entertaining a lady

narumaru

Senior Member
China
Schwed, a pleasure-loving, cultured man who had been expelled from Princeton University in his final year for entertaining a lady in his room after 6pm, had a deep understanding and few illusions about the world of investment.
(Where are the customers' yachts? by Fred Schwed)

Hi, everyone. Could you tell me what "entertaining a lady" means in the sentence above?

This book has a reputation as the funniest investment book, so I can't really guess what it means from the context.

Thanks for your help.
 
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  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    No, it doesn't, not in that book. Where Are the Customers' Yachts? was first published 75 years ago, in 1940. The author, Fred Schwed Jr., started working on Wall Street in the early 1920s. His days at Princeton must have been well before that. In those days, decades before co-ed dormitories at colleges, a male student's having a young woman in his dorm room after a certain hour was strictly forbidden. (Having sex in a college dorm room was unheard of.)

    In this instance "entertaining a lady" simply means that a young woman was visiting.

    P.S.: I think there's a typo. "In his final tear" should be "in his final year".
     
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    narumaru

    Senior Member
    China
    Thanks Dominic_123

    I thought he did that as well, but then again, I don't think that was bad enough excuse to expel him from University. So I wasn't sure.

    Thanks Parla.

    After reading your comment, everything makes sense now. I didn't know what life is like in 1940 so I could not see that situation. Your comment was a great help.

    P.S.: I think there's a typo. "In his final tear" should be "in his final year".
    You are right. It was a typo. Thanks for spotting. I will fix that.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It was the term used in my college rules in the early 60's. "Ladies are not allowed to entertain gentlemen visitors before (time) or after (time)."
    Single sex colleges and strict visiting hours either way. What actually happened within the visiting hours was another question.
     

    narumaru

    Senior Member
    China
    Thanks Hermione Golightly:)

    I almost start thinking "What a poor guy he is. He was just chatting with a lady and forgot to check the time." but your comment has a point. He might have done something naughty.

    Thanks. Your comment was a great help.:)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    And just to emphasize, Princeton (which was historically Presbyterian) required freshman to attend chapel on Sundays up until 1964, and the college remained an all-male school until 1969. 100 years ago, allowing a woman to be in a dormitory room at night in an all-male Presbyterian school would have been considered indecent and outrageous.
     
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