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Origin of hag1
OTHER WORDS FROM haghaggish, haglike, adjective
Definition for hag (2 of 3)
noun British Dialect.
Origin of hag2
Definition for hag (3 of 3)
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does hag mean?
Where does hag come from?
Hags as evil, old women are an ancient archetype, appearing in myth and literature from the Slavic myth of Baba Yaga to the Greek Furies. They are often described as witch-like figures who live in wild places like swamps and forests.
In the 1960s, fag hag emerged. Fag hags are straight women who socialize with gay men. While some women and gay people embrace the term (such as comedian Margaret Cho), fag hag is considered doubly offensive, featuring a homophobic slur and sexist insult.
Women in powerful positions, such as U.S. Democratic politicians Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, are often denigrated as hags.
How is hag used in real life?
Hags still make appearances in our modern mythologies. The Gullah people of the coastal Carolinas, for instance, tell stories of the boo–hag, who sheds her skin at night to sneak into houses and feast on sleepers’ energy.
— Adam Giuseppe Moore (@TheAdamJMoore) August 15, 2018
— Laura Wattie (@LyraFay) August 23, 2018
Hags also show up in the Harry Potter universe, figured as semi-magical, non-human beings that muggles mistake for witches. Hollywood loves hags, too, with cinematic hags appearing in Drag Me To Hell (2009), Hag (2014,) and The Hag (2018.)
Unfortunately, hag is also still used as a sexist insult. Hillary Clinton was derided as an old hag during her 2016 presidential run by supporters of Donald Trump. In 2017, Republican politician Roger Stanton caused outrage when he called the Women’s March a “hag and ho’ show” on social media.
Unless you’re discussing myth, magic, or Macbeth, avoid calling a woman a hag. It implies women are only valuable if they are young, beautiful, and submissive.
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.