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Headword: Μανδαλωτόν
Adler number: mu,134
Translated headword: bolted-shut
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A kind of kiss, intricate and sweet. "'(?)Hairdresser'[1] and 'tongued-down'[2] and 'bolted-shut'." Aristophanes says [this].
Greek Original:
Μανδαλωτόν: εἶδος φιλήματος ποικίλον καὶ ἡδύ. θηλυδριῶδες καὶ κατεγλωττισμένον καὶ μανδαλωτόν. Ἀριστοφάνης φησί.
Notes:
The adjective comes from the word for bolt, μάνδαλος , a word without known etymology, as the verbal adjective of a verb known only in the definition of Hesychius for its synonym τυλαρόω . The ancients closed their doors with bars. The verb for closing, κλείω , and its derivatives normally apply to this manner of closing. A bolt is the cylindrical shaft inserted into a socket, both normally metallic; the mandalos was, it seems from the evidence, used to bolt a door to the floor or to the lintel. The kiss μανδαλωτός 'bolted-shut' is also reported by Hesychius (mu224) and Photius (Lexicon mu86 and mu 87 Theodoridis).
At Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 130-33, quoted here, Mnesilochus uses these three adjectives of a "sweet melody" ̔ἡδὺ μέλος ), but it is totally unclear in what way they apply to music (although Eustathius also uses 'hairdresser' for music, see note 1 below). The explanation "intricate and sweet," appropriate to music, may imply that they were contemporary slang for something fashionable. They arouse, however, an erotic tickling "under his seat" and, as the entry here and the scholia explain, they evoke types of kisses (cf. the explanatory translation at web address 1). In addition, the compound ἐπιμανδαλωτός is specifically used of a kiss that the drunken Dicaeopolis demands of the courtesans who support him at the end of Acharnians (1202-03; pi 1240), for the purpose of arousing him for sex; see web address 2.
If one considers the two kisses that Dicaeopolis asks from the pair of courtesans (he uses the second person dual) and the various "types of kisses" listed by lexicographers and in the scholia, it is easy to conclude that most are "technical" terms appropriate to the oral sex "jobs" that are the tools in the trade of prostitutes. Besides μανδαλωτός and those explained in the notes below, the following are known:
- περιπεταστός (web address 3, also at Aristophanes, Acharnians 1201; pi 1240) 'spread (open) around'. When Dicaeopolis asks his pair of courtesans to kiss him, he asks one to give a kiss 'bolted-shut on top' (prefix epi-), the other one 'open all around'. He is asking for simultaneous action from the pair.
- ἀνεμώνη 'windflower' (Hesychius alpha4882). The windflower, the Greek meaning of anemone, responds to the blowing wind.
- δρεπτός 'plucked' (Teleclides fr. 13 Kock, now 14 K.-A.)
- δραπετός 'runaway'. Also at Hesychius mu224, Photius mu86, and Eustathius on Homer, Odyssey vol.2.223.16. The word is otherwise unknown, either an error for δρεπτός (so Dindorf) or a form of (or mistake for) δραπέτης 'runaway'.
- γιγγλυμωτός 'shaft-hinged' (Pausanias the Atticist, Ἀττικῶν ὀνομάτων συναγωγή mu5, Photius mu86). The γίγγλυμος (cf. gamma 268) is a particular joint for two pieces of wood which allows them to lie flat or to move perpendicular to each other. Each is shaped to fit into the other, and the hinged joint is pierced by a pin or shaft (also called γίγγλυμος ) around which they pivot. This kiss appears in various spellings and compounds, perhaps in confusion with a similar word for 'giggle' (which either is onomatopoetically identical with it or derives from it in schoolboy slang; cf. English 'nous' for 'common sense'), γιγλίσμος , 'a laugh behind the hand' (gamma 267, glossed with κιχλισμὸς, ἀπὸ χειρῶν γέλως, γαργαλισμός .
- παιδάριος a 'little boy' kiss (Eustathius on Homer, Odyssey. vol.2.223.16).
Some or even all of the above may well apply to mouth-to-mouth kissing. A noisy kiss, ἔμψοφος (epsilon 1084), clearly applies to either, and kisses thrown in play or from a distance (like the whistles that call a dog or horse) are described with appropriate words, παῖζε, πόππυζε (pi 2058, pi 2059, cf. upsilon 266).
The kiss 'water pitcher' (χύτρα , Eustathius on Homer, Odyssey vol.2.223.16, or χύτρον , chi 620), where the kisser holds the two ears, probably comes from the game χυτρίνδα (Pollux 9.110, Hesychius), which children played with two-eared, i.e. two-handled, pitchers (χύτραι δίωτοι ). If not, it is certainly a mouth-to-mouth kiss!
[1] The adjective θηλυδριῶδης is also used by Eustathius (on Homer, Iliad 2.694) of melodies sung by those celebrating victories and other festivals (κωμάζοντας ). It is formed with the suffix -odes ('shaped') from a noun widely used for effeminate men (see theta 335), apparently a compound meaning "female hydriai (water vessels)," but applied exclusively to hairdressers (assuming that this is the meaning of "hair-moulders"). See also epsilon 1509, theta 381, kappa 2171. Perhaps this is a "hairdresser" kiss. More probably, for the hearer who understands sexual double entendre, it takes the value of its three components, 'female', 'water-pitcher, hydria' and '-shaped'. Notice that such terms are often not understood in their "professional" sense by those ignorant of the sex trade or of minority sexual practices.
[2] See kappa 912 (and cf. kappa 504). The word may be used of a style full of rare words (glosses), but, in relation to a kiss, it clearly refers to the motion of a single tongue (not mingled tongues, as in some ancient definitions) either downwards or beneath.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: architecture; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 3 February 2002@12:25:27.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keyword; cosmetics) on 4 February 2002@02:45:28.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 12 September 2002@04:40:59.
David Whitehead (rearranged notes; tweaks and cosmetics) on 30 April 2013@07:01:27.
Catharine Roth (typo, upgraded 2 links) on 1 May 2013@00:40:17.
Catharine Roth (more cosmetics) on 1 May 2013@01:45:40.
Catharine Roth on 13 August 2013@23:00:56.
Catharine Roth (upgraded another link, deleted two links, cosmetics) on 13 August 2013@23:09:45.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 January 2015@09:28:01.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 17 May 2016@06:28:31.

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