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Bitch is one of the most complicated insults in the English language. A bitch typically means a lewd, malicious, irritating woman the comparison being to a dog in heatbut some women self-identify as bitches to indicate they are strong, assertive and independent. A son of a bitch is generally a despicable or otherwise hateful man, but can also mean a dear friend who has done something impressive or clever.
Bitch might have originally meant a female dog, but now it can indicate anything from slapstick humor to scathing insult. The rise of bitch through history can be traced to 4 distinct periods: The last 3 can be tied to specific events in American feminism.
Neither Google nor I claim this database to be complete, but as it has over 15 million titles it is sufficiently representative of English publications for this analysis] I: The Definition Insulting a woman by calling her a female dog pre-dates the existence of the word bitch itself.
The English language historian Geoffrey Hughes suggests the connection came about because of the Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis Diana in the Roman pantheon who was often portrayed with a pack of hunting dogs and sometimes transformed into an animal herself.
In Ancient Greece and Rome the comparison was a sexist slur equating women to dogs in heat, sexually depraved beasts who grovel and beg for men1. Its use as an insult was propagated into Old English by the Christian rulers of the Dark Age to suppress the idea of femininity as sacred.
The phrase evolved to mean a generally despicable or otherwise hateful man. Shakespeare, that master of verbal barbs, uses the insult twice in his plays.
Interestingly, nowhere in his collected works does Shakespeare ever use the word to insult a woman. At first, one might think this reveals a chivalrous objection to insulting women — but a similar search for whore reveals five pages of results.
As a playwright known for his imaginative and numerous insults, his omission of bitch as a female insult indicates something about the common usage of the word in his time. In fact, much of the documented usage of the word from the 16th and 17th centuries is in reference to a man, not a woman.
In faith, I know, he is a witch. While the word by itself may have described a female entity, its abusive power at the end of the Middle Ages lied in its application to a man — not only putting him down by calling him a woman, but further dehumanizing by equating him with a dirty female animal.
The 18th century saw a return to the original insulting meaning of bitch. Indeed, use of the insult grew so dominant that it finally forced the literal meaning of the word, that of female dog, out of common circulation.
The usage of bitch held steady for the next years. At the cusp of the 20th century, Slang and its Analogues gave a succinct definition and partial history of the term5. It has long since passed out of decent usage.The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
Writing a Comparison essay. This essay is focused on the comparison of things, people, facts or events. Its basic purpose it to find the most significant similarities or the differences of specific things, facts, events, etc. Free art comparison papers, essays, and research papers.
My Account. Your search returned over essays period discovered new forms and unique styles of art most historical periods were influenced by an earlier period of history. In this essay, I will explore the relationship, style, and influences of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
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Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D. is the director of the New York Arts Exchange and a professor of art history. Updated June 11, You have been assigned an art history paper to write. Definition essays can be written on many different topics which base on comparison of two or more subjects, theories, personalities, events etc.
Delicate approach to the choice of a topic or keen understanding of the one topic is the key element of good essay writing.