Tag Archives: Flappers

Always Keep A Flapper In The Family

art by Milo Winter, 1912
art by Milo Winter, 1912

Long before Flappers became famous as the wild-dancing, booze-drinking, convention-flouting young women of the Roaring ’20s, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels told us about the Flappers of Laputa, the valuable servants who made sure their masters weren’t completely oblivious to life’s more important matters:

I observed, here and there, many in the habit of servants, with a blown bladder, fastened like a flail to the end of a stick, which they carried in their hands.  In each bladder was a small quantity of dried peas, or little pebbles, as I was afterwards informed.  With these bladders, they now and then flapped the mouths and ears of those who stood near them, of which practice I could not then conceive the meaning.  It seems the minds of these people are so taken up with intense speculations, that they neither can speak, nor attend to the discourses of others, without being roused by some external taction upon the organs of speech and hearing; for which reason, those persons who are able to afford it always keep a flapper in their family, as one of their domestics; nor ever walk abroad, or make visits, without him.  And the business of this officer is, when two, three, or more persons are in company, gently to strike with his bladder the mouth of him who is to speak, and the right ear of him or them to whom the speaker addresses himself.  This flapper is likewise employed diligently to attend his master in his walks, and upon occasion to give him a soft flap on his eyes; because he is always so wrapped up in cogitation, that he is in manifest danger of falling down every precipice, and bouncing his head against every post; and in the streets, of justling others, or being justled himself into the kennel.

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All Tongues Her Prowess Herald

Dorothy Parker’s poem “The Flapper” has sometimes been referred to as “Flappers: A Hate Song,” although we at FLAPPERHOUSE like to tell ourselves that Ms. Parker, whom we think was the greatest, had more of a love-hate thing for Flappers, especially since she was awfully flappy herself.

GhoulieDottieThe Playful flapper here we see,
The fairest of the fair.
She’s not what Grandma used to be, —
You might say, au contraire.
Her girlish ways may make a stir,
Her manners cause a scene,
But there is no more harm in her
Than in a submarine.

She nightly knocks for many a goal
The usual dancing men.
Her speed is great, but her control
Is something else again.
All spotlights focus on her pranks.
All tongues her prowess herald.
For which she well may render thanks
To God and Scott Fitzgerald.

Her golden rule is plain enough –
Just get them young and treat them
Rough.

Definition of a FLAPPER

FlapperhouseFallAt the request of our readers, we are herewith presenting our “definition of a Flapper”:

She’s independent, full of grace,

a pleasing form, a pretty FRONTAL LOBE;

is often saucy, also pert,

and doesn’t think it wrong to JAZZERCISE;

knows what she wants, and gets it too,

receives the homage that’s her MONGOOSE;

her love is warm, her hate is deep,

for she can laugh, and she can YODEL;

but she is true as true can be,

her will’s unchained, her soul is NON-REFUNDABLE;

she charms the young, she jars the old,

within her beats a heart of MACAROONS;

she furnishes the spice of life–

and makes some boob a darn good TELESCOPE!