or dit·zy

[ dit-see ]
/ ˈdɪt si /

adjective, dit·si·er, dit·si·est. Slang.

flighty and easily confused; mildly or harmlessly eccentric.



"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
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Origin of ditsy

1975–80; expressive coinage, perhaps with elements of dotty1 and dizzy; cf. -sy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does ditsy mean?

Ditsy is used to describe someone who is considered airheaded, scatterbrained, or easily confused.

Ditsy has historically been used almost exclusively in reference to women. For this reason, it is often considered a sexist term used to demean women. It can also be spelled ditzy. The noun form of ditsy is ditz, referring to such a person.

Example: She refused to play the ditsy sidekick character whose only role was to look good and say stupid things.

Where does ditsy come from?

The first records of ditsy come from the 1970s. The origin of ditsy is uncertain, but it may be made up of elements of the words dotty (meaning “peculiar” or “odd”) and dizzy (meaning “confused”). The suffix -sy is often used to indicate the quality of a person, and may be ironic, implying that the quality is self-consciously assumed or faked (as in artsy, cutesy, and folksy).

Famous examples of characters portrayed as ditsy include Phoebe from the TV sitcom Friends and Karen from the movie Mean Girls. Both characters are shown as frequently confused about simple things—and as a bit goofy or wacky. Not coincidentally, both characters are representations of the stereotype that attractive blonde women are often unintelligent or act unintelligently. The word ditsy often implies the same thing—that being pretty means being stupid—and characters portrayed as ditsy are often used as the butt of jokes. Because the word is almost always used to refer to women in a degrading way, it is often considered offensive. Similar words that do not have this association are spacey and flaky (but that still doesn’t mean they’re nice things to call someone).

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What are some other forms of ditsy?

  • ditzy (alternate spelling)
  • ditz (noun)
  • ditsier (adjective, comparative form)
  • ditsiest (adjective, superlative form)

What are some synonyms for ditsy?

What are some words that often get used in discussing ditsy?


How is ditsy used in real life?

Ditsy is often used as an insult. It is also used in criticisms of how certain people or characters are portrayed, nearly always women. Sometimes, people apply it to themselves to be self-deprecating.



Try using ditsy!

Is ditsy used correctly in the following sentence?

I feel so ditsy after riding that roller coaster—I think I might get sick.

Example sentences from the Web for ditsy