemism for the word - prostitute? 
If so, it's a new one to me.
Looby :)

Offline Falkyrn

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Re: "Cytherean" - term used in Scottish newspaper 1861
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 29 January 22 18:11 GMT (UK) »
Apparantly it was also used in 18th Century Erotic Literature for amongst other things defining a prostitute.

It's not a term I've come across before and it's usage to define an accused is very strange - usually Victorian newspapers are much more graphic in their descriptions of alleged criminals

Offline manukarik

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Re: "Cytherean" - term used in Scottish newspaper 1861
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 29 January 22 18:12 GMT (UK) »
Hiya,

I'm doing some research, looking at newspaper reports in Ayrshire newspapers in 1860s.

I've come across a report of an assault -
"Marion Leslie, a Cytherean, pled guilty to assaulting the wife of Francis McGinty, a labourer..."

I wasn't sure what a Cytherean was or meant ??? A search online has informed me the term relates to : the planet Venus, the Greek island Cythera, Aphrodite/Cytherea goddess of love.
So, would the use of the word "Cytherean" in the above newspaper quote be a delicate euphemism for the word - prostitute? 
If so, it's a new one to me.
Looby :)


This seems to agree with your supposition:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/284241

It does suggests that it became a euphemism for a high-class prostitute in the 18th century
Clarkson, Tolladay, Prevost, Killick, Hicks

Offline loobylooayr

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Re: "Cytherean" - term used in Scottish newspaper 1861
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 29 January 22 19:10 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Falkryn - I'd never seen the word before - the Victorian journalist is definitely trying not to upset delicate sensibilities.

Thanks for the link, manukarik - I'll have a read after dinner. Interesting that the term was used for high-class prostitutes  ;) - because Marion would not be in that league.

Looby :)