Mae West

Mae West
   Mae West (1892-1980) was an American stage, film, and nightclub comedienne known for sex appeal and saucy, suggestive wit. Her trademarks were her tight gowns, blonde hair, sultry voice, audacious manner, and racy double entendres. Her sly, risque remark, "Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" took the country by storm and became an oft-repeated come-on.
   West was born in Brooklyn, New York, and performed in vaudeville while a child. When only five, she was named "Baby Vamp" at a church social where she perfected her famous seductive walk. Mae West starred on Broadway in salacious shows, such as Sex and Pleasure Man. The play Sex, which she wrote and directed (1926), made her an instant celebrity because the police charged her with obscenity. In Hollywood she made her film debut in Night after Night (1932) with George Raft. In She Done Him Wrong, with Cary Grant, she proved she could act. Many more successful films followed.
   How her name became associated with the airman's pneumatic life jacket has never been proved. But the common assumption is that some airman noticed that the jacket, when inflated, gave the wearer a generous bosom like Mae's own and the name Mae West became fixed as the name of the life jacket.
   An army tank with twin turrets was also named after her, but she is best remembered for the life jacket. For this honor, Mae West remarked, "I've been in Who's Who, and I know what's what, but it's the first time I ever made the dictionary."

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Mae West — prop. n. [after Mae West (1892 1980) an actress with a well developed bosom.] An inflatable life jacket, originally used as a personal flotation device by aviators downed at sea. Syn: air jacket. [WordNet 1.6] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mae West — [mā′west′] n. [after Mae West (1892 1980), buxom U.S. actress] an inflatable life jacket for use as by aviators downed at sea …   English World dictionary

  • Mae West — Mae′ West′ n. navig. an inflatable life jacket used esp. during World War II • Etymology: 1935–40; after Mae West, full bosomed U.S. comic actress …   From formal English to slang

  • Mae West — type of inflatable life jacket, 1940, military slang, in reference to the screen name of the buxom U.S. film star (1892 1980) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Mae West — This article is about the actress. For other uses, see Mae West (disambiguation). Mae West Publicity photo for Night After Night (1932) Born Mary Jane West August 17, 1893 …   Wikipedia

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  • Mae West — Mary Jean West, más conocida por su nombre artístico Mae West (Brooklyn, Nueva York, 17 de agosto de 1893 Hollywood, Los Ángeles, 22 de noviembre de 1980) fue una llamativa actriz y dramaturga estadounidense, famosa por su actitud atrevida e… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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