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shurale
26-03-2010, 12:30
Anyone ever uses this word?
I think if a woman is in her thirties it is rather odd to call her a girl (even if that is a part of a girlfriend). What if this woman is a senior citizen? Still a girlfriend?
How about this, 'My mother had a ladyfriend'?
Or 'my grandmother had a ladyfriend'?

MissAnnElk
26-03-2010, 12:58
Anyone ever uses this word?
I think if a woman is in her thirties it is rather odd to call her a girl (even if that is a part of a girlfriend). What if this woman is a senior citizen? Still a girlfriend?
How about this, 'My mother had a ladyfriend'?
Or 'my grandmother had a ladyfriend'?

To me is has a slight old fashioned charm to it. I would only use it in a dating context. For example, my father might introduce me to someone he is dating (but not dating exclusively) as "This is my lady friend, Kate."

Between women, I would just say, "I'd like you to meet my friend, Kate." Or "My friend and I . . . ." And I call women friends my "girlfriends."

nbogaard
26-03-2010, 15:24
I think if used by a man with whom he has a romantic relationship, "girlfriend" works just fine just as "boyfriend" works if the she is describing you. I agree with MissAnnElk that "ladyfriend" sounds somewhat dated, albeit charming.

kassandra
26-03-2010, 15:25
Anyone ever uses this word?
I think if a woman is in her thirties it is rather odd to call her a girl (even if that is a part of a girlfriend). What if this woman is a senior citizen? Still a girlfriend?
How about this, 'My mother had a ladyfriend'?
Or 'my grandmother had a ladyfriend'?

Be sure a woman in her thirties wouldnt mind if you call her a girl :)

nbogaard
26-03-2010, 16:00
I just gotta start proofreading before I send:

I think if used by a man about a woman with whom he has a romantic relationship, "girlfriend" works just fine just as "boyfriend" works if the she is describing you. I agree with MissAnnElk that "ladyfriend" sounds somewhat dated, albeit charming.

Kartoshka
26-03-2010, 19:34
In British English, you could only use "ladyfriend" in a dating context. Saying "My mother has a ladyfriend" would imply that she is a lesbian. I think it can be used nowadays, if you are referring to a senior citizen's partner, eg. "My grandfather has a new ladyfriend." It sounds quite quaint and old-fashioned, as befitting people of that generation.

rusmeister
03-04-2010, 16:45
Today, we mostly use euphemisms, and hardly realize that that is what they are. The people in question are neither girls nor boys, nor friends.

A return to standard terms used over a hundred years ago would be my idea of a good call. It would reveal things as they are, not as we attempt to cover them up. If we could only manage to actually call a spade a spade...

Euphemisms have a definite use, and 95% of the time it is to cover up unpleasant truths with sanitized falsehoods (usually to someone's detriment).

yakspeare
03-04-2010, 17:31
ladyfriend in most contexts i have ever heard it used, and used myself is quite different to those mentioned above.

a girlfriend means you are in a recognised relationship with someone.

a ladyfriend is someone you are seeing(or someone else is seeing or whatever) that hasnt got the roles exactly defined...

so this could be a lover, or just a female friend but the implication is that you are involved more than in friendship. otherwise you are just "friends".

it is often used as an euphenism for lover and even in the hotel game for prostitute " Would you and your lady friend wish to pay by the hour or per day for use of the room?" etc etc

it is not generally insulting, unless the girl thinks she is more than lady friend(girlfriend.fiance or wife!) but generally when there is a lady friend introduced therea re a lot of sly and knowing smiles...9 times out of 10 it is a lover

farsideofthelune
03-04-2010, 18:03
let's just use a politically correct gender neutral term - f&ckfriend

rusmeister
03-04-2010, 20:57
ladyfriend in most contexts i have ever heard it used, and used myself is quite different to those mentioned above.

a girlfriend means you are in a recognised relationship with someone.

a ladyfriend is someone you are seeing(or someone else is seeing or whatever) that hasnt got the roles exactly defined...

so this could be a lover, or just a female friend but the implication is that you are involved more than in friendship. otherwise you are just "friends".

it is often used as an euphenism for lover and even in the hotel game for prostitute " Would you and your lady friend wish to pay by the hour or per day for use of the room?" etc etc

it is not generally insulting, unless the girl thinks she is more than lady friend(girlfriend.fiance or wife!) but generally when there is a lady friend introduced therea re a lot of sly and knowing smiles...9 times out of 10 it is a lover

Hi, yakspeare!

