From girls who can’t be ladies to bugs who are ladies

by | Oct 16, 2017 | Daily conversations, essays, Understanding the dictionary | 0 comments

I’ve never looked up the definition of “GIRL” because it’s pretty obvious to me what it means since I am one. Or am I? Apparently, “Girl” is only as old as Middle English (13th cent.). It was initially applied to a child of either sex. Boys were girls, too! Haha! A boy was referred to as a ‘knave girl’ – no comment! Later on in the 16th cent. “Girl” referred only to young women. The great Dictionary of Phrase and Fable says that nowadays “Girl” is applied to an unmarried woman of almost any age. What does that mean “almost”? This dictionary always leaves me puzzled.

However, one thing is clear. Strictly speaking, I am not a GIRL since I’m neither a young woman nor a woman of almost any age. I have a very definite age.

Let’s see if I am a “Woman”.

What is WOMAN?

– a female human being, distinguished from MAN

I’d really love to meet a human being, also distinguished from MAN, who writes dictionary definitions and ask over drinks: Are definitions really written in case aliens come to Earth and try to understand the human species from the Dictionary? I often feel like an alien reading definitions in the dictionary. Or are the definitions supposed to eventually turn you into an alien? Do I sound like an alien? Am I turning into an alien? Is that why I like Star Trek?

– an adult female person

When I meet the first aliens, I will be identified and catalogued as an adult female person. Male persons will be with the letter “M”, distinguished from MAN, but for totally alien reasons.

– a wife

Or a female human being totally distinguished from MAN

– a sweetheart or paramour

So far that’s the most human aspect of WOMAN; the aliens won’t know what to make of that.

– a female person who cleans the house, cooks, etc.

Also known as a wife.

Now I feel compelled to write a letter to the author of the WOMAN definition.

Dear human being, distinguished or possibly not from MAN, who wrote the WOMAN definition:
I find it hard to call myself a woman according to your definition. I don’t cook, clean house, etc., I don’t want to be catalogued by aliens or be distinguished from other types of beings. If you’re a fan of Star Trek, let’s meet and come up with a human definition for “alien”, distinguished from illegal alien.

Yours truly,

Misty

What are the chances that I’m a LADY?

I like the literal meaning of LADY: “the bread-maker”. It makes me think of nice kitchen smells. But where there’s a Lady, there’s a Lord, who is, literally, “the bread-guardian”. And if I may say so, he makes the atmosphere in that kitchen a little tense. Nobody can have any bread until he says so. You’re not much of a guardian if everyone gets to eat the bread. Look at it from the Lord’s point of view: he needs the whole loaf to be a guardian, otherwise it looks like he’s doing a bad job. So the lady does all the work, and the lord does all the decisions. But who does all the eating?

I can safely say that I wouldn’t make a good Lady or a competent Lord. But I’d make a great bread-eater, and an even greater bellyacher if I had to go to the guardian for bread all the time.

If you really want to be a lady but don’t have the proper requisites – i.e. you’re not a bread-maker, you’re not of noble birth (noble feelings don’t count), you don’t have a knight who’s devoted to you (don’t worry, no one does; knights are only devoted to their armor), you’re not decorous (not to be confused with ‘decorative’) or genteel (not to be confused with ‘gentle’) – there is a quick fix: POLKA DOTS. Look at the LADYBUG. Without polka dots she would be just a regular beetle, but with polka dots she’s a lady.

Conclusion: I’m not a girl, woman, or lady. However I am for GIRL POWER. I am for WOMEN RIGHTS. I am for LADYBUGS.

See you,

Misty