vocative "bitch"

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Thu Oct 10 17:49:08 UTC 2002

The term is often used as an in-group identity marker among African
American women, even here in Ohio.  Black men use it too, though I haven't
heard it used man to man.  Sometimes it's affectionate (as in the first
case I cited), sometimes it's offensive.   Young white college men use it
too, and even to me--but I had just chewed one out for parking on my lawn....

I've always assumed it was an Americanism first, but I'm not sure.

At 03:48 PM 10/9/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>I have never heard anyone use this. I have been at the university and high
>school over the past 25 years (in both Oregon and Minnesota). I think
>anyone I have ever come across would be highly offended by being called
>bitch.  On the other hand, I have heard that some groups DO use this,
>particularly certain types of rappers--gangsta. The report that it is an
>Americanism has me a bit worried--it definitely needs to be qualified.
>This use is moderately common in blue-collar teenage males in
>Australia, and is reported to be an Americanism.
>I have been told that this practice is found in US biker gangs, and
>internationally in-group between homosexuals, both male and female.
>In what social domains is this practice known in the US?
>Roly Sussex
>Roly Sussex
>Professor of Applied Language Studies
>Department of French, German, Russian, Spanish and Applied Linguistics
>School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
>The University of Queensland
>Queensland 4072
>Office: Forgan-Smith Tower 403
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>Email:  sussex at uq.edu.au
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>School's website:
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