AskDefine | Define bitch

Dictionary Definition

bitch

Noun

1 an unpleasant difficulty; "this problem is a real bitch"
2 a woman who is thoroughly disliked; "she said her son thought Hilary was a bitch" [syn: cunt]
3 informal terms for objecting; "I have a gripe about the service here" [syn: gripe, kick, beef, squawk]
4 female of any member of the dog family v : say mean things [syn: backbite]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

etyl enm biche, bicche, etyl ang bicce

Pronunciation

  • , /bɪtʃ/, /bItS/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪtʃ

Noun

  1. In the context of "usually|jocular|or|archaic": A female dog or other canine. In particular one who has recently had puppies.
    My bitch just had puppies: they're so sweet!
  2. In the context of "vulgar|derogatory": A female who is malicious, spiteful, unbearable, intrusive, or obnoxious.
    Ann gossiped about me and mocked my work; sometimes she can be a real bitch!
    • 1913, D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, I. iv. 60:
      'Look at the children, you nasty little bitch!' he sneered.
  3. In the context of "vulgar|derogatory": By extension, a man with any of these qualities, especially a gay man (suggesting his behavior is womanly) or a man who is dishonorable, cowardly, spineless, whiny, or otherwise behaves in a manner unbecoming a man.
  4. Friend.
    What’s up, my bitch?
    How my bitches been doin'?
  5. An angry retort directed to a close buddy.
    Will you stop this, my bitch??
  6. A person in an unfavorable, undesirable position.
    When we pile into the car, I tend to be a bitch, stuck in the middle of the back seats.
  7. A person who is made to adopt a submissive role in a relationship.
    Do you have to ask your girl before you do everything? You must be the bitch in the relationship.
    • 1999 September 23, Chris Sheridan, “This House Is Freakin’ Sweet”, “Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater”, Family Guy, season 2, episode 1, Fox Broadcasting Company
      Now that you're stinking rich, we'd gladly be your bitch.
  8. A complaint.
  9. A difficult or confounding problem.
    Question 5 was a real bitch, don’t you think?
    That's a bitch of a question. (Or, a bitch of a problem, etc.)
  10. A queen (the playing card)

Usage notes

  • The noun bitch is sometimes diffused by intentional colloquial overuse or misuse. In print, the noun referring to a person is demeaning and sometimes implies that the person being insulted is subservient.
  • In professional circles, the noun bitch is sometimes used to refer to intelligent and ambitious women with a high level of sex-appeal who use those qualities to achieve their goals.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

female canine
spiteful woman
spiteful man, especially a gay man
jocular slang: one's friend
person in an unfavorable, undesirable position
person in relationship who is made to adopt a submissive role
  • Dutch: bitch &
a complaint
difficult or confounding problem
  • French: casse-tête

References

Verb

  1. To make derogatory comments (about a person).
    Look, I saw you bitching about me yesterday, I know how you feel: why can't you say it to my face?
  2. To criticize (something) spitefully, often for the sake of complaining rather than in order to have the problem corrected.
    All you ever do is bitch about the food I cook for you!

Synonyms

Translations

make derogatory comments (about someone)
complain (about something) spitefully

Extensive Definition

Bitch is a term for the female of a canine species in general. It is also frequently used as an offensive term for a malicious, spiteful, domineering, intrusive, or unpleasant person, especially a woman. This second meaning has been in use since around 1400. When used to describe a male, it may also confer the meaning of "subordinate", especially to another male, as in prison. Generally, this term is used to indicate that the person is acting outside the confines of their gender roles, such as when women are assertive or aggressive, or when men are passive or servile. More recent variants of bitch are bitchy, ill-tempered (1925), and to bitch, to complain (1930).

