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Not enough I say!

“There are over 3,000 pejorative words for ‘woman’.”

Still a good decision all the same:

Derogatory terms for women, such as “bint” and “bitch”, will remain in the Oxford Dictionary of English because to remove them would amount to censorship, the publisher has said.

After all, where are we going to learn the 3,000 when we need them if not in the dictionary?

25 thoughts on “Not enough I say!”

  1. Good decision. Context is all.
    Those with young daughters will know that “Her Royal Highness” is not always a respectful term. Ahem.

  2. These morons fundamentally misunderstand what a dictionary is. It’s a list of words that exist, not a list of words allowed to be used. A list of words allowed to be used is called a list of words allowed to be used. If a word *exists*, regardless of absolutely anything, then it will appear in a list of words that exist, purely and simply because that word exists.

    Nothing to do with censorship, it’s pure simple fundamental…. thing! wossit… so fundamental existence-of-the-very-existence-of-being-ness that I don’t have the words to express it.

  3. I’m reminded that Linda Reynolds is said to have called Brittany Higgins a lying cow.

    But one does wonder how many pejorative words there are for men? Does anyone know?

  4. “Well, by definition, we have to put all these words into the dictionary but we don’t like it one bit. We can always alter and fudge the meaning of those words though. For instance, woke = derogative word used by Trumpians, Brexiteers and other racists for morally higher and smarter nice people.”

  5. Not morons, jgh. They understand perfectly the concept and purpose of Newspeak. ‘Bint’ is doubleplusungood even though it’s the standard Arabic for ‘daughter of’ in patronymics.

  6. Gunker said:
    “I thought bint was just a corruption of the Arabic term for girl”

    Thus the richness – and precision – of the English language; we take a word from elsewhere, with the same meaning as one we’ve already got, but then rather than have two words with the same meaning, we use one for a specific subset.

  7. jgh:’ These morons fundamentally misunderstand what a dictionary is. It’s a list of words that exist, not a list of words allowed to be used.

    They don’t misunderstand at all. They simply want to make it the latter.

  8. There’s an excellent quote on loan words in English:

    We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.

  9. The more this assault on language continues the greater George Orwell’s genius becomes apparent

    “Newspeak is a controlled language of simplified grammar and restricted vocabulary designed to limit the individual’s ability to think and articulate “subversive” concepts such as personal identity, self-expression and free will”

    Apparently goodthink is doubleplusgood

  10. Had this come up with some small relatives. White fang, an absolute gem of a book. It’s associated with the young but the vocab is expansive. So when a diminutive one gets to a less common word i advise them to check their understanding and look it up. So they look up squaw and jaisus it takes a lot of explaining.

    the point is when Jack London was writing it.. it meant female indian. But i guess someone looked up a translation (meant fanny or something) applied some neo-puritan-sinistrism to it and then declared its new old meaning to be a misogynistic slur.

  11. “bint” and “bitch”: the former is used exclusively by men and the latter principally by women. Does the OED tell you that?

  12. I was on the tube a few years ago, and two posh blokes entered the carriage, talking loudly. One said “I can lend you a nice little black bitch, very willing, she’d do anything to please you…”

    There was a quick frisson of excitement until people saw they were dressed in tweedy shooting jackets and dark green corduroy trousers.

  13. The first test of whether to go woke is how unassailable your position is. Oxford University can go as woke as it likes; it will remain one of the top universities in the land for the lifetime of any of its current employees.

    The OED, on the other hand, can’t afford such luxury. The marketplace for dictionaries is highly competitive. They can’t afford for news bulletins to start with “A public figure has used the word X, which the Collins English Dictionary describes as …”.

  14. Sam Vara
    Really? The cadences would be all wrong.
    Besides, a country gent would rather lend a friend his wife than his dog.

  15. Besides, a country gent would rather lend a friend his wife than his dog.

    It wasn’t specified that it was his dog…

  16. philip:

    “Really? The cadences would be all wrong.”

    Yes, I’m sorry I couldn’t capture the exact cadence. It was several years ago, and apart from the black bitch term, I was just trying to get the general sense right.

    “Besides, a country gent would rather lend a friend his wife than his dog.”

    Maybe the wife was already booked out to someone else?

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