witch vs bitch

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Kirill V.

Senior Member
Russian
Hello!

Is a witch always a bitch, or not necessarily so?

One of my students made up a sentence:
At a halloween party boys and girls pretend to be ghosts and bitches.

I laughed and said he must have said "witches" instead. He argued, however, that since a witch was also a bitch, then they have to act as if they were bitches if they want to look like real witches... So I wondered if there couldn't in fact be something about that...
 
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  • morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    :D. Well, what bitches and witches may have in common is certainly not a possession of magical powers. :)

    P.S. The evening before All Saints' Day is spelled Halloween / Hallowe'en
     
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    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Your student's comment, as written, comes off as social commentary.

    Witches and bitches are two completely different things. "Witch" is occasionally used as a substitute for "bitch" when referring to a woman in derogatory terms in a setting where "bitch" would be too strong (for example, on television). Either if used to apply to a woman (at least one who is not actually a witch) is offensive. Only in that offensive usage would your student be correct in equating the two.

    In the setting of a Halloween party, only "witches" makes sense, although your student's sentence is complicated by the verb "pretend," which relates to behavior. On Halloween, we dress up as various characters; we don't normally act like those characters.
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    In the setting of a Halloween party, only "witches" makes sense, although your student's sentence is complicated by the verb "pretend," which relates to behavior. On Halloween, we dress up as various characters; we don't normally act like those characters.
    Yes, I think this is the root of the problem here :) But witches are also bitches, right? I mean, there are no "good witches", are there?
     

    kool-wind

    Senior Member
    British English
    Apart from the fact that there are "good witches", I don't see why, if a woman is not "good", she should necessarily be a bitch.

    There are many different ways of not being good which don't involve being bitchy.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    But witches are also bitches, right? I mean, there are no "good witches", are there?
    If the speaker is using "witch" to refer to a woman who is not actually a witch, he undoubtedly means it in a negative way, so by his definition, there could be no good witches.

    If you are speaking of women who practice witchcraft, that's another matter. In the Harry Potter books, for example, women with magical powers are witches and men with magical powers are wizards. There is nothing inherently good or evil in either. In the real world, women who practice Wicca may be condemned as evil by those who practice other religions, but that is a matter of theological disagreement.
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Apart from the fact that there are "good witches", I don't see why, if a woman is not "good", she should necessarily be a bitch.

    There are many different ways of not being good which don't involve being bitchy.
    Right, I think actually the issue of someone being "good" or "bad" is irrelevant.
    I just wondered if the statement "a witch must also be a bitch" had any merits. Now I see it probably hasn't
     
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