Words at Play : Top 10 Rare & Amusing Insults, Vol. 2

#7: HarridanĀ 

Definition:

shrew; an ill-tempered, scolding woman

About the Word:

Unlike most words on this list, harridan is still used with some frequency.

For example, a review of the movie Black Swan describes the main character's mother as, "a real piece of work, an unhappy stage harridan out of Tennessee Williams whose dreams for her daughter are etched into the bitter, melting beauty of her aging face." (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, December 30, 2010)

Harridan may be a modification of the French haridelle, meaning "old horse" or "gaunt woman."

goto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slide
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
March 01, 2015
macaroni Hear it
Tube-shaped pasta or a fop or dandy
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears