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 Flapper (disambiguation) on Wikipedia


A flapper (young woman), 1929
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  • Rhymes: -æpə(r)

Etymology 1[edit]


flapper (plural flappers)

  1. (colloquial, now chiefly historical) A young woman, especially when unconventional or without decorum; now particularly associated with the 1920s. [from 19th c.]
    • 1910, Saki, ‘The Baker's Dozen’, Reginald in Russia:
      I paid violent and unusual attention to a flapper all through the meal in order to make you jealous.
    • 2002, Rena Sanderson, 8: Women in Fitzgerald's Fiction, Ruth Prigozy (editor), The Cambridge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald, page 143,
      F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known as a chronicler of the 1920s and as the writer who, more than any other, identified, delineated, and popularized the female representative of that era, the flapper. Though it is an overstatement to say that Fitzgerald created the flapper, he did, with considerable assistance from his wife Zelda, offer the public an image of a young woman who was spoiled, sexually liberated, self-centered, fun-loving, and magnetic. [] Although she is often seen now as a mere fashion of the bygone Jazz Age, the flapper should be regarded as one of the great authentic characters in American history.
    • 2009, Matthew Avery Sutton, Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America[1], page 125:
      Among McPherson's most passionate and visible advocates were Southern California's young flappers, who turned out in droves to cheer on the evangelist. While most fundamentalists vehemently criticized flappers, viewing them as symbols of moral decay and the decline of Victorian gender identities, McPherson had embraced them. Critics of her Bible college identified the young female ministers with whom she surrounded herself not as holdouts to Victorianism, but as outright flappers. The press even dubbed one of McPherson's most successful young protégés the flapper evangelist.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

flap +‎ -er


flapper (plural flappers)

  1. Something that flaps.
  2. A flipper; a limb of a turtle, which functions as a flipper or paddle when swimming.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Buckley
      The flapper of a porpoise.
    • 1878, William H. G. Kingston, The Three Admirals[2], page 46:
      It was still too shallow for the turtle to swim, but it used its four flappers with so much effect against its two assailants, as to give them a thorough shower-bath.
  3. (plumbing) A flapper valve in a toilet-flushing mechanism.
  4. (rock climbing) Any injury that results in a loose flap of skin on the fingers, making gripping difficult.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James Mabbe (1572 – 1642), Celestina IX. 110 "Fall to your flap, my Masters, kisse and clip. Ibid. 112 Come hither, you foule flappes."
  2. ^ Barrere & Leland, Dictionary of Slang: "Flippers, flappers, very young girls trained to vice" (1889)
  3. ^ The Times, Thursday, Feb 20, 1908; pg. 15; Issue 38574; col F
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1989 edition.
  5. ^ The Times, Wednesday, Jul 15, 1914; pg. 1; Issue 40576; col B
  6. ^ New York Times, March 31, 1912:'Some facts about the ballet'
  7. ^ The Times, Thursday, Feb 05, 1920; pg. 9; Issue 42326; col A