Why did it gain that name? A weird name to call that IMHO. Anyone know? Any theories?
Most Helpful Girl
The sexual connotations of the phrase "make out" appear to have developed in the 1930s and 1940s from the phrase's other meanings of "to succeed" or "to get along". Originally, it meant "to seduce" or "to have sexual intercourse with".
Studies indicate that at the beginning of the 20th century, premarital sex increased, and with it, petting behavior in the 1920s. The Continental experience at that time is amusingly illustrated by 'a letter that Freud wrote to Ferenczi in 1931 playfully admonishing him to stop kissing his patients', in which Freud warned lest 'a number of independent thinkers in matters of technique will say to themselves: Why stop at a kiss? Certainly one gets further when one adopts "pawing" as well, which, after all, doesn't make a baby. And then bolder ones will come along who will go further, to peeping and showing - and soon we shall have accepted in the technique of analysis the whole repertoire of demi-viergerie and petting parties'.
Certainly by the postwar period, necking and petting became accepted behavior in mainstream American culture, as long as the partners were dating, and became the subject of numerous jokes: 'He: "Darling, I'm groping for words." She: "You won't find them there." (N.Y. 1940)'. Wikipedia3