Friday, September 26, 2008

Watch Out For Mashers!

Many moons ago, when my daughter Jennifer was headed out the door, I would always tell her to watch out for mashers. (I don't know when I first came across the word - probably a very old movie. W. C. Fields comes to mind here.) I thought it was good advice. Besides, I just like saying the word masher.

If Jennifer ever ran into a masher she didn't report back. She did run into a sleaseball at Books-A-Million once and reported back on that, but sleazeballs are in a whole 'nother league, don't you think?

You may very well wonder what a masher is. The (slang) word masher came in use around 1860. It probably went out of common use around 80 to 100 years ago, for all I know, but it's a wonderful word and I still use it.

There are several definitions for masher.

Dictionary.com: a man who makes advances, esp. to women he does not know, with a view to physical intimacy.

American Heritage Dictionary: A man who attempts to force his attentions on a woman. On the notion of "pressing one's attentions,"

Word Net: a man who is aggressive in making amorous advances to women, Synonym: wolf

Webster: A man who persistently makes overtures to women unacquainted with him.

The 1960's TV program Laugh In had a perfect example of a masher. Ruth Buzzy and Arte Shaw appeared in skits as Gladys and LaMonte. Gladys, who appeared to be virginal and untouched by human hands, would be sitting on a park bench, minding her own business. LaMonte, a confident dirty old man of the world, would come along, sit down next to her and attempt to strike up a conversation. Gladys would hit him with her purse and slide over a bit. LaMonte would persist. He would slide ever closer and in his gravelly voice, make offers of some sort of tete-a-tete. Gladys would respond with disgust, adjust her clothing more closely about her and hit him with her purse. She would slide even further over on the bench.LaMonte, undaunted by her lack of willingness, and dazzled perhaps by her fresh beauty, would sidle over to her and continue with suggestions of intimacy. Gladys would let him have it again. Eventually LaMonte thought better of continuing his pursuit. Usually due to unconsciousness.
I don't know about you, but I for one don't see mashers on the same level of sleazeballs. To prove this to myself I looked up sleazeball. There were two definitions in Wicktionary: Sleaze bag and cad. That's odd, I thought, because I had not thought of a cad as being at the same level of slimeyness as a sleazeball, have you? So I looked up cad. Hold on to your seats for this one:

Cad: 1) One who stands at the door of an omnibus to receive fares. An idle hanger on about innyards. Short for caddie. (Why I believe I am suddenly swept over to the land of the Queen!)
2) a low bred presuming person. A mean vulgar fellow. A seducer.

The second definition sounds more like a libertine, doesn't it?

What ever. I'm getting away from myself here. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Watch out for mashers, now that you know what they are, and have a lovely day!

19 comments:

Betsy said...

Very interesting! I always call out "Buckle up!" when my son leaves.

MuseSwings said...

We should probably have a check off list that we pin to their shirts.

Lavinia said...

I've known a few dozen mashers in my time. Hmmmmmmm. Never heard that term until the other day at the picnic. I thought it was the Red Currant wine talking. Well, after all, we were deep in a discussion about mashed potatoes at the time. Or were we...oh...forget it...I'm still a little addled from that party!!!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

My step-mom in the 1970's used to use the term 'masher'. I always thought it was cute. I always took it to mean it's a guy that flirts with a girl. A sleazeball is someone that I let them know right off the bat I shoot and do carry guns. No problem. [wink] ♥ ∞

MuseSwings said...

Lavinia, had you only known you mi8ght have addressed them by their correct title! Actually a sip of codial frees up some of my brain's disk drive. We, as I recall had a tad more than a
sip-a-roo. Wonder if there's any left??

Sparky! I always thought of a masher as a cute word too and a persistant flirt but certainly not in the catagory of a sleazeball either. You can move away rom a masher, or hit him with your purse. A sleazeball requires a blunt force object and maybe a little pepper spray for good measure.

steviewren said...

My mother used to use that word. I'm glad you've re-introduced it into our vocabularies. A word so colorful and descriptive of that sort of man shouldn't just fall by the linguistic wayside.

My ex husband was a bit of a cad. I've known a few closet libertines. And sleazeballs are a dime a dozen in certain circles. I'd say they are all vulgar...everyone last one of them...And come to think of it...Vulgar is an underused word today that needs to be brought back into vogue too.

soulbrush said...

never heard of a masher (know about gnashers= teeth)...know them as sleazeballs...masher sounds too nice...i prefer sleazeballs, (the word not the people!)

