working girl


Older Use: Often Offensive. a woman who works.
Slang. a prostitute.

Origin of working girl

1860–65, for def 1; 1965–70, for def 2

Usage note

The meaning “woman who works” has declined in use because of possible confusion with the other meaning, “prostitute.” And the use of girl to refer to an adult woman is often perceived as insulting and demeaning. See also girl. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for working girl

Historical Examples of working girl

  • The working-girl is expected to be subservient, she is too often regarded as a menial, she is ordered.

    Stage Confidences

    Clara Morris

  • I appreciate it very much, but no working-girl shall lose through me.

    The Hills of Refuge

    Will N. Harben

  • My mind went back as he said this to a conversation I had had the night before with a working-girl at my boarding-house.

    The Woman Who Toils

    Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst

  • There is no influx such as creates in a small town the necessity for working-girl boarding-houses.

    The Woman Who Toils

    Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst

  • As one recalls this club, it presents one of the best evidences of the barrenness of the working-girl's life in New York.

    The Leaven in a Great City

    Lillian William Betts

British Dictionary definitions for working girl

working girl


a girl or woman who works, esp one who supports herself
informal a prostitute
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