You're talking about how people perceive it today.

I'm talking about what they no longer perceive.

Even "lover" is a euphemism. In its base, primitive meaning, it merely means "someone who loves".
If you restrict it to: "wife" and "fiance", then the behavior would be left exposed for what it is.

As long as you use words like "seeing", and "friend", you are resorting to euphemism.

For all of its crudity, I'm afraid farsideofthelune is closer, except for the "friend" part. Sex is a powerful force, with a definite biological purpose, which is what people spend most of their time trying to thwart, and as Sally said in the Rob Reiner film "When Harry Met Sally", "It means everything". There are excellent reasons why societies have wrapped it around with ritual, tradition, and as a general rule made it monogamous and for life, and it is all of this that the modern call to satisfy one's lusts above all else seeks to subvert. It is, as Chesterton said,
a succession of different expedients...by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself.


A great essay on the topic that has changed how I see modern language usage:
http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/on_evil_euphemisms.html
Interesting that at the time (1930) they spoke of "companionate marriage", as a popular euphemism.

shurale
06-04-2010, 14:12
A girfriend is when you date. When you go out, eat out, go to movies, theatre, etc.
A lover is when you have some conspiratory flat where you meet for the purpose of having sex.

nbogaard
06-04-2010, 14:34
A girfriend is when you date. When you go out, eat out, go to movies, theatre, etc.
A lover is when you have some conspiratory flat where you meet for the purpose of having sex.

Sorry, I disagree. Maybe I am wrong but the term "girlfriend," when used by a man, implies romantic interest and leaves ambiguous, the sexual side of the relationship. The term "lover," on the other hand implies, to my mind, a sexual relationship and perhaps leaves ambiguous the romantic side of the relationship.

FlakeySnowballer
06-04-2010, 21:08
Anyone ever uses this word?
I think if a woman is in her thirties it is rather odd to call her a girl (even if that is a part of a girlfriend). What if this woman is a senior citizen? Still a girlfriend?
How about this, 'My mother had a ladyfriend'?
Or 'my grandmother had a ladyfriend'?

I would suggest you use friend for friends by all genders and the word girlfriend for a life partner

rusmeister
08-04-2010, 07:16
I would suggest you use friend for friends by all genders and the word girlfriend for a life partner
Hi, FS!
One of my hobbies has become etymology, and connecting that to how people undertand the world (rightly or wrongly) and express it in their language.

The word "gender" is a recent bait-and-switch for the good ol' fashioned word "sex" (which always meant the division between men and women and never, until the 1930's, referred to an act). So I totally disrecommend the word "gender", which makes that difference out to be a social construct, in favor of "sex", ("my sex", "the sex of the baby") which presents it as a hard and fairly immutable fact of life.

The word "friend" implies a relationship denied in our language roots - a concept completely separate from "eros", so again, it's a recent bait-and-switch and gives the impression that one has a "friend" relationship, rather than an erotic one - a euphemism, as I have said.

The word "partner" implies a temporary relationship, most specifically a business one, and it suggests that, like a business (contractual) relationship, the erotic relationship can be broken if it is seen to be "unprofitable". This is totally inconsistent with what marriage has always purported to be.

Point is, all of these recent words originated in the 20th century, and represent a radical and false view of what marriage and the sexes are. The purpose of the language is to justify sexual relationships without life-long commitment or traditional marriage vows (the thing that holds the marriage together when it seems "unprofitable" and prevents frivolous divorce in a society that takes vows seriously) - the sacramental view of marriage. In short, it is an attack on the family and results in families not being formed or being broken apart.

opag78
08-04-2010, 12:54
I always understood "ladyfriend" as a synonym for mistress.

I also don't think that "girlfriend" is expressing a serious mature relationship (from my male perspective).

When you are 16 you have girlfriends (you obviously dont intend to marry someone at this age).

For serious relationships I would use "beloved" or "betrothed/fiancee" or "spouse/wife" (depending on the stage).

Spouse is actually a very nice generic term, which can also be used for homosexual couples or unmarried couples.

Regarding friends. Well, in my humble opinion people are abusing the word friend. I strictly separate between "colleagues" (at work), "teammates" (sport) "friends" (people I know, enjoy their company and share some history with), "mates" (the guys you are drinking with) and "acquaintances" (everybody else I know but wouldn't call friends).

