Introduction

It has been said that women and men come from two different planets.  This theory would explain a lot, beginning with the language barrier.  For eons, the two sexes have sat across from each other at the negotiating table like haggard diplomats, hammering out rudimentary common meaning between two fundamentally different methods of communication.  As earnest as these efforts are, sometimes we can’t help but feel we’ve fallen into the stereotypical tourist mindset, believing that all will be understood if we speak loudly and s-l-o-w-l-y.

In the meantime, women have created a complex and nuanced lexicon of their own, one that is effortlessly understood by all females and which conveys—through context, subtext and, occasionally, pretext—the ever-changing and largely annoying experience of being a contemporary earth woman.  Like a secret handshake among lodge members, female dialect conveys volumes of unspoken meaning requiring no explanation, thus saving valuable conversation time that would be better spent critiquing someone’s acid-washed jeggings.

For instance, you’re considering cutting your own bangs?  To the untrained ear, this is small talk, a throwaway comment.  We, however, hear this as the distress call it is and have our purse and car keys in hand before you’ve finished your sentence.

And that’s just the beginning.

Your new bra showcases your back fat?  You’re experiencing man drought, or—worse—your new relationship is laced with residual girlfriend?  Troublesome T-zone?  Depressed about your cankles?  Screening your wasband’s calls?  We get it.

That’s not to say the female vernacular can be picked up overnight.  For the non-native speaker—the one who thinks an espadrille is something found in a toolbox—fluency may come only after years of study.  Sure, there will be frustrations along the way as you struggle to understand the subtle shadings between a cougar and a puma, but there will be deeply rewarding moments as well, like when you explain to your coworkers over fried potato skins the significant difference between secondary virginity and revirginization.  For those seeking immersion in and understanding of the not-so-secret language of women, we hope you will come to think of THE CHICKTIONARY not only as a reference book soon to grace the shelves of America’s finer vocational schools, but as your personal Rosetta Stone.

Far from being simply a phrase book for the male adventurer hoping to speak the lingo to the female locals, THE CHICKTIONARY is a critical text for women as well.  For those seeking an efficient term to replace the cumbersome “that woman your jerk of a daddy deserted us for” (we suggest “stepwife”), or women looking to settle an argument with girlfriends regarding pubic topiary and the difference between the Sphinx and the landing strip, THE CHICKTIONARY stands ready to serve as the soon-to-be-dog-eared compendium of choice.

Whether you just got a Brazilian blowout at the salon, or you think that’s something that happens to a rental car in Rio, there is much to be learned about the society of women—not to mention society at large—by taking a look at the feminine terminology that erupts and endures over time.  In this easy-to-use volume (which has been alphabetized for convenience and freshness), you will find everyday words with their underlying meanings disclosed as well as examples of contemporary female patois that you will no doubt be passing off as your own by dinnertime.

Beyond a mere collection of words and phrases, however, THE CHICKTIONARY is above all a celebration of a rich linguistic tapestry that is as familiar and comforting as your fat pants.