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It has a much more specific reason, I read. I read it originated at the end of WWII, when US GIs travelled around France and in Paris, and had their only real experience of people who lived under occupation for years. For, soap was rationed, with the German Army carting off production for itself; to boot, many people couldn't buy many new clothes and water for washing was also constrained.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 23rd, 2006 at 06:45:03 PM EST
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Well, when I was in the US I encountered the prejudice that Europeans (or just foreigners) smell, and also the specific factors I list. Bodily odour, whether it is pungent/offensive or not, has been banished from the American "standard".

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 23rd, 2006 at 07:09:25 PM EST
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