"Broads" applied to women
knatt001 at MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU
Wed Apr 28 13:34:30 UTC 1999
Hi. This is my first posting to the list, so I hope it's appropriate.
Does anyone have any insights into the current U.S. connotation of the noun
"broads" as applied to women?
I always thought it was derogatory, as does author Rosalie Maggio, whose
entry for it bluntly reads "broad (woman) no" (in _The Bias-Free Word
Finder: A Dictionary of Nondiscriminatory Language_, Boston: Beacon Press,
1991, p. 57).
But the _American Heritage Dictionary_ (3rd ed., 1992) simply lists it as
"slang" for "a woman or girl" and offers a positive illustration: "I use
'broad' as a moniker of respect for a woman who [knows] how to throw a mean
right" (James Wolcott)."
My question came up because of a recent newspaper article in which a local
teacher of the year fondly reminisces about the nuns who taught her math,
referring to them, as I recall, as "tough old broads."
Thanks for any comments or cites!
Ms. Mary E. Knatterud, Ph.D.
Research Associate and Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery
University of Minnesota Medical School
knatt001 at tc.umn.edu
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