What If There Was a Dictionary of Words Used Only to Describe Women?

It would make an awfully thick volume indeed.

feisty dictionary
(Image credit: Courtesy of Merriam-Webster)

Bindings full of women-exclusive words might not yet exist IRL, but you know what totally does? The stuff that would be sandwiched between the covers.

The Telegraph (opens in new tab) recently got a leg up on Merriam-Webster and their ilk, gathering 14 female-unfriendly nouns, verbs, and adjectives. (Which later became 30 thanks to enthusiastic commenters.) What set off the mass word search? Downton Abbey actress Daisy Lewis, who asked: "Have you ever heard a man described as feisty? Have you heard a male character described as feisty? I think not."

The Unabridged Dictionary of Words You Might Reconsider, then, sounds like a venture Sheryl (opens in new tab) would be very interested in leaning into. For one thing, it's much easier to be conscious of casual sexism when you've got a list in front of you, arranged alphabetically from "airhead" to "working mom."

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.