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Why do we say "broad daylight"? Speaking of broad, why are women called broads?

Supplement from 01/10/2009 02:54am:
I see some people suggesting that women's hips may be a reason- but what about men's backs, chests, and shoulders? Surely if you were thinking of a broad person you'd be more likely to think of a man than a woman?

asked in words, broad

vultan answers:

I can't find anything on the first part, but women being called broads seems to have the following explanation:

"Slang extension to meaning "woman" (1911) may be suggestive of broad hips, but it also may trace to Amer.Eng. abroadwife, for a woman away from her husband, often a slave. Earliest use suggests immorality or coarse, low-class women. Because of this negative association, and the rise of women in athletics, the track and field broad jump was changed to the long jump c. 1967."


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P-Kasso answers:

Broad daylight...here is what I think, I have no links to back it up but here goes any way...

Broad means wide and extensive and thus also 'marked' and 'obvious'...as in 'broad hint' and 'talking with a broad accent not to mention 'broad-minded'..

IThe word's meaning and usage also slips over into meaning 'broad and uncontrollable' - ie 'many consider the humour Joanthon Ross's humour as too broad'.

From the 'uncotrollable' and 'bawdy' aspect of the word 'broad' we probably get the word 'broad' when referring to women.

Not to be confused with the Norfolk Broads.

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xoloriib answers:

Here's a video of some Northern Folk - two of them might be described as broads. When viewing the video see if you can spot the broadest part of them.

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wumpus answers:

Could well be an enhancement of the Anglo-Saxon word "brid".

This word is also the reason why women are sometimes also called "birds".

And it's also the source of the word "bride".

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