Hip hop culture

The word bitch is sometimes used casually among hip-hop artists and followers of the culture. The term is typically used to describe a young female regardless of personality or looks. As in the culture the term "dawg" is used for males it is sometimes said as a type positive way as "bitch" is the female term. Often it is a directly negative and violent condemnation of character (referring sometimes to males as well, but especially directed at females).
The term can also connote ownership of a woman, such as in the phrase "my bitch", therefore reinforcing cultural norms of the word as negative, especially towards the feminine. This is similar to previous feminist attempts to identify it as an epithet for a strong, self-reliant woman.

Prison slang

In the context of prison sexuality, a bitch is a lower-hierarchy prisoner, typically physically weak or vulnerable, who is dominated by more senior prisoners and forced to adopt a servile role. According to convention, these inmates are used as sexual slaves or traded as personal property. To call a male a "bitch" usually suggests that he is sexually passive in this manner. However, it can also refer to anybody who is subservient.

Bitch slap

The term "bitch slap" is derived from American slang. In the original sense, a "bitch slap" is a powerful, full-swing slap in the face with the front of the hand, evoking the way an angry pimp might slap a defiant prostitute (not to be confused with a "pimp slap" which uses the back of the hand). However, the term is now frequently used figuratively to describe a humiliating defeat or punishment.
The term biatch, beyatch or beotch is a slang word for bitch. The term has become widely used in mainstream media to avoid censorship. It was also well defined in the once popular tune "Let Me Ride" by music performer Dr. Dre. Since the original term is no longer as derogatory as it once was, these derivatives are often used with emphasis to try to achieve the expression of irritation the term itself once expressed about the female character.

Son of a bitch

The term son of a bitch is a form of profanity usually used to refer to a man who is nasty, rude or otherwise offensive. It also is used as an exclamation or in an exclamative pretext. It is considered a swear or curse. It is commonly abbreviated as SOB.

In driving

The word bitch as in the phrase riding bitch can refer to the middle bench seat in which one is sandwiched between the driver and another passenger—an uncomfortable position when space in the car is scarce, especially where the drive tunnel limits legroom. Riding bitch or the bitch seat can also refer to the middle rear seat in a small five-seater hatchback or sedan (often the only seat without a shoulder-strap).
The origins of the phrase "riding bitch" could be interpreted as being sexist. In the past, as well as currently in some parts of the world, men have been the drivers and women have sat next to them, with the child or passenger in the seat furthest from the driver. "Riding bitch" also refers to riding on the small seat behind the driver of a motorcycle.
The term flip a bitch is used primarily in America where it means to make a u-turn (legal or illegal).

Variants

The adjectives bitchy and bitchin' and the verb to bitch evolved from the noun bitch. All of these derivative forms tend to be less offensive than the noun form, although it is clear that most derivations of the term originate from the insulting meaning of "bitch."
From this usage of bitch as "complain", the colloquial noun bitch-fest evolved, to describe people complaining about something together. Used in its verb form, to bitch is considered significantly less offensive than the noun bitch. It is not uncommon for people to say that they are "bitching" about something, whereas it is less common for someone to call himself or herself a "bitch." Although "to bitch" may maintain some of its feminine specificity, men are also commonly said to be "bitching" when they are complaining extensively about something (thus implying they are acting feminine).
The use of the term "bitching" has been extended to the common sewing or crafting get together known as a "stitch-n-bitch". At these gathering women (and occasionally men) gather to work on projects and talk or complain.
The adjective bitchy has a wider range of meanings. Someone who is bitchy may have a catty personality or they may merely be temperamental or moody. Bitchy is usually used to describe women; it can be somewhat feminizing when used for men. Alternately, when applied to articles of clothing, it suggests that they are worn to advertise sexual availability.
Bitchin was a slang term used in the late 1970s to early 1980s, synonymous with the word "cool". It got popular exposure in the 1980s as valley girl slang.
Biatch is a pronunciation of bitch, which became popular through its frequent use in rap music and by black comedians. It was first used by rapper Too Short in his song "Don't Fight the Feelin", but made popular in the mainstream a few years later by Snoop Dogg through his frequent use of it on Dr. Dre's multiplatinum album The Chronic. Beeotch, Beyotch, Byotch, Beyatch, and "Botch" are other ways of spelling the Biatch pronunciation of "bitch."
According to Google Trends the word "biatch" struck through during November 2004.

