Sunday, April 23, 2006


This word has been bugging me for a while now. I first came across it as a word of the day on Google.

According to the OED, virago is defined as:
1 Woman. (Only as the name given by Adam to Eve, after the Vulgate rendering of Gen. ii. 23.)
2 a. A man-like, vigorous, and heroic woman; a female warrior; an amazon. Now rare.
b. Applied to a man. Obs. rare.
3 A bold, impudent (or wicked) woman; a termagant, a scold.

There are a couple more entries, but these are the main ones.

1 A woman regarded as noisy, scolding, or domineering.
2 A large, strong, courageous woman.

It is also, apparently, the name of a Yamaha motorcycle. I don't know what that means.

I think this words speaks for itself. Like most derogatory female words, virago also means a strong, warrior-like woman. Because of her strong, bold nature, she is dismissed as either mannish or wicked.

I say we bring this word back and live it. We need more viragos in this day of Harvard graduates who desire only to support their husbands from home.

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