Lavinia said...

Cynthia, I just checked my fridge, my wine cellar, my picnic basket, and behind the dog's ears. Nope, there is absolutely NO red currant wine left. Just tell me this, do I need to debase myself any further by checking under my pillow, behind the dusty lamp in the living room, and in the glove compartment of Mr. Peck's Bugatti?
Just to be *really*really* sure that there isn't any left?!?

Debby said...

My Cara ran into a young masher at college. I was concerned when we discovered that he'd gotten into her phone and gotten some family numbers and began calling us after she stopped taking his calls. She matter-of-factly signed up for a self defense class. She now knows 15 ways to inflict internal injuries. I feel better knowing that if it comes right on down to brass tacks, she can smash her masher.

Janeen said...

I love your posts! Some people get a word-a-day emailed to them from Websters dictionary online, but I just subscribe to you! You're a well of information we have barely tapped into yet! ha ha

MuseSwings said...

Stevie - you are so right. There are such wonderful words out there that have been cast aside like and old pair of earbobs or a bumbershoot. We must at all costs get them back. It would be vulgar not to.
Soulbrush - I knew you had good taste.

Lavinia! You got to ride in Mr. Pecks Bugatti!!!!! I'll need my smelling salts now too, please. I let you borrow them when you got the vapors after Stevie's gunpowder blew up. I'd try the bookshelf - 3rd from the top behind the copy of The Great Gatsby. The wine should be there. Hurry!

Debbie! Mashers usually get the hint after one or good karate chops to the er um nether areas. Good for your daughter!

Janeen - a lot of the words I just make up - like hermetizing. So be careful with your usage. Your friends will start looking askance at you. Thank you so much for laughing at my blog! It only encourages me though.

Bibi said...

Just love this post!! I'd almost forgotten about Artie Shaw, too! Thanks for the memories!

Lavinia said...

Many thanks, Cynthia, I found the wine! About two fingers left in the bottle. (I know that you know what I mean by that and that I don't literally mean that I found two actual fingers in the bottle....hmmmmm).

Anyway, I never could read that Great Gatsby because the person who read it before me did that maddening thing and underlined many of the passages in pen. Don't you hate when people do that???

Re: the vapours. Yes, that was an 'unfortunate episode' however the smelling salts worked like a charm. And wasn't it funny how Mr. Peck thought I wanted epsom salts!?!?! He's such a dear....

MuseSwings said...

Thank you Bibi! Laugh In was a staple at our house. The Mister and I actually dressed as Gladys and LaMonte for a Halloween party years ago. I got to hit him with my purse all night.

Lavinia, the way folks were going at it I wouldn't be surprised if there were 2 fingers floating around in it.
That Mr. Peck! Was he ever freed to go on about his business - or does some rambunctions picnicer still have him tied to the bedpost?

Lavinia said...

Well...er....(reddening face)...I'm sure I know nothing about the bedposts, I mean...last I saw was him zipping away on that vespa....I think....I honestly think I was in some sort of wierd hallucinatory marshmallow haze, to be perfectly honest...a sugar induced delusion no doubt. Be that as it may, I do think that Mr. Peck did get down to business, eventually. You know, fisheries and wildlife business. Nets and jars and lab test tubes and water samples and all that.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

MuseSwings said...

Yes, yes down to business.....the picture is settling in.....Now I understand why you have the Bugatti, since he is using the Vespa. Can you keep it until Wednesday? Are you going to Willow's Ball???

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Thank you for raising this most important and essential issue for women everywhere today in this world that spins ever faster.

Cads, Sleaze balls,Mashers - the ability to distinguish between these vulgar seducers is imperative for today's modern woman. I would be honoured if you'd consider writing a chapter for the XVIII Edition of the Modern Woman's Guide to Etiquette? To follow after the chapter about dog poop - that would be appropriate I think.

Thoughtful regards,
Kalianne@BygoneBeauty

MuseSwings said...

Speaking of dog poop - which was an essential piece of information for my cruises, thank you - is there a chapter on what to do with your dog if you are out walking him in Piccadilly Park and he/she finds a lovely bit of duck poop or a nice dead worm to roll in? Must one use one's handkerchief to absent the pet of the greenish black blob?

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Duck Poop. This is a specialist area -beyond my scope I'm afraid. Perhaps a solution is awaiting discovery in another category of literature? Have you tried searching a canine version of "Toddler Taming" or maybe "Dr Spock For Dogs"?
Best wishes!
~Kalianne :-o)