Educated censor

I’ve been watching a TV history of the RKO studio which recently covered the post-war communist witch hunt; fascinating, if deply depressing.

The programme also covered Howard Hughes’ purchase of the studio and the close interest he paid to its female stars. Hughes was clearly keen to make the most of their more outstanding attributes – a censor reporting on The Outlaw complained of Jane Russell’s “bathukolpian posing”.

Bathukolpian doesn’t figure in my the OED Concise, but the excellent Online Etymology Dictionary includes: bathukolpian "big-breasted," 1825, from Gk. bathykolpos, lit. "deep-bosomed," from bathys "deep" + kolpos "breast."

I cherish the whimsy that the word was coined by classics scholars as a way of commenting on passing totty without giving offence (“I say, Carruthers, look at the kolpoi on that – bathys or what?”).

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