A "partner" is somebody I do business with, but indicates no kind of "private" relationship. Especially my wife is certainly not my partner :) (at least not in English, in German this is different - same term, but different meanings)

However this might just be my German cultural heritage as we have many distinguished levels of relationships in Germany and it takes some while until we are calling somebody a friend, as it means a lot in Germany and also implies strong mutual loyalty. Hence a native speaker would be more qualified in the right interpretation of these terms.

rusmeister
08-04-2010, 13:36
I'm not sure if anybody gets what I've been saying, but put simply as possible, the important thing is not what people perceive the words as meaning, but on the ideas that lie behind the words and whose assumptions express a particular worldview.

IF sex is a mechanical act whose primary purpose is pleasure, and if the purpose of our lives is to obtain pleasure then we should get as much of it as possible. It's like, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." In that event we need to ignore all religion and tradition telling us to muzzle or control our appetite for sex(ual relations). Words like "girlfriend" - which refer to neither a girl nor a friend as I said above - become useful because they abandon the traditional language that calls such relationships, unblessed by church and/or society, fornication.

But if the sexual act is about much more than pleasure, and if pleasure is not the most important thing in this life; if traditional morality and religion are right and there IS good call to tightly control the sex desire, then these words work against the truth about our lives and nature. They really are euphemisms that attempt to avoid admitting what happens to be the case - that there is no good language justifying what has been called fornication.

What people THINK those words are meant to mean today is nothing at all - meaningless - next to that.

opag78
08-04-2010, 13:45
You know, the really important thing is that people understand what you mean. Hence it is imperative that you know what they think when you use a word.

Language is constantly evolving and especially English is transforming rapidly as it is used by lots of people from very diverse cultural backgrounds.

Obviously you have a problem with that, but obviously nobody else cares ..

rusmeister
09-04-2010, 03:53
You know, the really important thing is that people understand what you mean. Hence it is imperative that you know what they think when you use a word.

Language is constantly evolving and especially English is transforming rapidly as it is used by lots of people from very diverse cultural backgrounds.

Obviously you have a problem with that, but obviously nobody else cares ..

Evolution means merely "change", not "improvement". Language can degrade as well as improve. For every one case of improvement, there are, generally speaking, ten cases of degradation. Improvement is achieved through struggle and loss, and most often doesn't happen. It is not, inevitable, and we are at least as likely to lose what we have as to improve anything - certainly more likely.

What I'm saying is not that people don't understand anything at all, but that they are ceasing to understand what words mean. If a word expands its definition, it loses meaning. if it expands sufficiently, it loses all meaning. Thus, the word "gentleman" meant something rather definite in the Middle Ages and means nothing today. As long as "girl" means "immature" female" it is definite; if we apply it to any female, it becomes more indefinite,; if we begin saying that people could be of whatever sex (er, "gender") they imagine themselves to be we can now no longer say who is or isn't a girl and to what degree.

I think if people understood the danger of imprecise language - that it ultimately threatens a degradation to the animal level, they would care a little more. Anyone familiar with CS Lewis might think of one of the closing chapters from "That Hideous Strength", when the people who attempted to manipulate language in such ways ultimately lost the power of language altogether - for language is a kind of power, and it can be misused.

2ndWind
09-04-2010, 06:28
Anyone ever uses this word?

I don't recall having used the term but I know what it means to me.

If you know a female is married, you address her as Mrs - If unmarried, then Miss. If her marital status is not known, then Ms.

In a similar fashion, if I saw a male (someone that I knew) with a female of around his age who is unknown to me, I might later ask: "Who is your ladyfriend".

The only fact that I have is that she appeared to be female. She may not be a lady but you cannot go wrong calling her one. She may not be his friend but you cannot go wrong calling her one.

She may be his sister, a work associate, Realtor, date, etc. but I have used a term which does not degrade her in any way.

You have probably heard the old comedy routine that goes:

Q: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
A: That was no lady, that was my wife!

I had a, now deceased, cousin who was a widower. He was friends with a neighbor who was widowed. They sometimes attended family gatherings together. I doubt very much that they were ever intimate. They were just long time friends. She was his "ladyfriend" and was every bit a lady.

I don't think any other term fit as well.

rusmeister
09-04-2010, 07:20
I don't recall having used the term but I know what it means to me.

If you know a female is married, you address her as Mrs - If unmarried, then Miss. If her marital status is not known, then Ms.

In a similar fashion, if I saw a male (someone that I knew) with a female of around his age who is unknown to me, I might later ask: "Who is your ladyfriend".

The only fact that I have is that she appeared to be female. She may not be a lady but you cannot go wrong calling her one. She may not be his friend but you cannot go wrong calling her one.

