A Cultural History of Feminine Nouns Turned Into Insults

‘Slut’ and ‘hussy’ used to have tame meanings. Then, like so many other feminine nouns, they came to mean ‘prostitute’

Credit: samdiesel/Getty Images

The word is so contentious now that you’d never guess it came from the comparatively wholesome Middle English term slutte, which meant merely an “untidy” woman.

From the book Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell. Copyright © 2019 by Amanda Montell. Published on May 28, 2019, by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.

Los Angeles writer / Author of Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism & Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language https://tinyurl.com/34886sec

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