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Dancing with the lady with a whole in her stocking [hole]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jette(DK), Jun 19, 2010.

  1. jette(DK) Senior Member

    Can anyone please tell me the meaning of this phrase:
    "dance(ing) with the lady with a whole in her stocking"?

    It's the headline of a chapter in a book about women with ADHD.

    What ideas or connotations does the expression bring to native speakers? Research on the internet reveals that the phase has been part of several songs, e.g. Buffalo Gals, but what kind of woman is she?

    Is it someone you should feel sorry for (because of the whole), or is she rather devil-may-carish (because she dances in spite of the whole) ... or?

    And what might the reference to ADHD be?! (Maybe that she hasn't noticed the whole or can't find a stocking without a whole).
  2. hotpocket

    hotpocket Senior Member

    Douarnenez dans le Finistère
    American English / Boston
    I've no idea jette(DK)...what you suggest about this woman with a HOLE in her stockings sounds pretty reasonable to me.
  3. jette(DK) Senior Member

    Gosh! I'm so embarassed! Of course I mean HOLE!!!

    Still, it it someone you should feel sorry for or is it someone who doesn't give a damn she is not prone to conformity. Someone a bit like Pippi Longstocking?
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    First of all, I assume you're talking about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (ADHD not being an approved abbreviation or initialism under forum rules.)

    Since the disorder exists at various levels and generally has no anti-social effects (just difficulty in sitting in a classroom and learning) I cannot guess at what the author or editor is trying to do.

    Perhaps if I read the chapter ..... (but I probably couldn't sit still long enough ;))

  5. volky

    volky Senior Member

    Puerto Rico, USA
    With only this sentence: Dancing with the lady with a hole in her stocking.

    I won't have a clue of what problem this lady might have. On the contrary, I could say that this is a very secure lady, that doesn't mind to keep enjoying herself, regardless of the hole in her stocking.
  6. JudeMama

    JudeMama Senior Member

    USA - Chicago suburbs
    American English

    "The lady with the hole in her stocking" is someone who is having too much fun or moving so much and so fast that she has no time or energy to worry about appearance or convention.
  7. jette(DK) Senior Member

    I am primarily asking for help on the phrase "Dancing with the lady with a HOLE in her stocking". What image does that evoke in a native speaker?

    The Attention Deficit etc. is just the comtext. (I didnt realise that WordReference had rules on abbreviations that differed from general accepted abbreviations. Sorry!)
  8. jette(DK) Senior Member

  9. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English

    It is a reference to a song from 1944: "Dance with a dolly with a hole in her stocking"

    With a little internet searching, you should have no trouble finding it . Billy Haley, among others sang it.

    I have no idea what connexion it has with ADHD, or anything else for that matter.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  10. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    I guess no one here loves Joni Mitchell as much as I do: Help me (title of song on Joni's Court and Spark album)...

    Somewhere in the lyrics is this:
    You dance with the lady
    With the hole in her stocking

    And the song has this memorable refrain:
    We love our lovin'
    But not like we love our freedom

    A woman dancing with a known hole in her stocking might feel a sense of freedom, but I rather doubt that sufferers of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) feel particularly free.

    The song's title -- Help me -- might be a clue, though, and you might check out the lyrics, which I've already quoted my quota of, so I'll just say that they include falling, crazy and trouble.

    Court and Spark (1974) is rated #112 in The Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
  11. Wishfull Senior Member


    As a non-native English speaker who is familiar with ADHD, I think the headline makes sense, quite well.
    In Japan, a woman in under ordinary circumstances (a woman with a common sense ) worries very much if she wears the stocking with a hole.
    In Japan, when I see a woman who doesn't care about it in dancing, I think she is strange. I think something is wrong with her.
    It might be a good reason to think about ADHD.
    Of course, there are a lot of reasons to consider about that situation, though.

    I think it is not the matter of English laungage but the culture of the country/place.
    And it depends on each individual's recognition level about ADHD.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  12. jette(DK) Senior Member

    Thank you to all who helped me out on this! I have a much clearer idea of the connotations of the phase/song line now. Now I just need to figure out how to translate it to Danish!

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