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December 4, 2003

Slang of the Week: playette (noun)
a woman with many boyfriends at the same time

Example:
Ralph wanted to settle down, get married and have children, but Suzy wasn’t ready to give up her playette status.

Celebrity quote:
“Behind every playa is a true playette.”
-LL Cool J, Phenomenon

As the old Virginia Slims ads used to say, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” So have wild women come a long way to be playettes, a word that implies they are lucky instead of easy?

Yes and no. First of all, the feminine ending -ette has traditionally been associated with smaller and/or less significant things, like novelettes and kitchenettes. On the other hand, bachelorette was popularized by 1970s television producers for The Dating Game to make women sound better. They realized that using negative synonyms like spinster or old maid to describe the female contestants would make them sound pretty unappealing.

For women with busy love lives, there are certainly worse terms. From the old fashioned floozy and tramp to more current slut and hoe, all of these words are highly critical and compare women to prostitutes. In a perfect world, I suppose a woman with a lot of action would be called a playa or player, as men are, but I’d say playette is something of an improvement on the past.

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