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While I know you can attribute 'bitch' to a male, I feel there is a sense of femininity.

I was wondering if there is a colloquial equivalent that describes someone with the qualities of a 'bitch' without the feminine connotation.

Also Wikipedia says that,

When applied to a man, bitch is a derogatory term for a subordinate.

Does this indicate that bitch loses its meaning entirely when attributed to a male?

Since the word is vulgar and informal, does it even matter?

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Bitch can have the subordinate sense when applied to women, too. But it also has a wide array of other senses when applied to women. The most basic sense is simply “a derogatory and insulting name to call a woman”, and if you simply substitute ‘man’ in that definition, you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds, of rude terms that can be used (asshole, bastards, fucker, idiot, fuckwit, shitface, etc.). The only difference between these and bitch is that bitch refers specifically to a woman. What about bitch is it that you wish to transfer to a man that all the others don’t work for? –  Janus Bahs Jacquet May 4 at 18:16
    
@JanusBahsJacquet They all work, however, I was wondering if there is a universal term for men, similar to bitch for women. –  user73091 May 4 at 18:26
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All those words can be used for a woman as well, though they’re more commonly applied to men. Are you asking whether there are any generic insults that can only be applied to men, in the same way that bitch can only be applied to women (when used as a generic insult)? I would guess dick(head) would be a good example of that. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet May 4 at 18:30
    
@JanusBahsJacquet Ah yes! thank you, that fits perfectly. –  user73091 May 4 at 18:33
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Dog >;-). But you're probably looking for something like bastard (at least for Brits) –  smirkingman May 6 at 14:34

13 Answers 13

up vote 30 down vote accepted

It has been clarified in the comments that the precise goal here is to find a generic insult that is applied only to men, in the same way that ‘bitch’ is applied only to women when used as a generic insult.

As such, I would suggest dick(head), douchebag, wanker (mostly UK English), or prick.

These are all quite generic terms of abuse that don’t imply or focus on anything in particular about the person at whom abuse is being hurled (unlike, say, ‘idiot’ or ‘moron’, which focus on the target’s intelligence, or lack thereof), but are unlikely to be used towards women.

Edit to add:

As noted in the comments, these can have more specific meanings than being just generic. If you say that someone is being a dick about something, that usually implies that they are acting in a condescending, obstreperous, arrogant manner. This nuance is absent if you simply use the words appositively to a pronoun, i.e., say “You dick!” to someone.

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@Brilliand, true—except for the fact that cunt (like twat) is very commonly applied to men as well as women, while the ones describing male reproductive organs are rarely applied to women. And a douchebag logically shouldn’t really be gender-specific at all, but I don’t think I have ever heard anyone use it for a woman. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet May 5 at 15:23
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@JanusBahsJacquet, I must say I have never heard either of those terms applied to males, only to women (as insults). –  Phil Perry May 5 at 16:46
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@Phil, I'll assume, then, that you are American—in the UK, I would say it’s more common to call a man a cunt/twat than to call a woman it, perhaps because it is less offensive (somehow) when used about men. For a rather amusing example, see this article. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet May 5 at 16:48
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+1 for "dick" - that seems the closest equivalent in US slang, at least among 25-45 year olds. And I'm not sure they're totally generic, other than being gender-limited. Both "bitch" and "dick" imply a specific negative quality in that they imply nasty or poor treatment of others. –  Jaydles May 5 at 20:02
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Douche(bag) is definitely not gender-specific. I have heard women being called douche(bag)s or a tool in many cases. Bastard would be more male-specific in my opinion. –  JW Lim May 6 at 1:51

In most general sense, "bastard" can be an equivalent and it seems like the most universal term. (even in some other languages)

As in "You bastard!" versus "You bitch!". But there can still be different senses between them. It depends on the situation.

From Etymonline:

use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830


I even found passages that support my answer from publications of professional people.

From the book "Emancipatory Movements in Composition: The Rhetoric of Possibility" By Andrea Greenbaum (2012):

enter image description here enter image description here


From the book "The Anatomy of Swearing" By Ashley Montagu (1967) (Note: Even ~50 year ago, there is the same idea)

enter image description here


There is manwhore also for an equivalent of the original sense:

(slang) A man who sells his body for money; a male prostitute.  

(slang) A promiscuous man who has no regard for his sexual partners or the emotional value of his relationships.

Note: This is more of an equivalent of "slut" in modern usage. Slut is even used for men sometimes.


Wikipedia also says: (for "bitch")

Its original use as a vulgarism, documented to the fourteenth century, suggested high sexual desire in a woman, comparable to a dog in heat. The range of meanings has expanded in modern usage.


There is even the term "man bitch" according to urbandictionary. (Note: This usage is not common though.)

A man that acts like a bitch. Malicious, unpleasant selfish person; especially like a woman. Weak or comtemptible.

