Just A Girl

I recently started a new job and overheard a future colleague refer to me as “the new girl.” Am I really a girl?

I can understand and appreciate that socially and colloquially girl is an acceptable reference for a 38 year old woman. This, however was in a work setting. I am a skilled professional adult and find this term belittling of my skill set and adulthood.

Men don’t get referred to as boys. Lads, guys, men: all these words imply adulthood and are somewhat acceptable in the workplace, mine at least. Why is girl admissible for women? Have we no other word for woman that’s suitable for a formal or professional conversation?

OED Girl

OED Girl

The Oxford English Dictionary, it appears, agrees with me. I don’t believe my new colleague meant any harm in it but I found it inappropriate nonetheless. Girl implies young, childlike, immature or inferior in my eyes.

Lady is too formal, woman would be fine but don’t we have any other words?


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