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to hate when people say 'lady' instead of just saying woman

(81 Posts)
paintandbrush Mon 09-May-16 19:43:54

Eg. "a lady came into the shop earlier and asked me..."
"I met a lady in the library who..."

Not the greatest examples, but I keep hearing this in a simpering, mincing, totally non-sarcastic kind of way- generally from social-climbing types who are anxious to sound 'polite'. Please, please do not let us go down the American route of perceiving the word woman as a kind of belittling slur. It shouldn't be.

EatShitDerek Mon 09-May-16 19:46:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 09-May-16 19:47:51


Sparklingbrook Mon 09-May-16 19:48:48

I prefer lady. I was having a few issues with the self service till and the teenage staff member shouted to his superior 'THIS WOMAN IS HAVING A BIT OF TROUBLE' I think lady would have been nicer.

Princesspeach1980 Mon 09-May-16 19:50:26

I think lady sounds more polite. I'd be more likely to use woman if I was ranting about someone.

Baaaaaaaaaaaa Mon 09-May-16 19:51:19

Last time I looked we were still entitled to free speech. If people choose to use lady then that's up to them.


Fratelli Mon 09-May-16 19:51:29

I don't understand what your problem is tbh. Nothing wrong with the word "lady". Do you feel the same about the words "man" and "gentleman"?

paintandbrush Mon 09-May-16 19:51:30

Could be just a regional thing.

GreatFuckability Mon 09-May-16 19:52:02

i say (and get my kids to say) lady and for men, 'gentleman'. its just politer than woman/man.

Gowgirl Mon 09-May-16 19:52:04

I'm a lady, I try to behave in a ladylike manner (sometimes I failgrin ) do you have similar problems with the word gentleman?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 09-May-16 19:52:17

Which region are you then OP?

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 09-May-16 19:52:59

I quite like lady.

I fucking hate female. I know being a woman, that I am female, but it feels a bit nature programme when someone refers to a "female doing xyz".

StubbleTurnips Mon 09-May-16 19:53:11

I'm always telling dawdling DD to watch that lady/gentleman as she bumbles along, shouting 'watch that woman' always sounds rude with my tone.

NicknameUsed Mon 09-May-16 19:53:15

I hate the term woman. I have heard it used insultingly so many times I prefer the term lady, so YABVVVU and overthinking it.

Ladies and gentlemen sounds far more polite than women and gentlemen doesn't it?

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Mon 09-May-16 19:53:20

To me, woman sounds a bit coarse. It probably shouldn't (man doesn't), but I think it sounds derogatory.

LemonRedwood Mon 09-May-16 19:53:22

Man/men and woman/women for bog-standard reference and conversation.

Lady/ladies and gentleman/gentlemen for polite or more formal situations.

That's what my parents taught me and it's stuck.

Sparklingbrook Mon 09-May-16 19:54:02

My Nan used to use 'female' . It seemed really weird.

RomComPhooey Mon 09-May-16 19:54:24

A friend in HR pointed out that they discourage the use of 'lady' in her organization because it implies a value judgement (the right kind of woman, naice), whereas 'woman' is factual and not loaded in any way.

witsender Mon 09-May-16 19:54:58

I always say lady, or chap for a man.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Mon 09-May-16 19:55:18

Cross post! I am from the south east, if that helps with the regional question.

And I agree with Alisvolatpropiis, "female" makes my teeth itch.

amicissimma Mon 09-May-16 19:55:39

I rather agree with you, OP. To me it sounds a bit like 'myself' instead of 'me'.

I fear we are both being U.

MabelSideswipe Mon 09-May-16 19:57:08

Hmmm I work with mixed -sex groups in an adult education type of scenario and we are advised not to use the word lady. Its men and women. The clients use it all the time though and I just ignore it so they might say 'When the ladies went over there' and I would say 'Yes when the women went over there'. I am not sure if they notice.

Lady is not as bad as a group of 30 something women and men saying 'girls' though - they never use the word 'boys' of course!

MrsJayy Mon 09-May-16 19:57:12

Give your money to the lady has been said by parents for generations in shops can you help this lady etcetc is it is just polite and it doesnt really bother me

whatdoIget Mon 09-May-16 19:58:09

Lady does sound more polite than woman but there's no reason why it should be really. There was a link on here the other day to an interesting blog post on the subject. I'll see if I can find it.

paintandbrush Mon 09-May-16 19:59:08

Thickandthin NI. Here at least it comes over as a bit try-hard.

To clarify, I would support the use of lady with kids, customer service situations etc. The overuse in private irks me a little, it seems a bit cringey. That's all.

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