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4  
I think "bastard" is the most convincing of these choices. –  Apis Utilis May 4 at 18:42
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I'd keep bastard and throw away the rest. –  Mari-Lou A May 4 at 19:12
    
@Mari-Lou A: Updated my answer. It makes more sense now. –  ermanen May 4 at 19:16
    
@Mari-Lou A: I gave that as an extra information. –  ermanen May 4 at 20:14
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Sometimes that extra little info, interesting and curious though it may be, weakens the strongest argument. It's something I do myself! :) –  Mari-Lou A May 4 at 20:19

I think the opposite of bitch with the same connotation is a son-of-a-bitch. Not only are you telling the person that they are acting like a little bitch but also you are insulting their mom for raising them that way.

If you want something G rated then I would go with jerk or creep.

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I think you spoiled your answer with the second para. It rather grated. –  martin f May 5 at 5:18

The best equivalent is dick, used in many TV series like this:

  • She’s a real bitch.
  • He’s a real dick.

Usually implying that the person is selfish and arrogant.

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Great suggestion. Surprisingly, nobody has mentioned Prick. "He's a real prick." "F---er" also works in some cases. –  Joe Blow May 5 at 10:53

I think bastard really really does it... to me it's the equivalent that describes a bitch in the female world ;-)

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. –  RyeɃreḁd May 6 at 6:45

While not necessarily a male equivalent of bitch, jackass can be a fine alternative to bitch.

Dick may be an appropriate equivalent as well. Although, it's use can bring to mind images of the aforementioned body part. I feel that the sentences "Quit being a dick" and "Quit being a bitch" to their respective genders are the same. However, "Quit being a dick" and "Quit being a cunt" also have the same meaning to their respective genders, though the societal acceptance of the latter in the US is not as well regarded.

In my opinion, jackass would be a likely candidate of the male form of bitch.

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I don't think the word you are looking for exists because the meaning of "bitch" is embedded in the female gender norm. It describes a fairly specific type of behavior that is much more common in females; thus, it's impossible to act like a "bitch" without acting in a stereotypically feminine way.

If you want a word that is parallel to bitch, in that it describes a similar sort of behavior but in a masculine way, I'd go for "douchebag" if the emphasis is on cockiness or "asshole" if the emphasis is on mean-spiritedness.

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It does mean different things when applied to a male or female.

A Bitch when referring to a female refers to a woman that is not friendly and acts selfishly, complains incessantly or is very insulting. "I just said hi and she snapped at me like a bitch." The specific male counter part to this in the United States would be dick.

A bitch when referring to a male refers to a man that is whiny or a coward. It is more of an emasculating insult. "That dude is afraid of spiders. He is such a bitch."

A bitch when referred to an inanimate object usually refers to something that is difficult. "Work today was a bitch".

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For a more literal opposite, "dog" could work (in breeding circles, "bitch" is a female canine while "dog" is a male canine). With the correct tone and context, it can mean a lazy or disliked person.

He's a worthless dog.

Tone and context are very important here, as "dog" when applied to humans can have many meanings. For example, it could refer to luck or fortune, rather than really being an insult:

You lucky dog!

Because of the multiple meanings, however, the same word can certainly be applied to both men and women. Used as an insult, "dog" applied to a woman generally refers to ugly appearance, rather than some other character trait (as it might if applied to a man).

They say she's a real dog.

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There is not an exact equivalent, because "bitch" as an insult, at least in modern usage, is highly associated with gender norms. "Bitch" doesn't just refer to behavior; it also implies that this behavior is inappropriate because of the person's sex.

Ordinarily, a woman is described as a "bitch" when she shows specific traits: she is aggressive and outspoken. The insult indicates that the woman is not conforming to the gender roles she is expected to conform to.

If you want a male equivalent, there are two approaches you could take:

1) A man who is aggressive and outspoken might be called "in-your-face" or "pushy", or, at a pinch, an "asshole." But his behavior will probably not be described as negatively as a woman's, because society expects a different baseline of aggression from men than it does from women.

2) On the other hand, there are plenty of terms for men who violate gender norms. In that sense, you could consider words like "pussy," "fag," "wuss," or "queer" to be the male "equivalents" of "bitch."

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In my opinion, an(other) equivalent word could be cur. It also refers to a dog, and I've also seen it used in a derogatory manner. Something like

"You worthless cur"

although it seems a bit rougher/more impolite than "bitch" is nowadays.

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I suppose you want a name for a man who behaves or does things that a 'bitch' is expected to do. Looks like people don't expect a man, not even a 'dickhead' or a 'bastard' to do the things a 'bitch' would do. So I'd call him that bitchy 'bastard' or that bitchy 'dickhead' or that 'bitchy'asshole.

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What about pig? - a greedy, dirty, or unpleasant person. It has a sense of masculinity as well.

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