ladette (also less frequent laddette) /lædet/ noun (BrE, informal)
a young woman who behaves in a confident and noisy way, and who drinks alcohol and enjoys sport or other activities that are traditionally enjoyed by men: 17-year-old Zola and her gang of ladettes boast about just how much under-age drinking they did last weekend.* He says that young women today may look at someone like Sophia Loren and admire the way she looks, but they aspire more to being sexy, pretty or a ladette. * She has also had a reputation as a hard-drinking, hard-partying ladette who seems to enjoy the single life. * Analysts believe the ladette phenomenon has been driven by increasing levels of financial independence among young women.Ladette comes from the word lad, which originally meant a boy or young man. In Britain in recent years, lad has been used more often to describe a lively young man who is interested in drinking, sports and meeting women: All my other mates said he was a bit of a lad, always making trouble. Robert has a reputation as a bit of a lad. He dates lots of women and flirts with any attractive female. Young men have their range of lad mags (= magazines for young men), but what magazine is a man over 40 supposed to buy exactly? Boys who don’t fit in with the ‘lad culture’ feel left out and often get bullied at school, according to a 2001 survey.The -ette ending has been added to make the feminine form.Other derivatives include:
- laddish (adjective): Traditional laddish behaviour is generally a sign of
insecurity and immaturity. His quick wit and likeable brand of laddish humour make him the perfect chat-show guest.
- laddishness (noun): Behind all the laddishness, he is rather a sensitive young man.
- laddism (noun): Beginning as a journalistic pigeon-hole for boisterously
anti-social young men, laddism has since been extended to include anyone under 40 behaving badly.
A lad can be contrasted with a new man, a man who is more sensitive and not aggressive, and who shares the work traditionally done by women in the home, such as cooking and taking care of children: He is comfortable with his ‘new man’ image, and has been known to leave the office early to go home and cook dinner for his family.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
From OUP online: