Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 02:57:35 -0400

From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: "Vamp"; "30"


This word came up recently (probably among Uma Thurman PULP FICTION

fans), and I have lots of stuff on the V.A.M.P.s, or volunteer firefighters.

True "vamp" seekers should check out the San Francisco Chronicle, 19 January

1919, Magazine, pg. 3:

What is a "VAMP"?

Is She a Real Menace or Just a Pretty Joke? Why Is a Clinging Velvet

Dress Under Suspicion? And Does "Vamp" Really Mean Anything as Dreadful as

"Vampire" After All?

By Clive Marshall



What do they mean?

One naturally turns to Kipling's famous poem. Probably that started the

rough-house. "A rag, a bone and a band of hair"--oh, yes! She is terribly

painted there--and she is called by the short syllable. Kipling surely did

hit hard at the lady who goes into the vampire business. But does anybody

mean anything quite so bad as that when he says "vamp"?

Is a vamp a kind of diminutive of a vampire--a kind of soft version of

the real thing? Is it like "pash"--a flippant allusion to the more

impressive dimensions of passion?

What does history do to help us? Was Cleopatra a vampire? ...

Speaking of looking the part, can there be a blonde vampire? Aren't

they all brunettes? (Sigh of relief from all the blondes!) Screen vamps are

generally dark-haired, and dark-eyed, too. But then you can't put light eyes

on the screen. There have been perfectly devilish light eyes--

However, this question may, perhaps, have to be left open. Yet there is

another. How about height? At least one screen vamp is not tall--not very

tall. There has to be that sinuous stuff--you can't fancy a fat vamp. But

it may be that vamping can be done on very moderate inches. It depends.

Maybe it depends a good deal on dressing talents. There's a way of

wearing clothes--not too much of them--that somehow conveys a vamp