When you were a tender and callow fellow…

Today I’m trying to go through some of the literature on child development and adolescence from the 1920s that I’ve got checked out of the library right now.  I enjoyed this list of old-timey epithets for teens:

This age has been variously called “the awkward age,” “the age of storm and stress,” “the silly age.”  The girl is called “flapper,” “gawk,” “backfisch”; the boy is designated “jackanapes,” “shaver” “stripling,” “popinjay,” “moon-calf,” “greenhorn,” or, as in the southern part of the United States, “jelly bean.”  These terms describe the general callowness of the period, and the good-natured contempt in which it is held by the mature.

…as well as the anthropologically informed chapter entitled “The Pubic Ceremonies,” on puberty and initiation ceremonies in various cultures and tribes around the world — and in the wealthy families of prominent U.S. cities.

Source: Leta S. Hollingworth, The Psychology of the Adolescent (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1928).  Quote from p. 1.


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