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Is there a feminine form of the word bastard? It seems like bastard is a word that’s applied to male children only.

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The male tilt on bastard may be due to there being no male form of "bitch." At least, that's why I was using it. –  MrHen Mar 31 '11 at 18:54
    
@hrhen: Bitch is definitely equivalent in terms of profanity, at least in modern english. I'm specifically looking for something that has the older connotation, before it became a general pejorative. –  Satanicpuppy Mar 31 '11 at 18:55
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Talking about the archaic use of bastard to mean “illegitimate child”, it is not specifically masculine. One can talk about a “bastard daugther” just as much as one can talk of a “bastard son” or “bastard child”, as Google ngram shows. Well, not as much, because lineage or legitimacy is not nearly as important for daughters as it is for sons, but still, such usage is attested.

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Also note that "bastardized" can be used to describe anything created illegitimately. Although in later times (Victorian era onward) the idea of a child being bastard (adj.) has carried increasing moral opprobrium, originally the stronger meaning of the term focused on rights to inherit property. –  The Raven Mar 31 '11 at 19:22
    
Probably why in literature it mainly applies to sons - it didn't matter if a daughter is legitimate or not –  mgb Mar 31 '11 at 20:07
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The human rights organization Bastard Nation suggests the term has always been gender neutral. Certainly a bastard child could be male or female.

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