She may be his sister, a work associate, Realtor, date, etc. but I have used a term which does not degrade her in any way.

You have probably heard the old comedy routine that goes:

Q: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
A: That was no lady, that was my wife!

I had a, now deceased, cousin who was a widower. He was friends with a neighbor who was widowed. They sometimes attended family gatherings together. I doubt very much that they were ever intimate. They were just long time friends. She was his "ladyfriend" and was every bit a lady.

I don't think any other term fit as well.

Hi, 2W!
Your last example is one where a term would mean exactly what it purported to - where the person in question is both a lady and a friend (as distinct from an erotic relationship).

I think what bothers me is when people use language to deliberately mask the true nature of the situation - which, at times, may be polite and called-for, but which can also be meant to deceive - either others, or to deceive oneself as to what exactly the nature of a relationship is using falsification of words.
Here's a current Moscow Times article:
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/columns/1292/article/woman-torches-flat-after-ex-boyfriend-dates-mom/402960.html


Woman Torches Flat After Ex-Boyfriend Dates Mom
31 March 2010
By Carl Schreck

An Ulyanovsk region woman, enraged that her mother was dating her former boyfriend, set fire to the apartment where the two lovers were staying, killing both, investigators said.

Oksana Baranova, 21, was seeking revenge when she torched the apartment where her mother and ex-boyfriend were sleeping, the regional investigative committee said in a statement.

According to investigators, Baranova wanted merely to give the star-crossed lovers a scare by burning down the apartment where they were sleeping in the village of Novaya Sloboda. But she failed to warn the victims in time, leaving the couple to suffocate in the smoke.

Life News identified the mother as Tatyana Baranova, 40, and the ex-boyfriend as 20-year-old Mikhail Kozlov.

Baranova has admitted to setting the blaze, investigators said, explaining perhaps the relatively light charges she faces. She has been charged with aggravated manslaughter, punishable by up to four years in prison.

And this is what I mean. "Dating" implies meeting innocently with possible romantic interest. It is clear that the relationship had gone beyond that, and the language used deliberately disguises that. The term farsideofthelune offered would be preferable, because when we start deceiving ourselves, we don't know where to stop.

Charity, in the old sense of the word, might require us to phrase words carefully. But the greater danger of our time is all this prevarication and euphemisms to avoid stating the truth.


We are perpetually being told that this rising generation is very frank and free, and that its whole social ideal is frankness and freedom. Now I am not at all afraid of frankness. What I am afraid of is fickleness. And there is a truth in the old proverbial connection between what is fickle and what is false. There is in the very titles and terminology of all this sort of thing a pervading element of falsehood. Everything is to be called something that it is not; as in the characteristic example of Companionate Marriage. Everything is to be recommended to the public by some sort of synonym which is really a pseudonym. It is a talent that goes with the time of electioneering and advertisement and newspaper headlines; but whatever else such a time may be, it certainly is not specially a time of truth.

In short, these friends of frankness depend almost entirely on Euphemism. They introduce their horrible heresies under new and carefully complimentary names; as the Furies were called the Eumenides. The names are always flattery; the names are also nonsense. The name of Birth-Control, for instance, is sheer nonsense. Everybody has always exercised birth-control; even when they were so paradoxical as to permit the process to end in a birth. Everybody has always known about birth-control, even if it took the wild and unthinkable form of self-control. The question at issue concerns different forms of birth-prevention; and I am not going to debate it here. But if I did debate it, I would call it by its name. The same is true of an older piece of sentiment indulged in by the frank and free: the expression 'Free Love.' That also is a Euphemism; that is, it is a refusal of people to say what they mean. In that sense, it is impossible to prevent love being free, but the moral problem challenged concerns not the passions, but the will. There are a great many other examples of this sort of polite fiction; these respectable disguises adopted by those who are always railing against respectability. In the immediate future there will probably be more still. There really seems no necessary limit to the process; and however far the anarchy of ethics may go, it may always be accompanied with this curious and pompous ceremonial. The sensitive youth of the future will never be called upon to accept Forgery as Forgery. It will be easy enough to call it Homoeography or Script-Assimilation or something else that would suggest, to the simple or the superficial, that nothing was involved but a sort of socializing or unification of individual handwriting.
More...
http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/on_evil_euphemisms.html

TolkoRaz
09-04-2010, 10:40
It seems that we now have the question sorted regarding the definition and meaning of 'ladyfriend', but what about 'ladyboy'?

opag78
09-04-2010, 10:58
As I understand the term it is used especially in Thailand to name the male transvestites/transsexuals, who are either dressing as woman or get operated to become one.
As I read in "SPIEGEL" (the most important German news magazine) the Ladyboys have a good reputation in Thai society and there is even an annual beauty contest.

