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how do you feel about the word "bubbly" when used of a woman and her personality?

(40 Posts)
AntiGrinch Fri 17-Feb-17 21:48:37

I don't like it.
I think it is a word used when a woman has lots of nice qualities - outgoing, friendly, perhaps funny - but rather than just using those words (as you would of a man) a different word has to be used that feels (to me?) a bit patronising and demeaning

Am I being silly about this?

ScarletForYa Fri 17-Feb-17 21:52:22

Bubbly I usually take to be a euphemism for vacuous.

Cooroo Fri 17-Feb-17 22:26:11

I don't think I've ever met a man who is bubbly! Perhaps that's just Yorkshire. I have described women that way and it certainly didn't mean vacuous- these are women who seem full of energy and curiosity, full of life.

emwithme Fri 17-Feb-17 22:41:34

Bubbly...she's fat and loud, right? That's the only time I've ever heard it used really.

ShoutOutToMyEx Fri 17-Feb-17 22:50:49

I have only ever heard it used as a nice thing to say about a woman who is otherwise stereotypically sexually unattractive to men - in the example I'm thinking of, yes, as PP say, overweight.

It isn't something I'd say about any of the (many) amazing women I know. Friendly or funny, yes - but bubbly wouldn't come to me naturally.

iwasyoungonce Fri 17-Feb-17 22:53:02

I also think it is generally a term reserved for overweight, loud woman. It's like a consolation prize compliment.

I cringe whenever I hear it used.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 18-Feb-17 00:30:57

I don't think of it as a term reserved for overweight women.

Football players can be bubbly

Ramsey on Cazorla: "He's a very bubbly character, he's always happy. He's a joy to be around." #afc

So can football managers -"Martin " is Martin O'Neill.

As can Alex Montgomery - 2007 - ‎Soccer managers
... breath of fresh air for this club. That clinched it. They didn't interview anyone else. ' He's very effervescent, Martin, very bubbly company ...

And PGA coaches.

Ian Proverbs – PGA Professional
Ian has been At Walsall Golf Club for 22 years and several years ago became a fully qualified Professional
He is a very experienced all round Professional and very popular with his bubbly personality

AssassinatedBeauty Sat 18-Feb-17 00:47:16

So it seems like it can apply to certain types of sportsmen, as well as the more familiar application to a loud, perhaps unattractive or vacuous woman. Interesting. I wonder which is the more common usage.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 18-Feb-17 00:59:53

Google "his bubbly personality" or similar. I got plenty of results, not just sportsmen.

Personally I don't think it is synonymous with vacuous or unattractive woman.

One of my female partners is a bit concerned that her female assistant is not, as she put it " her usual bubbly self" but won't say what the matter is. This person is , as Cooroo put it , usually full of energy and full of life (and a size 10).

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 18-Feb-17 01:11:58

Bubbly to me means not very bright and rather annoying. When applied to men or women.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 18-Feb-17 01:18:52

It's a word which is used a lot in obituaries where some one , male or female, has died unexpectedly or young after a struggle with cancer or similar.

I doubt very much the people calling them "bubbly" are saying the deceased were not very bright and/or annoying.

SenecaFalls Sat 18-Feb-17 01:22:52

I've never heard of a connotation of overweight or vacuous in the US. It describes an upbeat and effervescent (like champagne) personality. It's usually used for women, but I have heard it for men as well. DH is bubbly, me not so much.

CountFosco Sat 18-Feb-17 08:16:40

God, people call me bubbly all the time to my face. Loud I'd accept but I seemed to do alright with men when I was younger and unattached (been with DH for over 20 years) so don't think I'm unattractive (or fat) either. I'll go and cry in a corner now shall I?

I think there's an argument that 'masculine' interests are valued more than 'feminine' interests which means e.g. a woman talking about fashion is judged as being more vacuous than a man talking about football. And of course women are trained to host more than men so a woman is more likely to facilitate a conversation about the weather or where you were on holiday or whatever in an attempt to make someone feel comfortable but that could also be labelled vacuous by someone who is too 'important' or 'serious' to engage in chit chat.

I do agree with the OP that it's a gendered term, bubbly girl gets more google hits than bubbly man, she's bubbly gets more hits than he's bubbly. I've never heard a man described as bubbly.

demisphere Sat 18-Feb-17 08:24:33

I've never heard a man described as bubbly.

The connotation for me would be an overweight, loud woman who's not very bright.

thisagain Sat 18-Feb-17 08:28:02

That's exactly how I've heard it demisphere. It certainly has never made me warm to a person.

Datun Sat 18-Feb-17 08:38:09

I think it used to mean effervescent and vivacious but now it is sometimes used with implied air quotes to convey loud and annoying - or too chatty.

Because being loud or chatty in a woman is perceived as annoying.

Which is bloody annoying.

beanfilledfish Sat 18-Feb-17 08:40:53

In the 80s jobs always wanted 'bubbly' women I always applied for them as I assumed the jobs would be easy and i could fake airhead

Bluntness100 Sat 18-Feb-17 08:43:13

I've also only heard it used to describe a woman and when I do it's because the woman is question is being described as either, loud, a bit thick or, yes, overweight.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 18-Feb-17 09:03:59

I'm really surprised at this thread. Like Seneca I've never thought of it as a pejorative term.
Googling it brought loads of examples of it being used for men, all in a positive way ,and often in relation to describing someone after their death. I suppose it emphasises vivacity, literally and metaphorically.

Some of you seem determined to find sexism or something insulting in anything.

AssassinatedBeauty Sat 18-Feb-17 09:09:52

People are recounting their own experiences Lass. Just because it's different to yours doesn't make it invalid.

Bellybootcut Sat 18-Feb-17 09:13:17

Bubbly to me means warm, friendly, fun to be around. I've never thought of it as a negative.

Lessthanaballpark Sat 18-Feb-17 09:16:57

People call me bubbly. I see it as a compliment now. I'm neither loud fat or vacuous and the people who know me know that.

As a younger woman I did use to have a hard time getting people to take me seriously and always sensed this underlying assumption that friendliness and openness were seen as incompatible with intelligence and reason.

It annoyed me that the traits traditionally identified as "feminine": open, emotional, engaging in small talk, intuitive etc are often seen as for the empty headed whilst the more masculine "he doesn't waste time on small talk" kind is seen as admirable and a sign of intelligence.

Yoshimihere Sat 18-Feb-17 09:19:19

Oh dear, I have never associated bubbly with loud fat stupid etc. I wonder if I've ever caused offence. If I described someone as bubbly it would be positive.

But I can't imagine ever using it about a man.

absolutelynotfabulous Sat 18-Feb-17 09:26:23

I hate the term too, and cringe when I hear it.

I've never heard it describe a man.

I hear it often describe a woman, quite often a deceased woman, which is complimentary but inane, about a woman who was chatty, loud and a bit annoying.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 18-Feb-17 09:32:07

Oh dear, I have never associated bubbly with loud fat stupid etc. I wonder if I've ever caused offence. If I described someone as bubbly it would be positive

I think you would have to be determined to take offence. As I said given the frequency with which it appears in obituaries would require a fair amount of determination.

^(of a person) full of cheerful high spirits.
"a bright and bubbly personality"^
synonyms:vivacious, animated, ebullient, lively, full of life, spirited, high-spirited, scintillating, vibrant, zestful, energetic, dynamic;^

People are recounting their own experiences Lass. Just because it's different to yours doesn't make it invalid

Again Google would seem to show it being a positive term. Recounting their experiences does not of itself discount a mindset of starting with a determination to put the worst interpretation on it.

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