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Lady vs. Woman

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When is it appropriate to refer to someone as a lady? Is woman a better word to use? Is it ever appropriate to refer to adult females as girls? It all depends on context — who’s doing the talking and who’s doing the listening. This is part of a complete episode.

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1 comment
  • Maybe there’s a cultural difference, but as a Brit I will always call females “ladies”. No one has told me it’s “creepy”.
    How else would you address a mixed group more formally than “Hey guys” if not by using “Ladies and Gentlemen”.
    I run an English practise group here is Madrid, Spain and always greet the females with “Evening Ladies”. Now, for me, there is a distinction between a “girl” and a “woman”, but was brought up to believe that referring to “That woman over there” was rude and I should be saying “That lady over there” – even if the lady is a “young lady”.
    Incidentally, I feel women who refer to the males in their lives as “boys” are being demeaning. My niece refers to her husband to be as “My boy” and I can’t help but think she’s putting him down. However, I am getting on a bit, so perhaps there’s age specific cultural gap.
    In fact the whole possession thing – my boys, my peeps(ugh!), my girls – I find belittling.

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