WHAT DO THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY ENTRIES FOR THE WORDS IDENTIFIED BY JANET HOLMES HAVE TO TELL US ABOUT LANGUAGE AND GENDER?
1) Bitch – noun
- (usually humorous or archaic) A female dog or other canine. In particular one who has recently had puppies.
- (vulgar, derogatory) A female who is malicious, spiteful, unbearable, intrusive, or obnoxious.
- A person who is made to adopt a submissive role in a relationship.
- 4. (slang, usually only used in the singular) A difficult or confounding problem. E.g. that’s a bitch of a question.
- (slang) A queen (the playing card)
2) Chick – noun
|1.||A young chicken or other bird.|
|3.||Slang: Often Offensive. a girl or young woman|
Word Origin & History
1320 – Abbreviation of chicken (q.v.), extended to human offspring (often in alliterative pairing chick and child) and used as a term of endearment.
1711 – Chicken in this sense
1927 – Slang for “young woman” is first recorded 1927.
1940 – In British use, Supposedly from U.S. black slang.
1950 – Popularized by Beatniks
3) Cow – noun [kou]
|1.||The mature female of a bovine animal, esp. of the genus Bos.|
|2.||The female of various other large animals, as the elephant or whale.|
|3.||Informal. A domestic bovine of both sexes and of any age.|
|4.||Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. A large, obese, and slovenly woman.|
|5.||Offensive. A woman who has a large number of children or is frequently pregnant.|
Etymology of cow: From archaic English, “kine”, and / or, Old English “cū”; both meaning “cow”.
4) Crumpet – noun
- A small flat round of bread, baked on a griddle and usually served toasted.
- Slang meaning “woman regarded as a sex object” is first recorded 1936.
- British Slang. a sexually attractive woman.
- [Possibly from Middle English crompid (cake), curled (cake), probably past participle of crumpen, to curl up, probably from crumb, crump, crooked, from Old English.]
- 1694, perhaps from crompid cake “wafer,” lit. “curled-up cake” (1382), from crompid, pp. of crumpen “curl up.” Alternative etymology is from Celtic (cf. Breton krampoez “thin, flat cake”).
5) Honey – noun
|1.||A sweet, viscid fluid produced by bees from the nectar collected from flowers, and stored in nests or hives as food.|
|2.||Something sweet, delicious, or delightful: the honey of flattery.|
|3.||Informal. a person for whom one feels love or deep affection; sweetheart; darling.|
|4.||(Sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar term of address (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., esp. by a male to a female).|
|5.||Informal. Something of esp. high quality, degree of excellence, etc.: That’s a honey of a computer
6) Kitten – noun : [kĭt’n]
|1.||a young cat.|
|2.||(of cats) to give birth; bear.|
Etymology of kitten: late 14c., probably from an Anglo-Fr. variant of O.Fr. chitoun (O.N.Fr. caton) “little cat,” from chat “cat,” from L.L. cattus (see cat). Applied playfully to a young girl, a sweetheart, from 1870.
7) Old Biddy – noun
- (pejorative) a woman, especially an old woman; especially one regarded as fussy or mean or a gossipy busybody.
- (limited use) an attractive little girl
- (archaic) (Colloq) – An Irish serving woman or girl.
- A name used in calling a hen or chicken, often as “biddybiddybiddy”.
- A female domestic servant, esp. a cleaning woman.
- A fussbudget, esp. a fussy old woman.
- Old woman: 1785; meaning ‘’Irish maid- servant’’ (1861); both from pet form common Irish name Bridget.
Etymology: Derived from “Biddy”, diminutive form of Bridget. Came to be generic name for an Irish maid (US), and then an old woman.
8) Stud – noun [stuhd]
|1.||A boss, knob, nail head, or other protuberance projecting from a surface or part, esp. as an ornament.|
|2.||Any of various button-like, usually ornamental objects, mounted on a shank that is passed through an article of clothing to fasten it: a collar stud.|
|3.||An establishment, as a farm, in which horses are kept for breeding.|
|4.||A number of horses, usually for racing or hunting, bred or kept by one owner.|
|5.||A male animal, as a bull or ram, kept solely for breeding.|
|6.||A herd of animals kept purely for breeding.|
|7.||Slang. A man, esp. one who is notably virile and sexually active.|
Etymology of stud: from the old English “stōd”; “an enclosure for breeding horses”.
9) Sugar – noun
- (uncountable) Sucrose in the form of small crystals, obtained from sugar cane or sugar beet and used to sweeten food and drink.
- (countable) When used to sweeten drink, an amount of such crystalline sucrose approximately equal to five grams or one teaspoon.
- (countable, chemistry) Any of various small carbohydrates that are used by organisms to store energy.
- (countable) A term of endearment.
- (countable, slang) A kiss.
- (chiefly southern US, slang, uncountable) Effeminacy in a male, often implying homosexuality.
Etymology of sugar: From Old French çucre, from Mediaeval Latin zuccarum, from Sanskrit ‘śárkarā’) meaning ‘ground or candied sugar, originally meaning grit, gravel’).‘’
10) Sweetie – noun
|2.||Usually, sweeties. British. candy; sweets.|
Word Origin & History
1936 – Sweet-talk (v.)
1964 – To be sweet on someone is first recorded
OLD ENGLISH – Swete – “pleasing to the senses, mind or feelings,”
11) Tart – adjective
- Sharp to the taste; acid; sour.
- (figuratively) Sharp; keen; severe.
- A type of small open pie, or piece of pastry, containing jelly or conserve; a sort of fruit pie.
- A prostitute.
- By extension, any woman with loose sexual morals.
Etymology of tart: May be from Old English ‘teart’ Old French tarte (“‘flat pastry’”). From sweetheart or jam tart (“‘attractive woman’”)
12) Wolf –
|1.||any of several large carnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, of the dog family Canidae, esp. C. lupus, usually hunting in packs, formerly common throughout the Northern Hemisphere but now chiefly restricted to the more unpopulated parts of its range.|
|2.||the fur of such an animal.|
|3.||any of various wolf like animals of different families.|
|4.||(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Lupus.|
|5.||a cruelly rapacious person.|
|6.||Informal. a man who makes amorous advances to many women.|
Etymology: A male given name, short form of Germanic compound names beginning with the element Wolf- , particularly Wolfgang. A surname derived from the given name, or as a nickname from the animal. Variant: Wolff.
- The names mostly have origins from certain themes: animals, young or baby animals and sweet foods.
- Sweet foods are mainly used for positive female names e.g. honey, sugar and sweetie however some are negative female names e.g. tart and crumpet, often with meanings of women with loose sexual morals or a woman seen as a sex object.
- However Male words with meaning of loose sexual morals, e.g. stud/wolf seem more positive, and they come from animal origins instead of food.
- On the other hand female names from animals e.g. bitch, cow are used negatively! Baby or young animals are used to create positive female names, e.g. kitten, chick.
- We found all words originated as being neutral, but during the late 19th and 20th century a large number of them have become derogatory and sexist. Do we really live in a society that is meant to be a more politically correct than it used to be?