bitch

Ahyeon

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, Why Men Marry Bitches is the title of a book of Sherry Argov. I learnt 'bitch' is a very offensive and vulgar expression, but the author uses the word as a very positive meaning. And you, as the English native speakers, how do you feel about the word in your daily lives?
 
  • NLmarkSE

    Senior Member
    Dutch (the Nederlands)
    To bitch means to complain. In that sense it's not that offensive, although I wouldn't use it, for example, during work. When you use it to refer to someone, then it's always offensive, except when used in a non-serious way among friends.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, bitch is generally offensive. Sometimes, people might use offensive words of themselves and try to turn around the connotations. For example, some African American people have used the term negro and some gay people also use the term faggot, and by doing so reclaim those words. You might also know that the fans of the English actor Benedict Cumberbatch are known as Cumberbitches. Note, however, that if the terms are used by people outside of the groups concerned, they are still highly offensive.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree with natkretep's explanation of how offensive words may be used by the people to whom they refer, but shouldn't be used by other people.

    In this specific instance, women who are assertive are sometimes called 'bitches, especially in contexts in which women are expected to be retiring and put other people's interests before their own. A woman may use the word 'bitch' to identify herself as assertive in a positive way.
     

    Ahyeon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you very much, NLmarkSE, natkretep, Cagey. So, a tiltle like Why Men Marry Bitches is not felt offensive amomg some people, but some people could make faces at it, right?
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    "Bitches" can be also strewn in a positive light, like it or not, and I surmise that's part of the meaning of the title.

    "Bitches" can mean tough, resilient, strong women, and needn't always be derogatory.
     
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