Turns out your dictionary is a tiny bit sexist

The Oxford English Dictionary is reviewing some of the stereotypes in its pages.

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It seems some definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) are in need of an overhaul. This came to light last week when Canadian anthropologist Michael Oman-Reagan suggested the dictionary rethink its choice of “rabid feminist” as a usage example for the word “rabid,” defined as “having or proceeding from an extreme or fanatical support of or belief in something.” Oman-Reagan also discovered sexist usage examples for “shrill,” “nagging,” “bossy,” “grating,” “promiscuous” and others that are steeped in stereotype.

Because of the hoopla this caused (“rabid” trended straight No. 1 on the dictionary’s website), the OED has announced it will review these definitions. Here are a few suggestions to help them out.

The word: Rabid
OED definition: Having or proceeding from an extreme or fanatical support of or belief in something: a rabid feminist.
May we suggest: Rabid One Direction fans.


The word: Shrill
OED definition: A shrill sound or cry: the rising shrill of women’s voices.
May we suggest: The rising shrill of a howler monkey. (It’s said they need to sleep as much as 15 hours to recover from their siren-like howling.)

The word: Psyche
OED definition: The human soul, mind, or spirit: I will never really fathom the female psyche.
May we suggest: I will never really fathom Donald Trump’s psyche.


The word: Grating
OED definition: Sounding harsh and unpleasant: her high, grating voice.
May we suggest: The grating sound of the dentist’s drill. Or if you want to get more specific, Nickelback’s Rockstar.

The word: Promiscuous
OED definition: Having or characterized by many transient sexual relationships: she’s a wild, promiscuous, good-time girl.
May we suggest: Women are more often criticized than men for promiscuous behaviour.


The word: Bossy
OED definition: Fond of giving people orders; domineering: a bossy, meddling woman.
May we suggest: She’s not bossy. She’s the boss.


The word: Nagging
OED definition: (Of a person) constantly harassing someone to do something: a nagging wife.
May we suggest: A nagging child.

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