Wash Dolly

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:02 pm
Location: Kent

Wash Dolly

Post by aardvarkangela »

Can anyone tell me why is a Dolly called a Dolly?

Tom H
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 2:16 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Wash Dolly

Post by Tom H »

Because it looks like a dolly! It has the head, arms, body and not five (or six, or seven) legs, but a skirt.

That's the general explanation, though being a social history and dialect thing, no doubt someone somewhere has heard of another reason.

I know a lady in her eighties who, with her sister, used to dress their mother's dolly stick in clothes using in place of a doll, which they otherwise didn't have.

One of the dolly's 'arms' is longer than the other, this is the one you hold in the right hand (if right handed) and so gets more of a twist in that direction. When washing machines were developed they decided to mimic this spin one way then the other action though there is little, if any, reason to do this. And they still do that today. And another thing about 'the arms' is that if you are singing as you wash (as many people would) it was called 'dancing with the dolly.

Post Reply