Talk:Margaret Clap

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Untitled comment[edit]

[1] suggests that her date/year/cause of death is unknown, so I changed this. If someone has a better source, please update. anthony 警告 17:29, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)


She was a pioneer of sorts. It's a sad story. Makes you wonder if her whole life was lived just so we can know gohnonera as "the clap".

Folk/False etymology: "Mother Clap" and "the Clap"?[edit]

I'm looking into the etymology for "the clap" and it seems that it predates Mother Clap. I still need better sources, but [2] lists the first known usage of "the clap" as 1587. Unless someone can refute, I'm going to mark that as a folk etymology. It seems that would be more consistent with the Gonorrhoea article as well. Thanks, Throbblefoot 06:23, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

My copy of The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (University Press, 1966, p. 179) states that the word "clap" is "of uncertain origin", but notes the Old French clapoir meaning "venereal bubo", & the obsolete Dutch word klapoore, which it quotes a definition from one Hexham as meaning "botch or Soare in the Groin, gotten from a whoare". -- llywrch 01:52, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I was wondering the same thing, thinking that perhaps Mother Clap took her name from the STD, rather than the other way round. Just an idea, no evidence for it, but are we sure that was her real name? I suppose if one were poor in the 18th Century, surnames weren't as obligatory and legally formal as they are now. (talk) 14:30, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Accuracy of References to Police[edit]

The article refers to surveillance of Mother Clap's house by the police - but as I understand it there was no police service in Britain until the 19th century. Could this be cleared up from an original source.Mollyhouser (talk) 16:03, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

There wasn't a police force like the modern one, but in the old days magistrates of local courts had officers (bailiffs?), essentially hired thugs and often criminals themselves, who were hired privately to enforce the court's will. Before that, there were local constables or sheriff's men or other such law enforcers. Robert Peel created a formalised system but every society's had laws, since the dawn of civilisation. (talk) 14:34, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

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