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from 1924 - progress 84 years later?

“The average college graduate is a pretty poor specimen, but all in all he is just about the best we have. Please remember that I am talking in averages. I know perfectly well that a great many brilliant men do not come to college and that a great many stupid men do come, but the colleges get a very fair percentage of the intelligent ones and a comparatively small percentage of the stupid ones. In other words, to play with my mixed metaphor a bit, the cream is very thin in places and the skimmed milk has some very thick clots of cream, but in the end the cream remains the cream and the milk the milk. Everything taken into consideration, we get in the colleges the young men with the highest ideals, the loftiest purpose.”

“And Shakspere and Sophocles," Henley concluded for him. "Edison is an inventive genius, and Ford is a business genius. Genius hasn't anything Poster advertising The Plastic Age film with Clara Bowto do with schools. The colleges, however, could have made both Ford and Edison bigger men, though they couldn't have made them lesser geniuses.

“No, we must not take the exceptional man as a standard; we've got to talk about the average. The hand of the Potter shook badly when he made man. It was at best a careless job. But He made some better than others, some a little less weak, a little more intelligent. All in all, those are the men that come to college. The colleges ought to do a thousand times more for those men than they do do; but, after all, they do something for them, and I am optimistic enough to believe that the time will come when they will do more.”

Percy Marks, 1891-1956
from The plastic age, 1924 [1]

This was made into a silent film in 1925 with Clara Bow.

Marker at abelard.orgMarker at abelard.orgMarker at

The term hotsy-totsy (hottie/totty) was apparently used in the 1925 (silent) film in the more ‘modern’ usage.
The Oxford English Dictionary [OED] first lists it as 1926 with a different connotation

1926 B. Reynolds Cocktail Continentale ii. p.29
“And they sure can fix up a rip-snotin’, raring, tearing, hotsy-totsy time, honey boy.”

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A girl or woman, esp. a ‘good-time’ girl.

1890 Barrère & Leland Dict. Slang II. pp.368/2
Tottie.., a girl, a fast girl.
1914 Joyce Dubliners p.29
“He asked us which of us had the most sweethearts. Mahony mentioned lightly that he had three totties.”

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A hot-water bottle.
1947 H. Walsh Fourth Point of Star xx. p.102,
“I am going to ... rub my feet with meth., then get into bed with a hotty.”

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Also from The Oxford English Dictionary [OED]:

The verb‘pet’ (sexual) is first listed as 1924 from

1924 P. Marks Plastic Age vi. p.53
“ I’m a bad egg. I drink and gamble and pet. I haven’t gone the limit yet ... but I will.”

Its second listing is said to be from Kinsey in 1953

1953 A. C. Kinsey et al. Sexual Behav. Human Female ix. p.389
“The most responsive females may be the ones who most often pet to orgasm before marriage.”

However, pet also appears in a Johnnie Ray song in 1952: Walking my baby back home.

The Plastic Age by Percy Marks

The Plastic Age
by Percy Marks

BiblioBazaar, 2007
ISBN-10: 1434601765
ISBN-13: 978-1434601766

$12.99 []


Cry by Johnny Ray

The plastic age
by Johnny Ray


2005, 2 discs
£7.99 []


the web address for the article above is





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