20 words that women would like to see banned

Nicola Roberts, ambassador for Speicla K's new Strength Is... campaign.
Nicola Roberts, ambassador for Speicla K's new Strength Is... campaign.
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Bird is definitely not the word, according to a new study published today.

British women want to banish ‘bird’ from the social dictionary with nearly 60% branding it their most-hated pet name.

Taking to task phrases they deem derogatory, a survey of more than 2,000 women placed ‘mumsy’, ‘hormonal’ and ‘ball breaker’ among the top 10 words they would like to see banned from day-to-day vocabulary.

The findings, released as part of a new campaign from Special K inspiring inner strength in women, revealed women are tired of being labelled ‘hysterical’ and ‘high maintenance'.

And they would also like to see words such as 'Feminazi' and 'baron’ disappeared from everyday lingo.

1 .Hormonal - 68%
2. Drama Queen - 56%
3. Bitchy - 53%
4. High Maintenance - 51%
5. Hysterical - 50%
6. Ball Breaker - 49%
7. Diva - 48%
8. Highly Strung - 46%
9. Mumsy - 42%
10. Princess - 40%
11. Attention Seeking - 35%
12. Emotional - 31%
13. Manipulative - 28%
14. Bossy - 27%
15. Controlling - 25%
16. Difficult - 21%
17. Sexy - 20%
18. Aggressive - 19%
19. Sassy - 16%

20. Feisty - 14%

Where it was once believed to be an endearing term for your male co-worker to call you ‘honey’ or ‘gorgeous’, 40 per cent of women said they felt ‘patronised’ when subjected to a pet name - especially in the workplace.

But it isn’t just men handing out the sexist slurs in the office. More than a quarter of women described the use of pet names such as ‘babe’ or ‘doll’ by their female peers as ‘patronising’ or ‘belittling’ (13 per cent).

1. Bird - 56%
2. Doll - 45%
3. Chick - 42%
4. Babe - 38%
5. Queen Bee - 33%

Campaign ambassador Nicola Roberts said: “It is a strange thing that in a modern society we still have room for language that holds strong women back.

“It is very important young women in society grow up learning that you are not a ‘ball breaker’ if you are successful – you are simply a strong woman succeeding.

“Or don’t allow themselves to be referred to as anything other than who they are in a professional setting.”

The former Girls Aloud star added: “Female strength is something to be celebrated and encouraged, not diminished by unfair labels to undermine their passion and drive.

“Women are too often called ‘bossy’, ‘feisty’ or ‘attention seeking’, now is the time to change the conversation and rewrite the vocabulary we use to empower women and not let others define us."