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Are you a lady?

(38 Posts)
Jane101 Fri 08-Apr-05 10:22:25

Up until now, I've usually tended to refer to women of about my own age as "girls" but, having just had my 39th birthday, I'm wondering if that's a bit sad. "Woman" sounds a bit impolite, somehow, and "lady" is maybe a bit silly, when refering to a 30 something year old (except when talking to ds). I remember reading an interview with Julia Roberts who said she didn't think of herself as either a woman or a lady but "somewhere between a chick and a broad".
What do you all do?

flamesparrow Fri 08-Apr-05 10:28:08

I'm a girl, but then I'm only 24, so maybe I still get away with it.... I call my DP "Boy" though, and it has been so long now that I think he will still be "Boy" when he is 90

morningpaper Fri 08-Apr-05 10:28:41

I know what you mean. I never know what to say to dd in public when I want to say "Mind that ...lady/woman". Lady sounds awful unless she is 70!

I think I prefer to be a woman though!

Xzebra Fri 08-Apr-05 10:29:31

Not sure that JRoberts, self-confessed spawn of trailer trash, sets the example I want to follow....

I like woman best of those choices. I dislike "girl".

Willow2 Fri 08-Apr-05 10:31:00

Xzebra - ouch!

fastasleep Fri 08-Apr-05 10:31:47

Teehee I still giggle when people call me a woman...never mind a lady...

katierocket Fri 08-Apr-05 10:34:09

'Lady' just makes me think of Little Britain now. "We're Ladyeees, don't you know"

SleepyJess Fri 08-Apr-05 10:38:23

PML @ XZebra.. what did JuliaRoberts ever do to you?

Hmm I have spent time considering this myself before now. I guess I often say 'lady' when talking to the children (woman does sounds impolite somehow.. my mum used to say this to me though.. that it sounded impolite and I used to think 'Huh? But (the person) is a woman!' Aarrgh am turning into my mother! )

With my best friend we often jokingly refer to ourselvesas 'birds'.. as her DH has called her 'bird' (as an affectionate nickname) for so long that even her 22 month old sometimes calls her 'bird' instead of mum!

I do most often say 'girl' I guess (when refering to myself - I wish - I'm 33 - and to other women my age and younger).. but I'm aware that it sounds a bit naff now. Can also remember (cringe) my mum doing it.. and me thinking/saying 'that lady is not a girl!! She is really old!!' (older than 20.. I expect!)

SJ x

TinyGang Fri 08-Apr-05 10:38:25

'Woman' I suppose, but I'd say 'mind that 'lady'' to the children if they're not looking where they're going and I don't know the person they're about to crash into. It does sound a bit regal though!

On another note, I always wince inwardly when people use the term 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' to describe a partner of more mature years. I wish there was another word, it sounds ridiculous in reference to an older person and 'partner' sounds kind of business-like.

SleepyJess Fri 08-Apr-05 10:39:33

I actually still find it odd when I get called 'Mrs. "Sleepy".. as that seems to refer to my mother-on-law, not ME! I just like to be claled by my name in RL.

SJ x

jampots Fri 08-Apr-05 10:39:37

there is another word and its "partner" - agree I hate "boyfriend" "girlfriend" its sooooo...... high school !

morningpaper Fri 08-Apr-05 10:40:20

Yes I stick to 'partner' because DP is too old to be a boy...!

I also feel it's a bit wrong to use lady because I always say man and never gentleman...

SleepyJess Fri 08-Apr-05 10:40:22

Tiny-gang... how about 'shag -piece'... does that suit the need for a word??

FastasleepTheInsomniac Fri 08-Apr-05 10:41:43

Dh is my bloke, that is the only word for him that isn't an expletive ...and I still call him my boyfriend by accident sometimes!

SkiBunnyFlummy Fri 08-Apr-05 10:48:13

Bird or chick and i will be til I die.

I hate it when mums say to their kids 'Say excuse me to the lady' etc.

makes me feel soooooooooooo old

but I spose if they said 'say excuese me to the chick' it woudl seem most strange

katierocket Fri 08-Apr-05 10:49:42

I have always taught DS to refer to women as 'lady' out of politeness. Saying something like "mummy what's the woman doing?" or whatever sounds rude and there really is no other suitable word that a child can use.

flamesparrow Fri 08-Apr-05 10:51:14

Boy is always referred to as my partner, boyfriend makes it sound very casual, and I hate the word fiance.

It is "Boy" the same way others are honey or darling

Hulababy Fri 08-Apr-05 10:53:05

I guess woman is the best of the bunch when talking adult to adult. But I have always taught DD to say lady when referring to women, girl when talking about children.

lou33 Fri 08-Apr-05 11:27:00

I aint not lady

I prefer to use woman

Gobbledigook Fri 08-Apr-05 11:30:03

Out in the shops I'd say to ds 'mind that lady' and if looking in a book I'd say 'lady' too.

Don't expect anyone to refer to me as a lady though so not sure really!

Toothache Fri 08-Apr-05 11:33:51

I was horrified standing at a bus stop one night when I was 21. I was going on my 2nd date with now DH.

There were 3 teenagers standing there too, one was talking on his mobile. They were maybe about 16 or 17yrs old.

THe guy must've been asked by who ever he was on the phone with Who was at the bus stop with him. He replied "Aw there's me, Leeanne, Jacki and some Wifey".

I stared around looking for the 'wifey', then realised that he meant MEEEEEEEEE!!

Me??? A WIFEY??? I was 21 FFS!

>mutter, grumble<

chipmonkey Fri 08-Apr-05 11:47:11

When I was 32 and ds1 was 5, I told him I was going to a meeting with some "other ladies". He looked at me and said:
"but Mammy, you're not a lady, you're a girl!" Love him to bits!

Libb Fri 08-Apr-05 11:50:09

I prefer lady and partner - but that is just me. One of ex-p's friends used to refer to me as the missus and for some bizarre reason it never bothered me.

chipmonkey Fri 08-Apr-05 11:50:56

And Toothache, I can relate to that. When I was 18 I was in a pub toilet and there were several small children there including a 2-year-old who had climbed up onto the sink ledge and couldn't get down. Her brother, about 4, said to me.
"Missus, can you get her down from there?" MISSUS!

Xzebra Fri 08-Apr-05 11:52:57

SJess: I think it's fair to say that Julia Roberts has a lot more going for me than I do, trailer-trash start in life or not.

But... given I don't have her looks (or money, fame, charm, etc.) I have to argue for respect by other means; I don't think the words "Broad" or "chick" are exactly respectful (although I respect other people's right to prefer them, if you do). I think I used to cringe at Lady, but I want my kids to use that word as an indicator of respect, and so I can put aside my (girlish) pride & let it be used for me as an example for the little ones on how to address adults....

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