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See also: bess, BESS, béss, and Bëss



  • enPR: bĕs, IPA(key): /bɛs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛs

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A diminutive of the female given name Elizabeth
    • c. 1591–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene vi]:
      King Edward. Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.
    • 1981, William Wharton, Dad, Knopf, →ISBN, page 293:
      "Jack, couldn't you call me Bette again? You know how much I hate Bess. I don't know what's happened; you've been calling me Bette since we came to California and now, suddenly, you're calling me Bess."
      There's a long silence. Dad's still up on his knees; I'm driving along Sepulveda Boulevard toward Olympic.
      "Well, Bette, I married you as Bess and I've always liked that name. It's a name you don't hear very often; it's a strong name like you. Every time I call you Bette I'm afraid somebody else might answer."
  2. (LGBT, slang) A term applied to a fellow gay man, usually preceding an admonition.[1]
    Listen here, Besse ...

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ A. F. Niemoeller, "A Glossary of Homosexual Slang," Fact 2, no. 1 (Jan-Feb 1965): 25