Hall 1101-351

Angelica Salazar

Professor Carrie


More than just a Bitch

“Bitchhhh” This is the word I use in most occasions when I want to get someone’s attention. I use this word everyday no matter what the situation is I am accustomed to use this word. Bitch in modern society is used with many meanings, it depends on the context that surrounds the word. There are different ways of saying this word some are more offensive than others, and they can all have a different perspective based on the way it’s said. For example, in a situation where let say a waiter is being rude or has an attitude towards the customer I would say “she’s a bitch” Why? Well because in that context the waiter was being rude and snobby, and most people wouldn’t like to be treated that way, that is how the word would be used in modern day. But when other people hear the way we use bitch they might get the wrong idea. There’s more to the word than just someone with a bad attitude, and people might get the wrong idea of what we mean by “she’s a bitch” The way it was used in the past is different to how it’s used in modern times.

Who knew there was a background to the word bitch? Well besides meaning female dog. In the Oxford English Dictionary, the word bitch comes from an Old English word “bicce” which means female dog as well. The word bitch was used mostly to insult other women in the nineteenth century, it was mainly used by men. Men who would call women bitches was to say that women were desperate and would throw themselves to men, they compared it to a dog in heat which came to the term bitch. After knowing the history of the word bitch I realized that it might not always be the best word to use to call anyone that word, the word can easily offend people mostly women. Us girls in modern society we call each other bitches all the time, we say it to each other because that is just how we communicate we all got use to calling each other bitches without knowing from where it really comes from and what it looks like when we call each other bitches.

Bitch is used in many ways today a girl can be a bad bitch or a basic bitch, they can have a bitch face. There is more to the word bitch than just female dog, it wasn’t always used to say “strictly a lewd or sensual woman” (Oxford English Dictionary) but many women who looked closer at the way bitch was used in the 30s to 40s feminist took the word bitch and gave it their own definition “Bitches refuse to serve, honor or obey anyone”( Bitch: A History by Clare Bayley) They turned this word that was meant to insult women, this would was used by men who would embarrass women by calling them desperate, but feminist took the word bitch to mean power, that bitch was a women with balls basically, they were dangerous and would to what they want to do in “Bitch: A History” it was said “Feminists began to self-identify as bitches….we must be strong, we must be militant, we must be dangerous.” This is what the word meant to many women, bitch has different meanings and in society bitch can mean either definition. When girls call one another bitches it’s to say that she is standing their ground they don’t take shit from no one, that’s how it was in high school there was always that one girl in school who was a complete bitch. She never cared about who got hurt or what would happen she would do what she wanted to get her way most of the time. That may not always be the case there a many more different ways that bitch can be interpreted but to really understand you have to look carefully at the context of it and also the relationship of the two people who are using the word.

Calling a guy, a bitch is different, there is different context to guys being bitches, when they say “stop being a little bitch” it’s to say that the guy is being whiney like a girl and shouldn’t complain like one. Guys are looked as being tough and shouldn’t be acting or complaining like one. Guys also can take it offensively it’s considered disrespectful because to guys it means they are not man enough. The question is can guys call women bitches? Everyone has their different answer to this one question they are different to each specific gender. What I mean by this is basically that guys tend to say it “depends on the situation” but women stand by their answer no. There hasn’t been a situation where guys are banded to say the word bitch, but its about if whether or not it’s the right word to say in any situation.

In Spanish there’s only one way of saying the word bitch, its “perra” and it has the same meaning female dog but in Spanish it’s also an insult and is used for a woman described as a woman that throws herself at guys which is basically the same meaning as it is in English. There is a difference between the two words, is that in English bitch is used for more often and is commonly used more than perra. Perra is more to insult another woman it’s not used like bitch, “bitch” can be expressed differently, it can express as many emotions to both genders. On the other hand, with “perra” you there is no positive was to say “perra” In Spanish soap operas if that word comes out of the actors mouth it comes with a slap in the face too. Hispanics don’t play with that word and there’s no way out once the word is said. Bitch is one of the many words I wouldn’t dare to use around my parents there are certain words I wouldn’t say to them, bitch is one of them. This word for my parents is not just a word to say fooling around it’s a curse and it shouldn’t be said not even as a joke. These words are no joke for my mom if I were to ever talk like that to my mom I would have gotten slapped in the mouth until I no longer say it.



“Bitch: A History.” Clare Bayley, 2 June 2011, clarebayley.com/2011/06/bitch-a-history/