Bitch or female dog?


Senior Member
México - Español-
Hello, everybody.

I was asked by a student about the use of bitch (female dog). She wanted to know if the word is common or if people avoid it (because of the other meaning). I didn't really know what to say. So, how common is it used to refer about a female dog or do people avoid it and use another form?

Thanks in advance.

  • Hermocrates

    Senior Member
    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    I would say the term is so widely used in the figural sense (derogative), that it is normally avoided in the literal sense (female dog).

    But let's see what others think...



    British English
    If you are having a conversation about dogs I think it would sound very odd to avoid the word 'bitch'. In my experience it is used widely and without problems.


    Spanish & English
    Perhaps that is true in England. But I would have to agree and say that it is used in a very derogative way in the States and therefore it is not used for referring literally to a female dog. The term is a vulgar term.


    Senior Member
    usa english
    In the US we tend to say "it's a female". I think bitch is used more when talking technically, as in breeding. But normally we just call it a female. The dog part is given so there's no need to repeat it, but it can be used.


    What kind of Shepard do you have? I have a female.
    What is it (speaking about the dog)? It's a female.


    Senior Member
    US, English
    A female dog is often just called a "dog" in general conversation. If you say "My dog just had puppies" no one is going to fault you. I have a male dog who happens to be rather pretty, and people on the street often call him "she" - I think because he's pretty. I just say 'He's a boy."


    English--American (upstate NY)
    I was told once that in Great Britain and Ireland, "bitch" is used without any connotation other than a reference to a female dog; if a family has such an animal as a pet, a child might ask its mother, "Has anyone fed the bitch yet?" That child would be reprimanded in the US, and would probably not even know that a "bitch" is a "girl dog." Dog breeders and show-ers, and perhaps their small children, are another story.
    < Previous | Next >