Where did the term Molinette come from?

Tango-nerds argue about who is to blame for the term Molinette (the mill) coming in to use in Argentine Tango terminology instead of the more modernly used, and more generic, “giro” (turn). Some Argentine’s like to claim that Americans recently made up this term, of course.  Although if Americans were to give a name to the turn, it would be more likely that they would use the existing term of “grapevine.”

Dances of To-Day pg142This excerpt from page 142 of “Dances of To-Day,” written in 1914 by Albert W Newman give a clue as to how long the term has been in use.  It shows Molinette already in use as the “Spanish” name with the French name being Le Moulinet (a term from earlier round dances) and the Grapevine is listed separately, with a Spanish name of El Vigne.

It is more than likely that Argentines were using this term, borrowed from earlier dances like the Minuet, and its origin and use had been forgotten before present-day, self-declared tango authorities started arguing that the term was never used by Argentines.