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#141082 - 03/19/05 01:11 PM men, women and animals
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
last week Maureen Doud pointed out that out spoken women got labeled as harridan's.. an explained the root of harridan
this got me thinking about the word and other similar words for women (don't worry, i am also thinking about words for men.. weasal, goat, etc) and was surprized at the animal relationships.. here are few i found.. we could add to the list..
(i think, even in times past, women --who survived childbirth-- were likely to also survive husbands.. and old women were more common than old men.. but thats because i can't think of any disparaging terms for old men.. )

Main Entry: har·ri·dan

Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps modification of French haridelle old horse, gaunt woman

Main Entry: 1nag
Pronunciation: 'nag
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English nagge; akin to Dutch negge small horse
: HORSE; especially : one that is old or in poor condition

Main Entry: 1shrew
Pronunciation: 'shrü, esp Southern 'srü
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English shrewe evil or scolding person, from Old English scrEawa shrew (animal)
1 : any of a family (Soricidae) of small chiefly nocturnal insectivores related to the moles and distinguished by a long pointed snout, very small eyes, and velvety fur
2 : an ill-tempered scolding woman
- shrew·like /-"lIk/ adjective

Main Entry: crone
Pronunciation: 'krOn
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old North French carogne, literally, carrion, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin caronia -- more at CARRION
: a withered old woman

not a delightful collection,huh?

i wonder if there are any words out there used to describe old women that are flattering (or even neutral!)

my other obsession

#141083 - 03/19/05 07:30 PM Re: Sweet little old ladies
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803

#141084 - 03/20/05 07:26 AM Re: men, women and animals
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
If "crone" comes from "carrion," and has such a pejorative sense, why do Wiccans use it as a term of respect for women past child-bearing age? [/wondering]

#141085 - 03/20/05 07:40 AM Re: men, women and animals
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
if menses is a 'life force' (and it sure is one strong indication that a woman can get pregnant) than a menopausal woman is one in whom that life force is gone or dead--

as for why it might be used, its not uncommon for people to take pejorative words, and use them in a way that creates new meanings.

'you be bad' in some forms of english is quite a compliment.
bad =not just good, but excellent.

its done politically too, neo conservatinves, in the US, have 'recast' liberal, and attempted to make it into a pejorative term. i can think of many other examples too, most in sensitive subjects.
pro-choice (implying anti=choice)
pro-life ( implying anti life)
family values (hah!)
ownership society (not anti social securtity)
and so on.
and it's hardly new speak its been around so long.

my other obsession

#141086 - 03/20/05 01:05 PM Re: men, women and animals
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
Just as "crone" has been embraced as a positive in a certain context, other perjorative terms have been turned to positive use. "Bitch" can be so used, as can "nigger." Importantly, the rules of usage require that the person using the term be of the class to which it is normally perjoratively applied. I have used "bitch" affectionately with close female friends, but I would never use "nigger" in any context other than an academic discussion such as this.

Hmmmm. "Bitch" is also an animal term. I have also heard "sow" and "cow" negatively applied to a woman. And, "hen," although that usually carries a connotation of fussy benevolence. And let's not forget "vixen."

#141087 - 03/22/05 10:07 AM Re: men, women and animals
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
Dr Bill has reminded me of another animal term applied to women: heifer.

#141088 - 03/22/05 12:33 PM Re: men, women and animals
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
as in "don't heifer forget me!"

#141089 - 03/23/05 07:34 AM Re: men, women and animals
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
mav, you know i will love you to the cows come home..
..and then i will go back to loving the cows.)

speaking of cows, last week jay leno was making jokes about a wisconson man who was arrested for animal abuse --on more than 60 occations (on his way home from visiting strip clubs) he stop, trespassed, and had sex with cows on a nearby farm.

i am wonder, what happened to finaly have him arrested--i mean 60 times?
hell, i have been in LTRs that didn't involve 60 occations for sex!
(once a week, sometimes twice. (remember a dating relationship, not a living together one) that's almost a year!--plus the time needed to get to know someone before the relationship becomes intimate--lots of LTR don't last that long!

(and how do you get to know a cow well enough to desire it, when you don't own the farm? do you develop a crush driving by, seeing it in the field, contentedly chewing its cud?--are you send over the bend by its spots, or lack of them? do redish gurnseys send you? or do the dark looks of an angus make your heart string twitter? --or do wisconsoner just eat so much cheese that they start having waking nightmares?... (re myths about cheesy dreams)

my other obsession


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