What is "turtle-billing"?
February 16, 2014 1:03 PM Subscribe
In the course of a dramatic reading of "Fanny Hill" last night I ran across the phrase "turtle-billing," but I cannot find a precise definition of the act. Can you?
posted by BlackLeotardFront to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I found in "Love, Sex, and Marriage: A Historical Thesaurus"
the term under "pertaining to one who caresses" alongside turtle-like and billing. And in (I think) Cleland's own "Dictionary of Love"
I find "of all kisses, the turtle-billing one is the most emphatic, but rarely used, where there is not full liberty to use every thing else." But I can't figure out what exactly it is! I believe it is actually bird-related (i.e. turtle dove) rather than turtle-related. Is anyone acquainted with the specifics of this action?