why people had cocktail parties, and jazzed, and Charlestoned till they were ready to drop

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover( para.34) by Lawrence(the University of Adelaide,here):

Meanwhile you just lived on and there was nothing to it. She understood perfectly well why people had cocktail parties, and jazzed, and Charlestoned till they were ready to drop. You had to take it out some way or other, your youth, or it ate you up. But what a ghastly thing, this youth!

The sentence in red is a little confusing for me:
First, I know "jazz" and "charleston" can work off excessive energy, but I'm not clear about "cocktail party". What do people usually do at the cocktail party? Or does cocktail party have a special meaning in the sentence?
Then what does "drop" means in the sentence(the Chinese version translated is as "exhausted", but I doubt it)?
Finally, I feel "jazz" and "charleston" are both used as a verb.

Thank you in advance
 
Last edited:
  • RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    A cocktail party is a party at which one of the main activities is drinking cocktails.

    "Jazz" and "Charleston" are indeed both used as verbs. "Charlestoned till they were ready to drop." + "Danced the Charleston until they were so tired they were ready to fall over."

    (Wiki links.)
     
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