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make (sexual)

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:46 pm
by Ken Greenwald
In the posting He ~ed her, the word MAKE – the sexual sense – was discussed and I am here listing it as a separate topic.

The sexual MAKE is considered slang. Here are some takes on the meaning of the expression:

MAKE [1910] verb: slang (originally. U.S.). To be successful in (especially sexual) advances to; to win the affection of; specifically to persuade (a person) to consent to sexual intercourse; to seduce. [Oxford English Dictionary]

MAKE [1910] verb: 1) To strike up an acquaintance with (a person of the opposite sex) for the purpose of romantic or sexual involvement. 2) To seduce; (also to copulate with) [Historical Dictionary of American Slang]

MAKE [1910s and still in use] (U.S.) verb: To seduce, to have sexual intercourse with. (cf. ‘put the make on') [Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang]

MAKE [1942] Originally U.S. verb: Applied to a sexual conquest, especially in an easily seduced woman. [Oxford Dictionary of Slang]

MAKE [by 1918] verb: To do the sex act with; = lay, screw [Chapman’s Dictionary of American Slang]
<1910 “Say the swellest broiler just passed here. Let’s go over . . . and make her.”—in ‘New York Evening Journal.’ T. A. Dorgan, 12 August, page 8>

<1918 “Look at that big stiff trying to MAKE that dame.”—‘OED Supplement’

<1940 “Them rich dames are easier to MAKE than paper dolls.”—‘Farewell, My Lovely’ by R. Chandler, page 197>

<1966-67 “The broad was still on the bed wondering if I was going to MAKE her again.”—‘Mean Streets’ by P. Thomas, page 185>

<1977 “A considerable degree of manipulativeness was condoned in the behavior of a young man trying to ‘MAKE’ a young woman.”—‘What You Still Don’t Know About Male Sexuality’ by Barry McCarthy>
I don’t know how popular an expression MAKE is today, but it seems like it has been passing into ‘passéiveness’ for a very long time. Same goes for the phrases containing it: ON THE MAKE, seeking amorous or sexual activity; an EASY MAKE, a woman who can be easily seduced, ‘an easy lay’; PUT THE MAKE ON (someone), to make sexual advances
<1929 “He’s one of these guy’s who’s ON THE MAKE for every dame on the lot.” Ibid. “Of course he’s ON THE MAKE, all men are.”—‘Hollywood Girl’ by McEvoy, pages 16 & 42>

<1942 “Woman of easy morals . . . EASY MAKE . . . loose woman [etc.]”—‘American Thesaurus of Slang’ by Berrey & van den Bark, page 395>

<1953 “If Katherine had been just a pair of hot pants ON THE MAKE.”—‘Kingpin’ by Wicker, page 110>

<1956 "Here was this practically a seduction, she was really THROWING THE MAKE ON HIM."—'Chocolates for Breakfast' by P. Moore, xix. page 198>

<1970 "As a goof, Jumper PUTS THE MAKE ON a whore at 59th Street, but she turns away." 'New York Times,' 28 November, page SM28>

<1978 "His girl—the one he has been trying unsuccessfully to PUT THE MAKE ON—hears the longing and the edge of desperation in his voice and kisses him on the cheek. 'Time Magazine,' 3 April>

<1993 A “PUT THE MAKE ON YOU, did she, Joe? I should have warned you. Past a certain blood alcohol level Yolie gets snuggly." 'Hill Towns' (1994), by A. R. Siddons, vii. page 145>
Note: Under the heading MAKE, in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Eric Partridge uses the interesting intransitive verb COÏT: “Hence to COÏT with (a girl).” “SLIP (HER) A LENGTH [[penis]]: To COÏT with a woman.” He is using COÏT as the verb form of the act of ‘coitus,’ but no standard or slang dictionary that I checked lists it. However I did find it defined – minus the umlaut – at for whatever that is worth: COÏT: 1) short for coition and coitus, to perform copulation. 2) Of a male, to copulate with a woman.
Hmm. But what’s with the umlaut? Is it perhaps a foreign word?

Ken G – January 10, 2006

It's not an umlaut in this instance, it's a diaeresis (or dieresis in US spelling). Its purpose is to indicate that two adjacent vowels (which might otherwise be taken as being a single syllable) are to be pronounced separately. Examples are 'naïve', 'coöperate', 'Citroën', 'faïence'.

Erik Kowal [[January 10, 2006]]