Words for Women

There are so many words and phrases used to describe women (and girls).
Some of them are intended to be positive, flattering and complementary.
Some of them are not. Some have the intention of insult. And some of those are really quite ugly.
Some of them are funny – and some of them might have been funny once, but that joke isn’t funny anymore – and some of them you just have to laugh at, or else you might cry… or worse still, get angry.

There are some similar words and phrases for men (and boys), but they tend to lack the variety, diversity and inventiveness of the terms loaded with gender and aimed at women.

Here’s a few examples:
Mutton dressed as lamb
Yummy mummy
Old bag
Asking for it
Woman of a certain age
Bunny boiler
Right little madam
Stress highlights
Fat cow

I’m going to post this on the usual social media channels and ask you to add to the list. This is not about being exhaustive or definitive. It’s not really even about judging the value or lack of merit of any of these words or phrases. It’s just about noticing and thinking about it. We might use some of these words and phrases in our show.
I’ll add a PART 2 to this post with other people’s contributions.

3 responses

  1. Spinster. I hate it. It’s loaded with presumption/assumption – about heterosexuality, desirability, etc. Like a lot of words, it defines women in relation to men. When I worked with older people my boss frequently used it to describe older women. Grrrr.

    Also, MILF. I’m a big Flickr fan and there’s a group called MILF (Man, I Love Film) which I refuse to partake in because even hijacking the acronym is puerile.

    There’s a brilliant book you should check out – Womanwords by Jane Mills.

  2. Frigid, easy, ho/ whore, bike, phrases like ‘smash her back doors in’ etc

    But also beautiful, pretty etc – none of these are applied to men/boys. It’s like you’re only valid if you are deemed decorative. Working in a secondary I see how makeup is used as an amour /mask by girls to push people out.

  3. not just a pretty face
    cat lady

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