Lv 4
Orbus asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

What's the etymology of the phrase "drama queen?"?

I'm trying to track down the etymology of the curent usage of "drama" in on the Internet to refer to arguments within social circles, and more recently, to refer to percieved "thin-skinnedness" of any sort.

To that end, I'm following up a hunch that some of the meaning is from a shortening of "drama queen" or "melodrama" - any etymological information on how these phrases and usages have been evolving of late?

For extra-bonus-thanks, any etymology on the history of this sense of "drama," or any other historical information about how the word has been used.


5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is all personal hypothesis

    First of all, I've seen a synonym (tragedy queen) in something unspellable by C.S. Lewis, much earlier in the century.

    This would lead me to think that drama/tragedy queen refers to the tradition of prima-donna melodrama: think Gertrude (Hamlet), Lady Macbeth, Cleopatra, etc., etc.

    Current definition: 'someone who is melodramatic.'

    Therefore it didn't evolve, as such. It's just a phrase, meaning exactly that: one who acts like a queen in a drama (tragedy).

    Not sure about 'melodrama'; I would bet on a Greek root. Seems to mean either musical (melody) or sticky, oily.

    Edit> Drama from the Greek 'drama' (delta-rho-alpha-mu-alpha) and Melos is a place...

    I think your hunch is wrong. I also think there is no trackable etymology for "drama", beyond the Greek d-r-a-m-a. Drama=work performed by actors=action, emotion. Arguments can be dramatic, theatrical, etc, surely, but that doesn't change the meaning of the word.

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  • 3 years ago

    Etymology Of Queen

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  • 3 years ago

    Origin Of The Word Drama

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  • Robin
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    LOL ;), it is about "knowing" each other sexually... which if its in the Biblical sense would mean boring sex... "knowing" someone in the Kama Sutra sense, now THAT would be a lot more interesting ;)~ There is some sense, some wisdom in the Bible, it has moments of truth... like in Proverbs when "Wisdom" is referred to as a feminine force, decrying to fools to wake up and smell the b itches brew: 20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; 21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: 22 "How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

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  • 1 decade ago


    1515, from L.L. drama "play, drama," from Gk. drama (gen. dramatos) "play, action, deed," from dran "to do, act, perform." Dramatic "appropriate to drama" is from 1725. Dramatis personæ 1730, from L., lit. "persons of a drama."

    Source(s): Online Etymology Dictionary
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