WSJ on tea-bagging

As a follow-up to my earlier posting on tea-bagging, here’s James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal‘s Best of the Web Today for 24 April:

Tea Time 

We’ve received more information bearing on the origins of the term “tea-bagging.” BoingBoing.net did an email interview with filmmaker John Waters, whose 1998 film, “Pecker,” includes the earliest known pop-cultural reference:

I didn’t invent the term or the act but DID introduce it to film. . . . “Teabagging” was a popular dance step that male go-go boys did to their customers for tips at The Atlantis, a now defunct bar in Baltimore.

That would support our initial description of the term as “gay slang,” as would this Sydney Morning Herald article that describes the HBO series “Sex and the City” as depicting heterosexual women behaving like gay men.

On the other hand, we heard from more than half a dozen readers–most of whom insisted we not identify them–who reported hearing the term used in a heterosexual context (most often from frat boys on campus) prior to 1998, in some cases as early as the mid-1980s.

There is also this YouTube video depicting Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett performing a vulgar celebration, described as “tea-bagging,” after sacking Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in this year’s NFL championship game. So it would appear that, from origins that may or may not have been gay, this term has come into somewhat wider usage.

Now, we’re tired of this subject and could use a cup of coffee.

(Hat tip, once again, to Victor Steinbok.)

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