4 Bad Words for ‘Bad Women’ (And Maybe 1 for Men)

These definitely aren’t words you’ll learn in any English class or textbook, but you’ll certainly hear them in movies and TV shows, from the past until now.

Warning! This article contains bad words that are for adult eyes and brains only.

Although we have, thankfully, become more aware of the power of words, and how they can be used as weapons, these words have been a part of the English language for a very long time.

4 Bad Words for ‘Bad Women’

What do I mean by ‘bad women’? (The quotes are because I don’t think they’re bad!)

These terms describe women who sleep with men, and it is seen as negative, or shameful, by some people.

Slut- This is by far the most common term, when a person wants to shame a woman for having sex.

Interestingly, the word ‘sluttish’ was used by Chaucer in the 14th century to refer to an untidy man.

By the mid-17th century, it had come to refer derogatorily, or negatively, to an untidy woman.

However, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the word was used to describe a woman of questionable sexual morals. source

Whore- This is a woman who sleeps with men in exchange for money, but it is also used more broadly than that. This epithet can be thrown at a woman who is simply not liked, for a variety of reasons.

The word has been in the English language for centuries, originating from German, Danish or Dutch. source

IELTS writing every word.jpg

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Hooker- slang for ‘whore’

This negative word entered English in the mid 1800’s. source

Skank- This lowly slang word is a synonym for ‘slut’, but can also describe a woman someone thinks is disgusting.

It entered our vernacular in the 1960’s. source

So, the question is, are there any equivalent words for a man who engages in this same behavior?

No.

Sometimes, a man who has had sex with many women is called a ‘player’. However, this term is not always used as a negative judgement. In fact, it may be used as a term of awe by some men.

Or, you might hear in reverential tones, “He has nailed so many women,” (see article ‘Nailed It’ for further explanation.)

Why teach you these words? Because knowledge is power.

If you hear them, react accordingly.

Context matters. The connotation, or feeling, behind words matter.

The question then becomes, why do these words exist to shame women, and not men?

Because the pleasure of men has been held as a priority in many cultures. This has given some men freedom to act on their desires, regardless of the female’s feelings, wishes, or, at times, safety.

Good news! Very recently, the #MeToo movement is shedding light on this very issue, and it… is… spreading! (See my YouTube video this Thursday, Sept. 20, for more about #MeToo.)

How can you, speaking English, counter this gender bias?

Support the women you meet. Empower them.

Help them feel strong about their bodies and the choices they make about them, with your words, and the feeling behind them.

Comment on this blog post. Share something positive about a woman you know. Then, tell that person as well!

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Jessica VorsterComment