Social Question

blackmageboy's avatar

What does "Middlesex" mean?

Asked by blackmageboy (37points) May 11th, 2010

I was watching Donnie Darko, and they kept mentioning “middlesex.” I don’t quite know what that means, and I couldn’t find anything on the internet or in a dictionary about it.

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13 Answers

janbb's avatar

I’m not familiar with the movie. Can you say in what context it was used? I am familiar with it as a county name in both New Jersey and England; it is also the title of a novel about a transgender person by Jeffrey Eugenides. Either of these make sense?

blackmageboy's avatar

I bet it was the transgender thing!
Thank you!

DominicX's avatar

I’ve seen Donnie Darko three times and I have no idea what you’re talking about. I might just have to see it again…

janbb's avatar

I thought it might be.

blackmageboy's avatar

@DominicX Um it was the part where the parents were protesting “middlesex.”

Lightlyseared's avatar

It’s the name of the the town where the movie is set. The school they go to is Middlesex high school.

absalom's avatar

It’s the high school Donnie attends.

I.e. Middlesex, Virginia.

Jeruba's avatar

The “sex” part of this very old British place name refers to Saxons. Sussex (the South Saxons) and Wessex (West Saxons) are old names for parts of England. In Massachusetts, for example, there is a Middlesex County in between Essex to the north and Suffolk and Norfolk to the south. A map of the counties of Massachusetts shows the unmistakable influence of English place names on this original British colony.

In Longfellow’s poem ‘The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’ we have the lines

One if by land, and two if by sea;
_And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm

That means all the locations in Middlesex County, where Lexington and Concord are and where the American Revolution began.

The former British colonies on the East Coast have many place names that the settlers brought with them. Virginia (the setting of Donnie Darko) and New Jersey both have Middlesex Counties.

Seek's avatar

There is absolutely nothing pertaining to transgender issues in Donnie Darko – it was a story about time travel and alternate universes. Middlesex is just the name of the school Donnie attends. The parents didn’t protest anything, though there was a bit of a riot after they found out the cultish motivational speaker Jim Cunningham was involved in a child porn ring.

squidcake's avatar

@Lightlyseared beat me to it.
It’s the town they live in/highschool they go to.
Great movie…one of my favorites actually.

stemnyjones's avatar

Lol. “Transgender thing”. I think most of the people who replied to this have never seen the movie.

heyyyitsam's avatar

It’s Middlesex County, Virginia. I grew up in Middlesex and went to that high school, but I’ve never seen the movie.

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