no way to treat a lady

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

no way to treat a lady

  1. Rude, insensitive, or harmful behavior, especially when directed toward a female.
    • 1839, Robert Montgomery Bird, The Adventures of Robin Day (1877 edition), p. 122:
      I began to be sensible the liberty Mr. Bloodmoney was taking was neither civil nor manly--nay, on the contrary, that it was indecorous and brutal; and that it became me to rescue the affrighted beauty from his clutches. . . . I ran to her assistance; and, not knowing in what better way to proceed, I took advantage of the instability of my entertainer's footing to trip up his heels, and so lay him upon the floor, assuring him, as I did so, by way of apology, that "that was no way to treat a lady."
    • 1934 July 10, "Flashes of Life," Prescott Evening Courier, p. 6 (retrieved 31 Oct 2013)::
      Otto Will said it was no way to treat his pet dog; his wife said it was no way to treat a lady. . . . It all came about when Otto took his pet dog to bed with him. Mrs. Will kicked the dog underneath the covers and at the pet's yelp, Otto awoke and beat his wife.
    • 1969 May 24, "Lady Balks," Spokane Daily Chronicle, p. 8 (retrieved 16 Aug 2009):
      Becky Robinson, 15, of Kent, started leading her filly, Lady, across the Pacific Coast Railway trestle here yesterday afternoon. The filly got about 10 feet out and decided that was no way to treat a lady.
    • 2007 Aug. 17, Molly Woulfe, "Don't miss the boat," nwitimes.com (retrieved 16 Aug 2009):
      A bus driver for the Dave Matthews Band dumped a septic tank off the Kinzie Street Bridge in 2004 and transformed the Chicago Little Lady into a poop deck. 'Twas no way to treat a lady.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Sometimes used ironically, humorously, or figuratively.
  • No Way to Treat a Lady was the title of a 1964 novel by William Goldman, which was the basis for a 1968 film with the same title, which in turn was adapted by Doughas J. Cohen in 1987 into a theatrical musical with the same name.
  • This term was used in the title and lyrics of the song "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady," written in 1973 by Harriet Schock and recorded shortly thereafter by Helen Reddy.

See also[edit]