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biddy

1
[ bid-ee ]
/ ˈbɪd i /
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noun, plural bid·dies.Chiefly New England, South Midland, and Southern U.S.
a chicken.
a newly hatched chick.
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Origin of biddy

1
1595–1605; compare British dialect biddy (< ?) with same sense, usually as a call to chickens

Other definitions for biddy (2 of 2)

biddy2
[ bid-ee ]
/ ˈbɪd i /

noun, plural bid·dies.
a fussbudget, especially a fussy old woman.
a female domestic servant, especially a cleaning woman.

Origin of biddy

2
1700–10; special use of Biddy, by-form of Bridget
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What does biddy mean?

Biddy can refer to a nosy, old woman or attractive, young woman. Both uses can be considered offensive. 

Content warning: this article contains references to sexual and sexist content.

Where does biddy come from?

Biddy, for a newly hatched chicken, is recorded in the 1600s. It may come from the sound people make to call chickens, e.g., Here, biddy biddy.

Biddy, as a demeaning term for an old woman, is recorded in the 1700s. It comes from a nickname of the popular Irish given name Bridget, originally used to address female servants. Biddy became a name for a kind of fussy, older woman that had the irritating habit of sticking her nose in matters where it didn’t belong. It often appears in the phrase old biddy.

For a period of time in the early 1900s, biddy was even a name given to police officers. By the 1960s, the word had joined a list of many other slang terms for female breasts. In Black slang, biddy, sometimes spelled as bitty, transitioned into a slang term for a young, usually attractive woman in the U.S. starting around the 1980s and 1990s.

How is biddy used in real life?

Referring to an old woman as an old biddy implies they are shrewish and nagging; it’s generally considered sexist to call a woman a biddy in this way.

Calling a young woman a biddy is also often seen as sexist, as it can imply they are simply sex objects. However, some young people do use biddy (or its variant bitty) as an affectionate term of address.

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use biddy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for biddy (1 of 2)

biddy1
/ (ˈbɪdɪ) /

noun plural -dies
a dialect word for chicken, hen

Word Origin for biddy

C17: perhaps imitative of calling chickens

British Dictionary definitions for biddy (2 of 2)

biddy2
/ (ˈbɪdɪ) /

noun plural -dies
informal, offensive a woman, esp an old gossipy or interfering one

Word Origin for biddy

C18: from pet form of Bridget
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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