What’s the feminine eqivalent of geezer?

Aug 24, 2021 | 0 comments

The third word into the Introduction was “geezer” and I was pretty sure I was going to like the book.  There’s something nostalgic — maybe even warm and fuzzy about that word — that makes me think of Clint Eastwood in “The Mule” or of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in “The Bucket List.”  But on the third page in Chapter One came the loooong and boring description of the mining camp near Lewiston, Washington Territory, in 1861.

My inclination to read on became a general survey.  I flipped pages to see if things would improve and when I came across the cannibalism and other horrors ahead, I took the book back to the library.  (In case that’s your particular cup of tea, the book is Snowbound Stagecoach by Lenora Whiteman.)  But I was left pondering the appeal of the word “geezer” and other sobriquets for old men.  “Coot,” “codger,”  “curmudgeon,”  “fogey,” “old-timer,” and “mossback” came immediately to mind — all with sort of affectionate overtones like “gramps.”

Clint Eastwood in The Mule

Interestingly, though, I couldn’t come up with equivalents for women.  When I asked Google, these were some of the choices: battle-axe, crone, biddy, dowager, matron, fishwife, shrike, harridan, widow, and hag.  YIKES!  No warm fuzzies there.  Nothing that conjured up Stephanie Plum’s Grandma Mazur character or any of “The Golden Girls” or even “Miss Daisy” as portrayed by Jessica Tandy.

Why is that I wonder…  Why can’t old women be called by admiring terms equivalent to those for our aged counterparts?  Or is this old broad missing something obvious?


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