Nov 30, 2019

Wordology, Third Tier

The third tier of the theater was very large box seat areas to be rented by the year by wealthy patrons. These came complete with private areas where a curtain could be drawn. This was something quickly criticized for allegedly being so that the elite could solicit the services of prostitutes who often could be found at theaters of the age. In fact, many of the actresses themselves supplemented their income on the third tier.

This also led to the British expression, “Said the actress to the Bishop”, implying illicit things actresses would tell ministers during confession. This was a precursor to the American version of an expression with the same meaning, “That’s what she said”, which was first popularized in the 1970s on Saturday Night Live.

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