Vintage Maidenform ad.

Listening at Home & Lingerie

It is something of a suburban right-of-passage that, when teens, a parent or two yelled at us while we were in our room, “Turn that – – – – – down!” And the five-letter word was not music, but more likely noise or trash or something that only has four letters.

Then it’s onto a dorm room or apartment, where there was considerable audio freedom, although odds are good that there was a pounding heard, vaguely, thorough a wall, ceiling or floor as the neighbors were not as chuffed with the tunes being played at considerable volume than we were.

At this point in time some of us have our own offspring who may be listening to music that we find to be somewhat off-putting at any volume (and if we don’t, there is a good possibility that the music selection will be calibrated until we do).

That right-of-passage—loud music/chastisement/moving/music/rinse/repeat—is being delayed for nearly a third of American teens, according to the Pew Research Center.

It finds that 32.9% of those who are between 18 and 34 still live in their parents’ home. That’s 29.7% of women and a surprising 36% of men.

At that point there is arguably a confluence of listening between a considerable number of them and their parents, such that the volume is selected at a more moderate setting.

What is more surprising is the number of those 18 to 34 who still live with mom and or dad in other countries. The top 5, according to Pew are:

  1. Croatia: 5%
  2. Serbia: 3%
  3. Greece: 9%
  4. Portugal: 3%
  5. Italy: 5%

But what is more surprising is the number of males who still live at home in places like Croatia (83.5% male; 69% female) and Greece (80.1% male; 65.2% female). What is the loud music situation in those households?

At the other end of the scale are the Scandinavian countries, Finland (18.2% with äiti and isä), Denmark (16%) and Sweden (17.3%).

While correlation isn’t causation, it is interesting to note that according to research by Statista, the number-one country where Rock/Alternative/Indie music is streamed is. . .Finland. Canada and Mexico tie for second and Italy comes in third. The only genre where the U.S. listeners has presence is Country, where it is second to. . .India (which is also, oddly, #1 for streamers of Classical). And coming in third in listeners to Country is. . .China (which is also, perhaps not oddly, #2 in the Classical category).

Returning to raucousness: one of the bigger bands in metal was/is (”was” because arguably it had its day; ”is” because it still exists) is Iron Maiden, which was formed in 1975 and had its biggest hit, ”Hallowed Be Thy Name” in 1982, or 48 and 41 years ago, respectively, so presumably either the people who might be fans of the music (1) have moved out of the house or (2) own it.

Techdirt reports that the band is filing to prevent a lingerie company from getting a trademark for the name ”Maiden Wear.” Apparently the concern of the band is:

“. . . applicant’s Maiden Wear mark, when used in connection with the goods described in the Maiden Wear application, is likely to deceive or cause consumer confusion or mistake among members of the public and potential purchasers as to the source, sponsorship or composition of applicant’s goods in relation to opposer’s goods. Such confusion will damage opposer and injure its reputation in the trade and with the public”.


Yes, the word maiden is used in both names. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word comes from:

“Old English mægdenmæden “unmarried woman (usually young); virgin; girl; maidservant,” diminutive of mægðmægeð “virgin, girl; woman, wife,” from Proto-Germanic *magadin- “young womanhood, sexually inexperienced female” (source also of Old Saxon magath, Old Frisian maged, Old High German magad “virgin, maid,” German Magd “maid, maidservant,” German Mädchen “girl, maid,” from Mägdchen “little maid”), fem. variant of PIE root *maghu “youngster of either sex, unmarried person” (source also of Old English magu “child, son, male descendant,” Avestan magava- “unmarried,” Old Irish maug “slave”).”

Arguably, given the female orientation, Maiden Wear probably has better association than Iron Maiden does for the word.

(While it might be said that the band’s name has nothing to do with either the fourth most abundant element by mass on Earth or young unmarried women, but rather something else entirely, there’s this, from Wikipedia:

“The iron maiden is a mythical torture device, consisting of a solid iron cabinet with a hinged front and spike-covered interior, sufficiently tall to enclose a human being. The first stories citing the iron maiden were composed in the 19th century. The use of iron maidens is considered to be a myth, heightened by the belief that people of the Middle Ages were uncivilized; evidence of their actual use is difficult to find. They have become a very popular image in media involving the Middle Ages.”

Sorry, guys. Not a thing.)

Let’s say that the clothing that Maiden Wear produces is predicated on a look of sexy medieval torture devices. Is there anyone who is a true Iron Maiden fan who wouldn’t know the difference between that and the merch that is on offer from their favorite band? How many consumers would be confused when, say, buying a bustier from a company with the word maiden in its name (Maidenform, anyone?) and the band that generally has a ghoul associated with all of the graphics related to it?

Isn’t this simply a case where the band, members of whom will all soon be qualifying for the U.K. State Pension, don’t want to give up what they perceive to be their on-going fame and consequent fortune? Isn’t this a bit of self-delusion on their behalf?

Iron Maiden fans may reconsider their loyalty when they discover another early use of the word maiden. Again to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

“Also in Middle English ‘a man lacking or abstaining from sexual experience’ (c. 1200).”

Even if they’re still living at home, odds are this is something they don’t want to be associated with.

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