Harridan

Harridan– an unpleasant woman, especially an older one, who is often angry and often tells other people what to do; shrew If you were married to that harridan, you too, would take to drink. You might call the old lady next door who yells at you to stay off her lawn a harridan. When you see the word harridan, think of the Wicked Witch of the West – a mean-tempered, sharp-tongued old woman. Calling an older, bossy woman a harridan is certainly not a compliment, although most harridans — aside from your strict old scold of an English teacher — probably won’t be familiar with the somewhat obscure term. It comes from seventeenth century slang, probably stemming from the French word haridelle, or “old horse.” Shrew, Vixen and Termagant are synonyms of harridan. Television satirists portrayed Maria as a pinstriped harridan who terrorized her male colleagues. ]]>

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