French letters

kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Dear guys
Could someone please tell me if "French letters" in the following phrase, from "1919" by Dos Passos, refers to any special letters or just French alphabet or something like that:
All the week he was with the Thurlows Dick was trying to get to see Hilda, but she managed to avoid him. He'd heard about French letters and wanted to tell her about them, but it wasn't until the last day that Edwin had to go out and make prochial calls.

FYI, there's absolutely no prior reference to such letters in the previous pages or chapters at all. Dick is a young boy of about 16, intrested in verse, literature, church etc., and sleeps with Hilda, the ministers wife.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    French letter is a euphemism for condom. It was the main form of birth available control then. Discussing this with a woman he's interested in would be very significant. It may have been that in those days a "nice girl" would not have known about them.
     
    Last edited:

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Dear Cagey
    You are so right and thanks a lot. For your information, the only reason Hilda sleeps with Dick is because she and her husband are too poor to afford having a baby and just for this reason they do not sleep with each other!
     
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