bitch

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English

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Middle English biche, bicche, from Old English biċċe, from Proto-Germanic *bikjǭ (compare Norwegian bikkja (dog), Old Danish bikke), from *bikjaną (to thrust, attack) (compare Old Norse bikkja (plunge into water), Dutch bikken (to hack)). More at bicker.

Pronunciation

Noun

bitch (plural bitches)

  1. A female dog or other canine. In particular one who has recently had puppies.
    My bitch just had puppies: they're so cute!
  2. (vulgar, offensive) A despicable or disagreeable, aggressive person, often female. [from the 15th c]
    Ann gossiped about me and mocked my work; sometimes she can be a real bitch!
    • 1959, William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch, page 70
      HASSAN: "You cheap Factualist bitch! Go and never darken my rumpus room again!"
    • 1913, D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, I. iv. 60:
      'Look at the children, you nasty little bitch!' he sneered.
  3. (vulgar, offensive) A submissive person, often female, who does what others want; a slave. [from the 20th c]
    Dude, don't be such a bitch. Assert yourself.
    Do you have to ask your man 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.
  4. (obsolete, informal, of a man) A playful variation on dog (sense "man"). [from the 16th c]
  5. (humorous, colloquial, used with a possessive pronoun) Friend. [from the 20th c]
    What’s up, my bitch?
    How my bitches been doin'?
  6. (colloquial) A complaint, especially when the complaint is unjustified.
  7. (colloquial, usually only used in the singular) A difficult or confounding problem.
    Level 5 was a real bitch, don’t you think?
    That's a bitch of a question.
  8. (colloquial) A queen (playing card), particularly the queen of spades in the card game of hearts.
  9. (figuratively) Something unforgiving and unpleasant.
    Karma's a bitch.

Synonyms

Hyponyms

female canine

Derived terms

Translations

References

Verb

bitch (third-person singular simple present bitches, present participle bitching, simple past and past participle bitched)

  1. (intransitive) To behave or act as a bitch.
  2. (transitive) To criticize 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