Vol 6 - 7 (2011) Fama e infamia

“Chi dice donna dice…”. Le parole come strumento di infamia

Published July 12, 2011
How to Cite
D’Achille, P. (2011). “Chi dice donna dice…”. Le parole come strumento di infamia. Storia Delle Donne, 6(7), 13-30. https://doi.org/10.13128/SDD-9604


This study is a linguistic approach to “gender oriented” insulting. After touching on some generic features of linguistic aggression (already censored by Medieval treaty texts on the sins of the language) and of identity and diversity expressed via words, the work points out the aspect of linguistic sexism which seem to set up a “negativity” of the “feminine” in itself. The central part of the work focuses on the Italian words which, as an act of detracting or direct insult, more often deal with women: “strega” and, above all, “puttana”. Of the latter it is remembered the wide range of synonyms (euphemistic or dysphemistic, denotative or connotative, cultivated or dialectal) one finds in the history of Italian up to the most recent foreignism (“escort”); some of them are analyzed as useful to semantic and socio-cultural considerations.


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