Written by: Natalia Petrova. Edited by: Sergey Sviridov

A Flapper

Epoch: 1920s

Black Flappers.jpeg

A new breed of woman – a flapper – is born.
Being flapper is seen both as a fashionable trait and as a cultural stance against the Gibson's Girl-esque vision of a woman.
Flappers evolved from simplistic and laid-back into sophisticated and seductive, effectively returning to where they started.

Meaning

A flapper is a young woman in the 1920s US and Western Europe who defies conventional norms of female behavior. She is active, aggressive, outgoing and social, but also frivolous, promiscuous, a drinker and a smoker.

Origin

The term is known to be first used as a title to a Frances Marion film. Theories suggest the origin of the word in the verb “to flap”.

Similar things in Russia, USSR, Russian Empire

Posters and documents of the 1920s USSR suggest flappers were present in the 1920s urban USSR (see this poster featuring a poem by Demyan Bednyi). Flappers were considered an immoral remnant of the imperial past.

<-- back to the vocabulary