Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Search: lazy susan origin
Why: I am lazy Carly.
Answer: No one is sure! One popular theory goes: servants were often named Susan, so "Susan'' came to be almost a synonym for "servant." The "lazy Susan'' was functioning as a servant who never had to go anywhere (hence "lazy''). Another theory suggests that the name derives from a specific inept servant named Susan. However, the term didn't appear in print until 1917 in an advertisement in Vanity Fair, long after the age of servants. Maybe the term was actually invented by some anonymous advertising copywriter, using the repetition of the "z" sounds in "Lazy" and "Susan" to invent a new term for an old appliance, and perhaps even inventing the "lazy servant" story to boot.
Another theory suggests that the term was coined in 1868 in reference to Susan B. Anthony by political leaders opposed to her efforts supporting women's suffrage. Anthony made a case for gender equality by denouncing a woman's "duty" to fulfill domestic needs. However, her adversaries dismissed the idea as an effort to disguise her laziness, and hence referred to her in the papers as "Lazy Susan." Spin me dat tapenade:
Source: Jewish World Review, Word Detective
The More You Know: The revolving serving trays have been around since the 1700s, where they were often tiered and called "dumbwaiters.'' Dumbwaiters were so called because they quietly (hence "dumb'') took the place of waiters in the dining room. The term "dumbwaiter" now usually refers to a small elevator used to carry food and dishes from one level in a building to another.