She's not my "ladyfriend".
July 15, 2011 7:34 AM Subscribe
Isn't it odd to call someone your "girlfriend" who you wouldn't call a "girl"?
posted by ThisIsNotMe to writing & language (110 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Under the influence of feminist friends I've worked to extirpate the word "girl" from my vocabulary when talking about adult women.
This leaves me feeling odd referring to someone as my "girlfriend". Or using the word to describe my friends "signifigant others," a phrase I have trouble using with a straight face. It's a problem that's newly presented itself to me--the last time I had reason to use the term regularly I was still in college and would have commonly referred to women my age as "girls". (I'm now almost 30 and she's a few years older.)
So what are my alternatives? Obviously, there's circumlocution "the woman I'm dating"; "partner," which seems to refer to a higher level of comittment; and the ridiculous and slightly creepy "ladyfriend". What am I not thinking of? Alternately, you can tell me that I should just use the word "girlfriend" without compunction.
I've seen the related but not entirely on point, "Why do straights use the word "partner"?