A single word is preferable, but a phrase will suffice.

I found this reference at dictionary.com.

It suggests 'swagger' but I can't relate this to the Latin for 'feminine'.

I am hesistant in suggesting 'womacho' or more simply 'wocho', but I have done!


This ELU question, ‘Macho for women’, is similar but views machismo in its negative sense. A more positive view of machismo can be seen in films such as the Die Hard franchise. My view of female wocho is taking a seemingly impossible amount of time to apply make-up, amongst others, not necessarily aligned to a 'view of the Virgin Mary'.

Butch used to refer to lesbians, and I don't think mannish is polite. No male is actually offended by being called macho, and any word for wocho should reflect this.

  • I hate to say it, but butch, and perhaps mannish (which ought to make clear why I hate to say it). There really ought to be something better, but the language perhaps hasn't caught up. I hope someone has something better.
    – stevesliva
    Jul 20, 2015 at 4:21
  • This possible duplicate question of yours was closed for being not constructive; please show how yours is any different. You should also give example sentences where you would use this would-be word, the more the better. Please see our guidelines on how to make a single word request.
    – tchrist
    Jul 20, 2015 at 4:26
  • Thanks for the edit. I fear you may be facing a scenerios where there’s a built-in “cultural language lock” against such a form, just like there is with finding a male counterpart to a tomboy.
    – tchrist
    Jul 20, 2015 at 5:03
  • @JonMarkPerry - you want "swagger" about being well put together in a feminine sense? Like a diva? Or a primadonna? Any form involving "macho" would be misleading in that sense, and in this day and age, insulting to (I'd like to hope) most women.
    – stevesliva
    Jul 20, 2015 at 5:26
  • 3
    The feminine of macho is of course Macha. ;-) Jul 20, 2015 at 7:04

5 Answers 5


marianismo: a strong or exaggerated sense of traditional femininity

Marianismo is an aspect of the female gender role in the machismo of Hispanic American folk culture. It is the veneration for feminine virtues like purity and moral strength.


The OP asks for an equivalent of "machismo," a noun, so here's a noun that might work (though it could also be used as an adjective):

girl power

Power exercised by girls; spec. a self-reliant attitude among girls and young women manifested in ambition, assertiveness, and individualism. Although also used more widely (esp. as a slogan), the term has been particularly and repeatedly associated with popular music; most notably in the early 1990s with the briefly prominent ‘riot girl’ movement in the United States (cf. RIOT GIRL n.); then, in the late 1990s, with the British all-female group The Spice Girls.[13]

OED (2001), cited in Wikipedia

Though it doesn't have the connotations of domineering implicit in "macho" and "machismo," girl power carries their notion of assertiveness, and adds that of empowerment (which the masculine terms could never imply in the first place, with men of course throughout history having been ushered along by a congenital position of social advantage and privilege), associated as it is with contemporary feminism.


Maybe this covers what you seek: Superwoman.

  1. a woman of extraordinary or superhuman powers.

  2. a woman who copes successfully with the simultaneous demands of a career, marriage, and motherhood.

Reference: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/superwoman

  • it's a noun not an adjective...
    – JMP
    Jul 20, 2015 at 6:16
  • Well, Beyond what is possible for a woman is definitely less powerful.
    – Bookeater
    Jul 20, 2015 at 6:28
  • clarification??
    – JMP
    Jul 20, 2015 at 6:30
  • An adjective version of superwoman, that is.
    – Bookeater
    Jul 20, 2015 at 6:31

Machista, is what they call women like me, in Spanish. It's for women who have a strong sense of self and don't buy into the machismo roles of males. Although, I'm very girly and love dressing up and putting on makeup, it's used as an insult, to indicate I don't know my place, or role as a woman - usually by insecure men who don't understand that my place is wherever I want to be, even though I love being a woman.

  • ELU likes answers with references and explanations--about words and grammar and so forth, not self-descriptions. Please edit your answer or delete it.
    – Xanne
    May 14, 2017 at 3:08

Hoyden hoy·den ˈhoidn/ noundated a boisterous girl.

but she does say that Lydia has “high animal spirits”, which closely matches


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