Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A broad flexible part, such as a flipper.
  • n. A young woman, especially one in the 1920s who showed disdain for conventional dress and behavior.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. That which flaps.
  • n. A flipper.
  • n. A flapper valve in a toilet-flushing mechanism.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who, or that which, flaps.
  • n. See Flipper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who or that which flaps.
  • n. A reminder; something designed to fix or divert the attention: in allusion to the flappers of Laputa. See extract from Swift, above.
  • n. A young bird when first trying its wings; especially, a young wild duck which cannot fly, but flaps along on the water.
  • n. Same as flapper-skate.
  • n. plural Very long shoes worn by negro minstrels.
  • n. plural Hinged channelod irons attached to the top of the low portion of the door of a landau. When up, they support the door-glass frame: when the glass is lowered, they fall flat upon the door-bar.
  • n. In crustaceans, the tail, or the telson together with the appendages of the last abdominal segment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a young woman in the 1920s who flaunted her unconventional conduct and dress

Etymologies

Sense 2, British Slang, very young female prostitute, flapper, possibly from flapper, fledgling partridge or duck (from flap) or from dialectal flap, loose or flighty girl.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
flap +‎ -er (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If you've spent your time in the boardroom telling Donald that Mary should be fired, that she's an emotional bitch who can't keep her mouth shut and her big fat flapper is bringing down the team's morale, do not say that you have respect for her.

    Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't

  • But the Charleston didn't hit till 1923, and the word flapper had been used as early as 1920.

    Futures Imperfect

  • The metal buckles had jangled and flapped, which is how the name flapper came about.

    Futures Imperfect

  • Margaret Mitchell had been a genuine "flapper" - blackballed from the Junior League for a "daring" French apache dance she performed at an Atlanta ball.

    news | WM | http://www.starnewsonline.com

  • But the flapper was the flapper; and it was the only way ever to see that tomb.

    Bunker Bean

  • He recalled the flapper who had so boldly met his glance.

    Bunker Bean

  • They had called the flapper aside and apparently told her something for her own good, though the flapper had not liked it, and had told them with much spirit that they were to perfectly mind their own affairs.

    Bunker Bean

  • It was true that I did not need the dress, because I never went anywhere and was only a flapper (it's almost more unpleasant to be called a flapper than a "mouth to feed"); still, the real pleasure of having a thing is when you don't need it, but just want it.

    Secret History Revealed By Lady Peggy O'Malley

  • "A flapper is a very charming person," protested Everett.

    The Lost Road

  • In 1921, the original officers, dubbed the "flapper squad'' in the press, were hired to watch out for young women in the city, who authorities feared were falling prey to "mashers,'' skirt-chasers who lurked in movie theaters, parks, and beaches.

    Boston.com Top Stories

Comments

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  • Flappers were a "new breed" of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.1
    Flappers had their origins in the period of Liberalism, social and political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flapper

    May 2, 2012