Category Archives: second sex

Of slags, sluts, slappers, slatterns and strumpets

From the Dalrymple Dictionary

Dalrymple points out that the English language

rejoices in a large number of derogatory terms for women.

No one, he says,

who has seen the centre of a British town on a Saturday night could deny the urgent need for terms such as slattern, slut, slag, slapper, and strumpet. As one of my young patients put it (she was 16 at the time), ‘My mother says that I’m a slut, but I’m good at what I do.’ The explanation of this large number of cognate terms to describe less refined members of the second sex is surely that which explains why Eskimo languages have 50 words for snow.

He defines the words thus:

  • Slatterns tend to be fat and to have let themselves go.
  • Sluts will go with anybody.
  • Slags are sluts with whom the ageing process has caught up.
  • Slappers are notable for their vulgarity.
  • Strumpets are immoral women of Shakespearean proportion.