In cards

In poker

Common situations in poker where another player has "drawn out," or managed to defy probability and defeat them with a previously weaker hand, is occasionally referred to as "getting bitched."
To have the "bitch end" of a hand in poker is to have the weaker version of the same hand as another player. This situation occurs especially in poker games with community cards.

In hearts

In the game of Hearts, the queen of spades (worth thirteen points alone) is referred to as "the bitch" or the "Black Bitch". The latter nickname has evolved into an alternative name for the game itself.

References

Further reading

  • Why Women Who Succeed Are Called Bitch by Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald, November 2007.
bitch in German: Bitch
bitch in Scottish Gaelic: Galla
bitch in Dutch: Teef
bitch in Norwegian: Tispe
bitch in Polish: Suka
bitch in Russian: Стерва
bitch in Finnish: Narttu

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Augean task, Herculean task, Jane, Jezebel, Partlet, Seeing Eye dog, air a grievance, backbreaker, bad woman, baggage, ballbuster, bandog, battle-ax, bawd, beef, beefing, beguile, beldam, bellyache, bellyaching, betray, biddy, bimbo, bird, bitch up, bitching, bleat, bluff, bobble, boggle, bonehead into it, bossy, botch, bowwow, boycott, broad, brood mare, bugger, bugger up, bungle, call in question, canine, cat, challenge, chick, chippy, chore, clamor, clitoromaniac, cocotte, common scold, complain, complaining, complaint, compunction, cow, crab, crib, croak, cry out against, dame, dead lift, delude, demonstrate, demonstrate against, demonstration, demur, demurrer, destructive criticism, dispute, dissent, doe, dog, doll, double-cross, drab, drop a brick, easy lay, easy woman, enter a protest, ewe, ewe lamb, exception, expostulate, expostulation, fancy dog, faultfinding, filly, fishwife, floozie, floozy, flub, foul up, four-flush, frail sister, fret, fret and fume, fury, fuss, goof, goof up, grievance, grievance committee, gripe, griping, grisette, groan, groaning, grouch, grouse, grousing, growl, grumble, grumbling, grump, grunt, guide dog, guinea hen, gum up, gyp, handful, hard job, hard pull, harlot, harpy, harridan, hash up, heavy sledding, heifer, hen, hind, holler, hooker, howl, humbug, hussy, hustler, hysteromaniac, indignation meeting, jade, jenny, juggle, kennel, kick, kicking, lap dog, large order, lioness, lodge a complaint, loose woman, louse up, man-sized job, march, mare, mess up, minx, mope, murmur, murmuring, mutter, nag, nanny, nanny goat, nonviolent protest, nymphet, nympho, nymphomaniac, object, objection, pack of dogs, peahen, peeve, peevishness, pet peeve, petulance, picket, picketing, pickup, pooch, press objections, pro, prostitute, protest, protest demonstration, protestation, pup, puppy, qualm, quean, querulousness, raise a howl, rally, register a complaint, remonstrance, remonstrate, remonstration, roe, rough go, ruin, scold, scolding, screw up, scruple, she-bear, she-devil, she-goat, she-lion, she-wolf, sheep dog, show dog, shrew, sit in, sit-in, skirt, sled dog, slut, sniping, sow, spitfire, spoil, squawk, squawking, state a grievance, streetwalker, strike, strumpet, sulk, take in, take on, tall order, tart, teach in, teach-in, termagant, tigress, tomato, tough job, tough proposition, toy dog, tramp, trollop, trull, uphill work, uteromaniac, virago, vixen, wanton, watchdog, wench, whelp, whining, whore, witch, working dog, yammer, yap, yapping, yawp, yell bloody murder, yelp
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