Monday, 11 March 2013

Do you Know What "Roll-ons" are?

Only a black & white pic on Google

Sometimes, when attempting a cryptic crossword, you can guess almost exactly the age and possibly, sex, of the compiler.  When I came across this clue yesterday:  "Go round and round on an undergarment", I might have been perplexed, had I not already got one 'l' in the answer, which proved to be "roll-on" (4,2). The dictionary on my Kindle is, understandably, an American Oxford, so it's offerings were as definitions "a passenger ferry" or "underarm deodorant".  The English Oxford yields "a British light elastic corset" as it's No. 2 definition. I remember so well when my mother walked in the back door to our kitchen when she came home from work every day (she walked), she would stand on the mat just inside the door, life her skirt and say as she wriggled out of 'them', I can't wait to get my roll-ons off!"  Her stockings were suspended beneath the garment, the four suspenders sewn to it, so they came too.  I guess the compiler of the crossword I was doing must have therefore been about 60+ and definitely British.  They advertise a newer version of a similar thing on our TV stations today - usually on really svelte and beautiful young things with flat tummies:  I can't imagine who could stand to wear them here, it's just too hot. PS - the armour-plating used to have the spin-off effect of flattening one's backside, which must have been quite a disappointment for the office bottom-pinchers of the day.


  1. Don't know what to say. I am speechless. Bottom pinchers! That was before my day.

    We had a female General Manager and HR manager, there were no bottoms pinched!

    We did have a young lady who liked to entertain the machinists by making a stroll through the machine shop sans a bra. The HR manager got her clued in that braless was inappropriate business dress. Alas!

    1. You must be younger than I thought: clearly you were the perfect gentleman.

    2. Well I never kissed any strange women's feet at the airport. Well actually I have never kissed anybody's feet at the airport. And I have only pinched one woman's bottom, but usually I pat it instead. She don't seem to mind.

  2. I recognize the "girdle", but not the name for it. I remember my mother wearing one. Roll-on would be deodorant to me.