|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
The term lounge lizard is usually used to refer to lounge musicians, most often in a negative sense (as tacky, tasteless, etc.). Since its first appearance as American slang in 1917, "lounge lizard" has shown up in nearly every decade. In Buster Keaton's 1924 film "Sherlock, Jr.", Keaton plays a projectionist at a movie theater where the movie showing is "Hearts & Pearls or The Lounge Lizard's Lost Love". The movie within a movie has a character who is good looking and well dressed who is romantically involved with a wealthy young woman. A "lounge lizard" is typically depicted as a well-dressed man who frequents the establishments in which the rich gather with the intention of seducing a wealthy woman with his flattery and deceptive charm. The term presumably owes something to the cold and insinuating quality of reptiles. It has also been suggested that the name derives in part from the "lizards", that is, shoes made from crocodile or snakeskin, that were sometimes sported by such men, but there is no solid evidence of this. Charles Plymell has written that Robert Branaman coined the phrase in the 1950s (Wichita, Kansas) in regards to those people that spend an excessive amount of time going from bar to bar. Eventually, the lounge lizard as social parasite decided to play chameleon and take on many appearances. "Lounge lizard" then became a generalized term applying to any frequenter of nightclubs.
- Safire, William. "On Language". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-28.