time for a new word: bitch

We’ve seen this before: A word starts out meaning one thing — a completely valid thing! — but over time, it comes to mean something very different. Sometimes the second meaning completely eclipses the first, but a small group of devotees will cling to the original meaning of the word, daring everyone to challenge it.

Guys, it’s really sad when you do that. It’s time for a new word.

Today’s word-that-doesn’t-mean-what-it-once-meant is “bitch.” Once, a bitch was a female dog. That’s all it was. Then one day a very long time ago, some clever bro thought it would be funny to compare actual human women to female dogs. It was a metaphor. Get it? Har har.

Here in the 21st century, when you hear the word “bitch,” it’s almost certainly a sexist slur (unless you’re a dog breeder or something, but maybe even then). Or, in gerund form (bitching), it means complaining. The one thing practically nobody thinks of is dogs. But every once in a while, someone will use it the old way.

The Time For a New Word Committee wants these people to know that if they don’t stop living in the past, the rest of us are going to assume they’re just trying to get away with saying “bitch” without the risk of being punched in the mouth by a woman.