NABOKV-L post 0015714, Thu, 29 Nov 2007 11:54:01 -0500

Re: THOUGHTS: Tumbled Beds
From the OED
9. a. To have sexual intercourse with. /slang./
1602 SHAKES. /Ham./ IV. v. 62 Quoth she before you tumbled me. You
promis'd me to Wed.
1698 VANBRUGH /Prov. Wife/ v. iii, To deliver up her fair body, to be
tumbled and mumbled by..Heartfree.
1772 T. BRIDGES /Burlesque Transl. Homer/ I. 4 What priest beside
thyself e'er grumbl'd To have his daughter tightly tumbl'd?
1922 JOYCE /Ulysses/ 502 Beware of the flapper and bogus mournful...
Tumble her.
1971 ‘R. MACDONALD’ /Underground Man/ xxxii. 225 He had tumbled the
prettiest girl, and got her with child, and Albert and Fritz had taken
the rap for it.
1973 /Guardian/ 21 June 10/1 A hip young girl who tumbles him when his
wife is away.
1976 R. LEWIS /Witness my Death/ v. 166 Tommy Elias had tumbled the
schoolgirl in the ferns.

And note that in the next line of Ophelia's song (not quoted in the
OED), the rhyme word is "bed."

Jay Livingston

Matthew Roth wrote:
>Is there a thread that runs though all of these tumblings? I believe
so. In each case, except for that of Hazel, there is an obvious sexual
context. More specifically, these tumbled beds and rooms appear in the
context of an older man's sexual affair with a young woman or child.

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