☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,


Tuesday Word: Harridan

har·ri·dan [hær.ɪ.dən]:
origin: [1700's] Possibly French; haridelle= old horse, nag.

An older woman who rules the roost with an iron fist; an overly critical matron; the word is often seen as a (sexist) pejorative: battle ax, harpy, hag, old biddy, fish wife, witch, crone, ball-breaker. But to me harridan sounds like a rug or some kind of fancy car, "Perhaps a harridan, the one with the silver trim would be best?"

Anyway, despite the implied insult of harridan, such fictional individuals often make for excellent television: Mama's Family, Rosanne, Maude & Golden Girls, Damages, and The Devil Wear's Prada are some examples.

Much like their male counterparts: The Honeymooners, Archie Bunker, House, or Sons of Anarchy. One of life's many contradictions being -- what people claim to hate in real life, they often gobble up in the form of entertainment.

Ma Beagle of the Beagle Boys from Duck Tales was a harrison.
Tags: french, h, noun, origin unknown, wordsmith: theidolhands

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