Matt24
09-04-2010, 11:07
It seems that we now have the question sorted regarding the definition and meaning of 'ladyfriend', but what about 'ladyboy'?

Christiano Ronaldo

martpark
09-04-2010, 12:38
I always understood "ladyfriend" as a synonym for mistress.

I also don't think that "girlfriend" is expressing a serious mature relationship (from my male perspective).

When you are 16 you have girlfriends (you obviously dont intend to marry someone at this age).

For serious relationships I would use "beloved" or "betrothed/fiancee" or "spouse/wife" (depending on the stage).

Spouse is actually a very nice generic term, which can also be used for homosexual couples or unmarried couples.

Regarding friends. Well, in my humble opinion people are abusing the word friend. I strictly separate between "colleagues" (at work), "teammates" (sport) "friends" (people I know, enjoy their company and share some history with), "mates" (the guys you are drinking with) and "acquaintances" (everybody else I know but wouldn't call friends).

A "partner" is somebody I do business with, but indicates no kind of "private" relationship. Especially my wife is certainly not my partner :) (at least not in English, in German this is different - same term, but different meanings)

However this might just be my German cultural heritage as we have many distinguished levels of relationships in Germany and it takes some while until we are calling somebody a friend, as it means a lot in Germany and also implies strong mutual loyalty. Hence a native speaker would be more qualified in the right interpretation of these terms.

Just 2 things:

'Spouse' in English means 'married partner' by avoiding the more complicated 'husband/wife' combination, just as 'sibling' avoids the more complicated 'brother/sister' on application forms and such.

'Partner' can definitely be used in romantic situations. It grew in popular use to talk about long-term relationships for unmarried couples, often for gay couples.

TolkoRaz
09-04-2010, 12:59
As I read in "SPIEGEL" (the most important German news magazine) the Ladyboys have a good reputation in Thai society and there is even an annual beauty contest.

Many thanks for confirmation of the definition opag78, but I am somewhat surprised to read that there is actually an important German news magazine! :p

Du nimmst mich auf den Arm! :p

opag78
09-04-2010, 15:51
You know Germans are not supposed to understand humor, so I really don't know what you wanna tell me with your last post.
:question:

rusmeister
09-04-2010, 19:59
Wistfully wishing for Adamodeus, or Mickey Tong, or Bogatyr, to weigh in - people who could understand what I'm talking about, agree or not, because it's the only aspect of the question of the term(s) that really matters.

Bogatyr
15-04-2010, 14:28
Wistfully wishing for Adamodeus, or Mickey Tong, or Bogatyr, to weigh in - people who could understand what I'm talking about, agree or not, because it's the only aspect of the question of the term(s) that really matters.

Христос Воскресе, Русмайстер!

I've given up banging my head against the brick wall that is the non-visa/residency areas of expat.ru forums. Best of luck continuing to spread the good news. But unfortunately, it is all too common that:


And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

rusmeister
16-04-2010, 08:34
Христос Воскресе, Русмайстер!

I've given up banging my head against the brick wall that is the non-visa/residency areas of expat.ru forums. Best of luck continuing to spread the good news. But unfortunately, it is all too common that:

Indeed He is risen!

And, yes, I know that. But there is still hope - intelligent people sometimes DO see that that is the case, and even about themselves.

The language we speak is something we grow up into, that it reflects a particular worldview, and that that worldview may not be true and therefore the language itself false. It just amazes me how, if this is pointed out, people can fail to see how important that is and how it impacts us directly, here and now, first of all, in how we speak. I'd be more impressed if people disagreed. At least they'd be thinking about it. As it is...

Fibre
21-04-2010, 16:33
Indeed He is risen!

The language we speak is something we grow up into, that it reflects a particular worldview, and that that worldview may not be true and therefore the language itself false. It just amazes me how, if this is pointed out, people can fail to see how important that is and how it impacts us directly, here and now, first of all, in how we speak. I'd be more impressed if people disagreed. At least they'd be thinking about it. As it is...

the word is not the same as an action. it`s very easy to mislead everyone, operating by your main skills, talking about all you are perfect. we play, using words as we want, as we got used to do it. and the more we like the language we spoken, the more sophisticated becomes our speach