- noun a womaniser, seducer, Lothario. In the Literary Review, June 1987, in a review of Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin, jane Ellison attributed this to Martin Amis. She was wrong. It is North American in origin, in common with other formulations such as ‘con artist’, spreading to Britain in the 1980s. sack artist started life with the quite different meaning of a lazy person or idler (who spent most of their time in the sack).