He called me a bitch!

Dear AC,

I have a new boyfriend. When I was in the other room, I heard him talking about his “bitch” to his friend on the phone. At first, I couldn't believe he saw some prostitute when I am his girlfriend. Then I realized he was talking about ME! But he is always nice to me and not treating me like that. I am so confused.


Dear Maria,

The good news is that “bitch” doesn't mean prostitute. The bad news is that it's still not a very nice thing to say. The original meaning of “bitch” is female dog, but in slang, the usual meaning is a mean woman or a woman you hate. It doesn't mean anything sexual.

But that isn't what your boyfriend meant. The way he used it, it means girlfriend. But it's still not an expression you'd want to use in front of your mother. I guess the question is: do you want to go out with a guy who describes you as a female dog? If my boyfriend said that about me, he'd have to find a new “bitch”!

Your pal,


A. C. Kemp

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