Its original use as a vulgarism, documented to the fourteenth century, suggested high sexual desire in a woman, comparable to a dog in heat.The range of meanings has expanded in modern usage.The Oxford English Dictionary within the nineteenth century described the insult as “strictly a lewd or sensual woman”.
When applied to a man, bitch is a derogatory term for a subordinate.
In a feminist context, it can indicate a strong or assertive woman.
The word bitch is one of the most common curse words in the English language. Timothy Jay, there are "over 70 different taboo words" but 80 percent of the time only ten words are used, and the word bitch is included in this set of ten.
The early applications were to a promiscuous or sensual woman, a metaphorical extension of the behavior of a bitch in heat.
Herein lies the original point of the powerful insult son of a bitch, found as biche sone ca. while in a spirited exchange in the Chester Play (ca.
The Oxford English Dictionary dates the term meaning "female dog" to around 1000 A. It is believed that the definition of a female dog for the term bitch derived from the Greek goddess Artemis.
As she is the goddess of the hunt, she was often portrayed with a pack of hunting dogs and sometimes transformed into an animal herself.
1400) a character demands: "Whom callest thou queine, skabde bitch?
" ("Who are you calling a whore, you miserable bitch? A she dog, or doggess; the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore, as may be gathered from the regular Billinsgate or St Giles answer--"I may be a whore, but can't be a bitch." Throughout the word’s evolution into the nineteenth century, it lessened from Grose’s claim.