Sometimes it makes a difference that Peter was born eight years before me. For example, since it was before my time, he had to explain to me what canoodling meant. (And if you don’t know, it is “kissing and cuddling amorously”.)
This all came up because we have been hearing a lot about sexting lately. I admit that I don’t communicate much by texting, but sexting is completely out of my comfort zone. To me, canoodling sounds like more fun.
Peter claims that the term came from Norumbega Park, an amusement park adjacent to the Charles River, in Auburndale, Massachusetts, maybe ten miles from Boston. Opened in 1897 and closing in 1963, according to Wikipedia, more than 5,000 canoes were parked in a 5.8 mile length of the river in the early 1900’s (even before Peter’s time).
In that era, men couldn’t visit women without chaperones. But because everyone figured that they couldn’t do anything serious in a canoe without tipping over, couples were allowed to go in canoes unescorted. And they did.
By mid-century, when the Charles River became polluted and mores had changed, canoeing on the river lost its allure. But the term canoodling lived on.
True or not, it’s a great story.