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My dd referred to as a madam what would you think someone meant by this?

(70 Posts)
mykiddies Wed 21-Sep-11 12:40:03

She is coming 5 soon and I would say she is v confident, chatty, friendly not at all shy. She loves out with her friends in the street and can be a bit bossy at times. When I told my mum neighbour said this she said oh dear.

PuppyMonkey Wed 21-Sep-11 12:43:06

"proper little madam" means a bit bossy and overconfident. I remember it being used famously in an old advert. Meant quite jokily, i would say.

I have one a bit like that, if it helps. grin

Pootles2010 Wed 21-Sep-11 12:45:16

I would say same as Puppy - it's normally meant in a nice, jokey way. Think Karen from Outnumbered.

birdofparadise Wed 21-Sep-11 12:45:28

I would say "being a madam" means exactly as you have described - confident, chatty and not shy. Those are great things to be. Unfortunately some people think that girls should not be those things and so use a pejorative term to "put them in their place." What a shame. Don't let your dd change and I hope your neighbour does not say that to her face.

Pootles2010 Wed 21-Sep-11 12:45:41

Unless she's running a brothel, obviously.

coccyx Wed 21-Sep-11 12:46:30

afraid i would mean on the cusp of being a spoilt , bossy brat

birdofparadise Wed 21-Sep-11 12:47:18

It may be meant (half) in a friendly or funny way but the message it gives to little girls is corrosive. The fact that adults feel okay using the term in that way also implies that some of them are condoning the attitude that females should only be followers, not leaders.

Post this in feminism grin

ForYourDreamsAreChina Wed 21-Sep-11 12:47:50

It's negative. It means what coccyx says.

themightyskim Wed 21-Sep-11 12:57:56

Ive got to say Id take it as offensive, I sometimes refer to my step daughter in this way to DH when she is being naughty and I cant say as Im meaning anything nice by it!!!

C4ro Wed 21-Sep-11 12:58:58

So what are uncooperative, bossy, organising little boys called? I don't know what the equivalent is.

RedRubyBlue Wed 21-Sep-11 13:01:05

Yep, I am old enough to remember the 'Proper Little Madam' from the advert.

I used to work with a young girl who was a tad 'bossy' and she was always called 'The Proper Little Madam'.

I think the advert was for Clarkes Shoes?

AMumInScotland Wed 21-Sep-11 13:01:59

I'd say it's much more about being bossy, stroppy, and demanding your own way rather than being about confidence or chattiness. Not a compliment, but not anti-feminist either. Girls can be chatty and confident without being "a proper little madam".

PattySimcox Wed 21-Sep-11 13:03:03

Hmmm I sometimes refer to certain aspects of DDs behaviour as being a little madam, or as a diva. Precocious and demanding - sorry

quidsi Wed 21-Sep-11 13:03:08

Exactly C4ro. My friend described my DD as a Madam yet she was acting exactly the same as friends DS. But apparently friends DS was "just being a boy" hmm

FunnysInTheGarden Wed 21-Sep-11 13:03:33

C4ro the boys are called Little Gits grin

RedRubyBlue Wed 21-Sep-11 13:04:38

Or my brother was 'A Little Sod' grin

takeonboard Wed 21-Sep-11 13:05:47

I see it as a negative term meaning a bossy, overbearing and spoilt type.
That doesn't mean your neighbour is right about your daughter but IMO that is what she meant by the term madam.

AMumInScotland Wed 21-Sep-11 13:07:30

"Bossy little sod" for a boy. I don't think boys get away with it any more than girls do.

ForYourDreamsAreChina Wed 21-Sep-11 13:11:58

I wouldn't be offended by it,but I would be embarassed that that's what people thought of my child's behaviour tbh.

I can remember the ad too..."mummy says when I grow up I'm going to be a proper little madam".

I actually think boys get called worse. (am blushingly thinking of the kids in dd's class that I frequently refer to as animals....) (not that I'd ever say anything to their parents of course)

Journey Wed 21-Sep-11 13:14:01

Agree with takeonboard

piprabbit Wed 21-Sep-11 13:14:19

I think it is negative.

But it can apply to just a single episode of behaviour. So your neighbour saying this about your DD doesn't mean that the neighbour thinks she is always and irredeemably bossy, just that she feels she has seen your DD doing something that made her come over like a little madam. It could be something as innocent as lining up the neighbourhood children and telling what game they will be playing and how.

If you feel that your DD is generally kind and well-behaved, well I wouldn't give it another thought. If you feel that she sometimes becomes a little OTT with the bossiness, then take this to mean that other are noticing too and it might be time to rein her in a little.

2BoysTooLoud Wed 21-Sep-11 13:14:55

uppity little wotsit.
I have heard the term used in a gentle jokey way as well as in an aghast way .
I have a 'bossy little sod'.

Becaroooo Wed 21-Sep-11 13:18:15

I think it means the same as when someone says my ds2 is "a handful"


I take it as a compliment...he is full of fun and laughter and brings joy to all around him.

piprabbit Wed 21-Sep-11 13:26:38

Think of the small girl who stands in front of an adult (not her parent), hands on hips, cocked head and full eye contact and tells the adult how to prepare tea. She is a little madam.

Violet Elizabeth Bott is a little madam. So is Tracy Beaker (when someone is trying to think of a polite way of putting it).

RedRubyBlue Wed 21-Sep-11 13:30:09

My God-Daughter is a 'Proper Little Madam'.

She tried to 'show' me how to cook, light a fire and touch type when she was 7 years old. She could do none of these things.

She is now 11 and gives me 'helpful' driving tips.

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