Sadie Hawkins

[ sey-dee haw-kinz ]
/ ˈseɪ di ˌhɔ kɪnz /
Save This Word!

Also called Sadie, Sa·dies. a party, dance, or other social event, especially one held annually among high school or college students, to which each girl escorts the boy of her choice, or invites him to escort her.
a day (Sadie Hawkins Day ) or night, often in November, when such an event or events are held.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of Sadie Hawkins

An Americanism dating back to 1939; after the race held on Sadie Hawkins Day (in the cartoon strip Li'l Abner by Al Capp), in which single women pursued bachelors

Words nearby Sadie Hawkins

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Sadie Hawkins Day?

Sadie Hawkins Day is an informal holiday involving dances or other social events in which girls are encouraged to ask boys to attend with them as their date.

Such a dance is sometimes called a Sadie Hawkins dance or simply a Sadie Hawkins or a Sadie. These are typically held in high school or college.

The tradition of Sadie Hawkins Day and Sadie Hawkins dances is based on inverting once traditional gender roles, in which boys were always seen as the proper initiator of dates to dances or dates in general.

However, Sadie Hawkins events are now often considered outdated due to such gender dynamics also often being considered outdated (and the fact that not all couples consist of a boy and a girl).

The tradition originated from a 1930s comic strip (more on that below).

When is Sadie Hawkins Day?

The most common date for the observance of Sadie Hawkins Day is November 13, though it has also been observed on November 15.

The name Sadie Hawkins Day has also been applied to any day on which a Sadie Hawkins-style event takes place (still most often in November).

More information and context on Sadie Hawkins Day

Sadie Hawkins was a character from the comic strip Li’l Abner by artist Al Capp. The character was introduced in a strip on November 15, 1937, in which she is depicted as being too ugly to have attracted any suitors for marriage. The serial strip then related the story of her father setting up a race in which all of the bachelors in town must be chased by Sadie, with whomever she catches being made to marry her.

The events of the strip inspired the dances that now bear the name. The name Sadie Hawkins is first recorded in reference to a dance in the late 1930s, when such events became popular at U.S. colleges.

References to Sadie Hawkins and Sadie Hawkins Day continued to be incorporated into the Li’l Abner comic strip throughout its run, into the 1970s.

Though Sadie Hawkins Day was once often viewed as empowering by some participants, particularly due to its inversion of traditional gender roles, the legacy of the day and related events is now often criticized, especially due to the sexism and misogyny of its origins in the comic.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Sadie Hawkins Day?

How is Sadie Hawkins Day discussed in real life?

Sadie Hawkins Day and Sadie Hawkins dances were once popular, but they are now often seen as outdated due to being based on notions of gender roles that are now also often seen as outdated.



Try using Sadie Hawkins Day!

True or False? 

Sadie Hawkins Day originated in a comic strip.

How to use Sadie Hawkins in a sentence