Etymological Allegories of BITCH



Etymological allegories of BITCH & the linguistic process of pejoration


Linguists postulate that this word derived from the ancient Sanskrit word Bhagas, meaning “genitals,” then later found its way (in various forms) into Latin, French, and Old English, eventually coming to refer to a creature with exposed genitals, aka an animal.

After that, the word narrowed to female animal, and within a few centuries, we landed on female dog. The first shift in meaning from beast to human wasn’t recorded until around 1400 AD, when Bitch surfaced in writing to describe a promiscuous woman or prostitute (which is still one of its primary meanings in British English).

From there, the word evolved to describe a sort of weakling or servant (“Go fetch me my tea, bitch”); a stuck-up, mean, unpleasant woman; and finally a verb meaning “to complain.”

*There are so many English words to bitch about, aren’t there? 😏

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