From Flappers to Rappers, a book of American youth slang, records "Priscilla" as a 1920s slang word for a girl who prefers to stay home.

I'm curious to know why the author chose that name. Is there a historical figure named Priscilla who might plausibly be the archetype for a female who doesn't like to venture out?


3 Answers 3


The name seems to have an actual etymology that fits your question


fem. proper name, from Latin, fem. of Priscillus, diminutive of Priscus, from priscus "antique, old-fashioned, old, ancient, primitive, venerable;"

Other names may just get associated with something due to who was given them, viz, "Sharon" being considered a low class British girl (chav)

  • 3
    +1 Also (and probably just as important, since US slang has never to my knowledge been strongly influenced by classical scholarship), its hypocorism is "Priss" or "Prissy" (compare "Miss Priss") and it also alliterates with "prim". Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 12:54

Priscilla is a name from the New Testament. Priscilla and her husband Aquila were among the first generation of Christians. They hosted Christian worship services in their home in Pontus, which is on the Black Sea in what is now Turkey. Priscilla has a connotation of "homebody", one who offers generous hospitality.

Reference: 1 Corinthians 16:19 King James Version: The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.


I'd be much more inclined to consider the similarity between Priscilla (often shortened to Prissy) and prissy "fussy and excessively respectable".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.