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Laving

Friday, June 03, 2005
I've never liked the word "laving." It's too...slurpy sounding, somehow. As if the licking that is implied by this word is getting awfully sloppy and wet. Ick. Particularly in romance novels wherein the hero is "laving" the heroines nipples, breasts, and/or nether regions. More ick.

Possibly, this is because the word has more to do with bathing than licking. Bathing breasts is a fairly erotic activity -- all that slick soap and hot water and big hands and...ahem. I digress -- but licking them enough so as to actually bathe them? Lots of ick.

I have a theory about this word and its prolific presence in romance novels. Whichever author first misused the word had such a large audience of other authors that they picked it up and kept right on misusing it.

Moral of this story? Do your own research! And get a dictionary. Please.
6/03/2005 12:41:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments

6 Comments:

I couldn't agree more, babe...

By Blogger Anna Lucia, at 3:55 AM  

You are so totally right. Laving is icky. I detest it. Any time I read it, I get pulled out of the story and have to spend five minutes thinking about icky that word is.

By Blogger Kristen Painter, at 5:57 PM  

Other words that come from the root word -- lavare
Lavatory, lavabo (where the priest washes his hands during mass)

Its secondary meaning is to pour or to flow along or against. How can a tongue pour? Would you really write about a tongue flowing against a nipple?

We are talking water here.

It is unpleasant connotations and one of my pet hates.

By Blogger Michelle Styles, at 7:35 AM  

Hehehe! Reminds me of a cat laving itself.

By Blogger Silma, at 10:38 PM  

Agreed - it's kind of like the spit-wash you saw the grubby kids in the playgrounds getting from their mums and praying you'd never be embarrassed like that...

BTW... you've been tagged... (vbeg)

By Anonymous Kate Hardy, at 12:27 PM  

Quite true. Not the only word to get passed from writer to writer, bypassing the dictionary entirely.

By Anonymous Emily Veinglory, at 4:33 AM  

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