January 30, 2010

Bitch

Why bitch? Awhile back a friend reminded me that other female animal names exist, but we don't hear them hurled at us in anger. Can you imagine your guy being so pissed at you that he calls you a "fucking jenny?" Wow, dude, that hurt. Or take that pain-in-the-ass coworker whose best skill is backstabbing others in an effort to make herself look good (you know the one). What if she spits at you, "Damn peahen!" Um, ouch? Nope, nothing carries the same weight as a well-aimed, vehemently uttered "Bitch!"

I admit, I am a fan of this word. I am this word occasionally—no apologies. But I really don't like the word yelled at me in a manner specifically designed to hurt me. I personally don't use it on anybody else unless it's in good fun (as in, "Girlfriend, you are stinkin' hawt! You bitch!") or in reference to an authentic bitch-on-wheels while he or she is nowhere around. I have no problem with civil confrontation when it's warranted, but face to face bitch-calling just results in cat fights—of which I am not a fan—and gives women a bad name.

Let's examine the way bitch makes its grand entrance in anger. Slow motion, shall we? There's the preliminary buildup that consists of the deliverer's head either spinning to a halt or snapping upward into the lock-and-load position. Eyes zero in on you to the exclusion of all proximal happenings, lips quiver and curl while nostrils flare toro-esquely, teeth vibrate and the jaw juts out as if in a wanton lunge for your throat. And then the noise bolts out, uninhibited. Sharp and arrogant, insistent and insidious, punctuated on the rearend with a succinct "ch" that reverberates in your ear canal and sands the tip right off your tail bone.

Bi-i-i-i-t-CH!

It's much harder for dedicated potty-mouths to rasp:
  • Lying ewe!
  • Wicked mare!
  • Stinking jill!
  • Egotistical lioness!
  • Goddamn doe!
Just doesn't have the same impact does it. Sorry, guy, you'll get no satisfaction in shrieking, "Self-centered hembra!" No, we English speakers are stuck on bitch and delivering it in venomous wrapping as the need arises. It's the go-to warning of the Apocalypse.

How would it be if every time we were gifted with this moniker, our entire demeanor changed, we grew a grin, and chirped, "I knew you liked me!" If the power to hurt us with this word were diminished by a hearty welcome, those who wield it so caustically would have to resort to using something else. Of course, then I'd have to reclaim a different word for the purposes of ranting. Point is, I think we ought to get a little more creative. Switch things up.

Try it, will ya? And let me know how the freakin' hinneys respond.

58 comments:

jules said...

Flared nostrils are so unlady like!

Eva Gallant said...

That was a bitchin' post!

injaynesworld said...

My favorite use of the word is bitch-slap as in "Don't make me come over there and bitch-slap you." The word and the gesture seem made for each other, don't they?

Spencer L Casey said...

I'm so 80's because I always just think, Bitchin'. I almost never use expletives directly at someone. Behind their back, now that's a completely different matter. The things I say alone in my truck! Phew.

Cheers,

SLC

Jason, as himself said...

You know, what I like these ideas. Peahen is especially good. I think I shall call people peanhen instead of bitch.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

I am so with you on this!!

Sea Witch said...

Lovin peahen. But I'm feeling "hyena lips" as a possible contender. Sea Witch

Herding Cats said...

Love that word!

♥ Braja said...

Oh, Kimber, honey, I've been responding like that to the word bitch for years!! Because when someone calls me that, I know I've done my job....
:))

Madame DeFarge said...

Not a word that I use really, but it tends not to be in the lingua franca of the civil service over here. Maybe we should start - it would liven us up.

morethananelectrician said...

The word is perfectly constructed but, overly used...I guess. :)

Secretia said...

Well "cougars" is another one too.

blognut said...

I subscribe to the belief that being a bitch really isn't a bad thing!

Mrsblogalot said...

Awesome post!

Bitch is really overrated.

Whore on the other hand- never gets old.

Gaston Studio said...

I don't think I've ever called anyone a bitch... except in my head and when that happens, there's so much name calling going on in my head, I usually forget what made me angry in the first place.

Irish Gumbo said...

I once saw a car with large flowery decals in the rear window, that read "Princess Bitch" and below it there was something like "and proud of it!"

I am thoroughly mystified why anyone would take pride in being something so obnoxious and unpleasant.

I do realize, though, that as far as insult value is concerned? Your description of its effects on the ear canal and the tail bone are spot on! :)

Irish Gumbo said...

oh, and injaynesworld has it right: bitch-slap does seem to make a right good combination!

Just don't do that in a business meeting...:)

Snappy Di said...

I love the word 'bitch' and use it in my posts. I use it when a woman deserves it and last week one at the airport did. So I did. So there.

But my face DOES NOT look like your description when I deliver the word. I say it with a sweet smile. :-)

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

TechnoBabe said...

I so like the slow motion prep of the delivery. Head in lock and load position, eyes zero in, lips quiver, teeth vibrate, jaw jut. So cool.

Eternally Distracted said...

LOL... bitch isn't a word us well spoken Brits would normally use ;0)) but as I live out of the country... I LOVE it.

My Mum used to call my Dad 'a jessie'... hmmmm

Gillian said...

