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12 Nasty Things Women Have Been Called Throughout History

Donald Trump's "such a nasty woman" is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Internet Archive Book Images / Via Flickr: internetarchivebookimages

At the last debate, Donald Trump made the gentleman’s move of calling Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman.” Women everywhere recognized this as what it was: just more insults from a bully trying to stop a strong woman from doing her thing.

Of course, women have heard many bullies try to stop them with name-calling throughout history. Here are just a few of the words that history's bullies have lobbed at women:

1. Witch - First used in the 1200s or earlier

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Calling women "witches" has been going on for a very long time. While it’s true that some men have been accused of witchcraft through the years, there’s a reason you usually think of women as witches. When Joan of Arc was accused of being a witch, she was also on trial for dressing like a man. Hundreds of years later in Salem, Massachusetts, the whole witch hunt thing got blown way out of proportion.

2. Shrew - First used in the 1300s

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Elizabethan England’s definition of a "shrew" (sometimes called a “scold”) as a “turbulent woman” is well known because of Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew. What is less well known is that it was straight-up illegal to be a shrew. Punishments for being a shrew or scold included riding a horse backwards while your neighbors beat on pans, being tied to a chair and dunked in the river, or simply having a scold’s bridle put over your head (a cage that depressed your tongue inside your mouth) — a device like that makes the corset look downright liberating.

3. Slut - First used in 1402

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The definition for "slut" has kind of been all over the place since the 1300s, but the definition of "a woman of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits or appearance" shows up in 1402. The specific connotation of a woman with loose morals didn't fully solidify until the 20th century. Here's hoping we can change things back to how they were in the good ol' days of the 19th century, when the word was synonymous with a dog — or, y'know, maybe just stop shaming people at all.

4. Hussy - First used in the 1520s

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"Hussy" is an example of how good words can go bad over time. In its earliest usage in the 1520s, the word simply meant “housewife.” However, the slow march of misogyny took its toll over time. Soon, the word came to mean just any woman. By 1650, it often meant a woman who showed “improper behavior.” By the 18th century, the word was only used in a derogatory fashion.

5. Whore - First used in the 1530s

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Well, at least this one's consistent. From its earliest days as the Middle English word "hore," the word "whore" has always meant "prostitute." Part of the reason that the word is still widely used is because Shakespeare used the word in his plays nearly 100 times. Meanwhile, the King James Bible uses the word several times — and we cannot stress enough that this is the f**king Bible! Revelations 17 even mentions the Whore of Babylon, who also has the conspicuous honor of being "the mother of all harlots and abominations of the Earth." Awesome.

6. Trollop - First used in 1610

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In the early 17th century, the word "trollop" began to be used to mean a “slovenly woman” who probably had loose morals. Perhaps more interestingly, the world may be related to the word “troll.” Now, the word may be more related to the British verb that means “wallow” rather than the monstrous, bridge-dwelling Scandinavian noun, but the question remains: Who are these dudes who are having sex with ladies and then using words related to “troll” to define the ladies they just had sex with?

7. Frumpy - First used in 1746

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This seems to have come from some mix of “bad tempered” in English and “wrinkled” in Middle Dutch. Nowadays, it just means an unfashionable woman. So you know when some dude wants to say you take too long to get ready? Well, this is the word he uses when you don’t take that time. We’d love to say that use of this word is only historical, but unfortunately, this BS is still in vogue.

8. Frigid - First used in 1903

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Frigid” and “frigidity” as words to describe something that is literally cold have been used since the 1500s or 1600s. Interestingly, “frigidity” was first used to describe men who lacked interest in sex. It wasn’t until 1903 that it began being used to describe women, and boy, did that trend take off like a sexist rocket.

9. Broad - First used in 1911

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The slang term “broad,” which began to surface in America around the early 1900s, has uncertain roots. However, one theory is that it’s derived from the American English word “abroadwife,” which often referred to a slave woman. Oof.

10. Dame - First used in the 1900s

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Also around the early 20th century in America, the term “dame” started being used as a generic term for women. Of course, over time, it became a derogatory term, despite the fact that, in 13th-century England, a dame was a female ruler. Luckily, when you use the word today, people just assume you're talking about Judi Dench or Maggie Smith.

11. Bitch - First used in the 1400s

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The Greek Goddess Artemis is the original “bitch,” as the word is thought to be derived from the fact that she was the goddess of the hunt and kept hunting dogs (y’know, bitches) by her side. The word is used widely to this day to disparage women. Way to talk down to a goddess, society.

12. Pigs, Slobs, and Dogs - Used in the early 2000s

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“Pig,” “slob,” and “dog” aren’t exactly new insults, but Donald Trump gave them new meaning to women starting in the early 2000s. Trump’s insults to ladies don’t stop at mere words, either. In addition to the modern classic "such a nasty woman," Trump has many other horrible phrases for ladies, too.

Despite these names and many, many more being thrown at strong ladies throughout history, we’re still on the verge of having our first female president. Brush that name-calling off and get out the vote for Hillary on November 8.