I don't have PMS. I'm a natural bitch!

Stephanie Faris said...

Bitch stands for "Babe in Total Control of Herself." That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

otin said...

I think that calling a guy a "peacock" could be pretty insulting! haha!

Newlywed & Unemployed said...

My understanding is that there's actually a historical background to this word. Once upon a time, the female was revered and considered a deity and actually in some eastern european countries The Bitch was a provider goddess, but when a monotheistic male god religion took over The Bitch was turned into badness. Who knows.

Myself, I prefer to use 'rancid cow'. I know a few of those.

Lisa said...

I love posts about language. I have one of those "You say Bitch like it's a bad thing" magnets on my refrigerator. The word itself is hard and ugly. I'll try your approach if the occasion ever presents itself. I mean, if anyone dares call me that to my face.

It's often whispered behind my back, I suspect.

phd in yogurtry said...

Feminist though I claim to be, I don't have much of a problem with the b-word. You don't have to think too long to discover that cursing is an equal opportunity insulter.

Lori said...

I so enjoyed reading this post and then the comments...lol...I agree with your take on this! :) Thanks for the smile! :)

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Love your attitude. You will definitely be invited to the circle! ;)

Danica said...

Love it!

Busy Bee Suz said...

So funny. I am going to see my dentist tomorrow...I will try this out!!!

mac said...

My ex once told me, "I think you've called me every name in the book"

To be clear(!), I hadn't called her a bitch. I asked, "Why are you bitching at me? He did it (her brother)."

It was then that I was the biggest asshole she had ever known, a "PRICK".
Hurt, I was, to my very core. Still, I did not call her a bitch (Well, not at that point anyway ;-).

carma said...

good point - I always turn down eminem (no apologies for my taste in music) - at the point where he says "BITCH" really loudly - don't want to corrupt my son :D

powdergirl said...

I've been know to call a woman who needed calling something, an 'asshole."

I love the look they get.

rxBambi said...

I think I'm the goddamned doe!

powdergirl said...

Sorry, Oh, and Otin?

It is.

Monkey Man said...

You are right on...bitch is overused. Even with the "I'm not your bitch, bitch" double up.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my 160. You should try it. No more diffcult than a maxed out text message.

Captain Dumbass said...

It's such a versatile word. My brother and I use it on each other all the time. It shows how much we care.

Just Words On A Page said...

Where have you been all my life. I am laughing myself silly. God knows I need some laughter these days. You are going to become a favorite rather quickly.

Jocelyn said...

Even more breathtaking as an insult is the "C**T!" word. No slow motion necessary, either.

My hope mostly is that this post wasn't prompted by a "bitch"-driven interaction. If so, direct me towards the bitch, and I'll bitch slap her for you.

nursemyra said...

I use the word "cow" instead of bitch. It's less loaded. But I do say F**k a lot.....

Alix said...

Goddamn Doe!

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!

mo.stoneskin said...

Egotistical lioness.

;)

Jeff said...

Hilarious and very original concept. Love it.

foxy said...

I, too, love the word bitch. I am one (sometimes) - and I call others it in moments of love, hate, envy and disgust. It's oh so versatile!!

You're right... I'm just not sure another word could fit all those things.

Nancy said...

I like the way my daughter says it - beeoch.

Candice said...

I find that I can typically serve up a nice big plate of STFU and I don't even have to use the word bitch.

Yes, I'm just that good. ;)

JoeinVegas said...

No, no, no, you're supposed to smile and use that southern accent saying it very slowly - 'b e o t c h'

Julie said...

Aw hell, I saw "Bitch" and thought you were calling to me.

Me-Me King said...

LOL @ Mrs. Blogalot!

Bitch, I've never been called one...to my face.

Ginger@When Ginger snaps... said...

Say it to a southern woman, and she will gasp. Try it. She will. Why, you ask? Well, because it's just so rude, y'all.

(Not that there aren't quite a few southern bitches, of course. I think I've had to work with almost all of them!)

drollgirl said...

ooh that word is so loaded. i don't think i really ever say that word to a person's face. i don't think. when i'm all fired up i go for the C word, and that is when things get ugly real fast. :)

LL said...

Does it mean anything if "bitch" is used as an adjective instead of as a noun?

the Mayor said...

I love the word for it's multi-faceted properties. It's all in the context. Right now my fav is bitch=slave.
Laundry bitch
yard bitch
handy bitch
computer bitch

It works for everything.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I like the goddamn doe myself. Don't you know that would just make someone stop and look at you, like WTF.

Fun post, bitch!

tattytiara said...

It is interesting that the animal insults are all bred from domesticated stock - pig, cow, dog, sheep, mule, (old) goat, bitch, chicken, and even cat is like bitch-light. Apparently we only respect what we can't tame.

Divine Chaos said...

ya know, that word doesn't offend me, even if hurled at me in anger. My response is almost always a bit of a sniffle and an eyelash fluttering and "aww, thank you. that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me." ... or something of that nature. I like to change it up sometimes *grins* ;)

white rabbit said...

'sow' has general impoliteness potential ...

Pat said...

I've been called "pea-BRAINED" but never a "Pea-Hen". Interesting. Or a "ewe" as in "ewe's not fat, ewe's just fluffy".