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I am translating a volume of poems from German into English and am having trouble translating the German word "dämlich" - which means stupid but comes from "Dame" meaning woman or dame.

I need a word in English that has the same connotations - femininity and a negative put-down.

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

In case anyone is wondering, it's not a sexist poem, quite the contrary. Here's where I will use the word:

The female decides whether a male is successful in the game of procreation, whether she is going to let him have a go. Those without success have compensated this with two words, autocratically calling it _______.

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    Are you sure about the female connection of the word? Wiktionary strongly disagrees with your Dame etymology... Actually, the English dim seems a fitting translation, and might actually be a cognate. – oerkelens Feb 21 '18 at 16:05
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    You should include in your question the sentence you're trying to use the word in. – Laurel Feb 21 '18 at 16:26
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    If the (disgustingly sexist) folk etymology indeed underlies the poem, then you need two words from the same vocabulary field, like alpha dog and bitchy as a functional equivalent. – KarlG Feb 21 '18 at 16:29
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    (1) You should include in your question the part of speech that you want.   “calling it _______” is best served by an adjective, but it’s not clear whether that’s what you want (since, for example, I have no idea how “with two words” fits in; i.e., it’s not clear what you want).  (2) “Ditzy” means eccentrically silly, giddy, or inane or silly or scatterbrained.  The dictionary definitions that I looked at didn’t explicitly link it with femininity, but it does seem to be used that way. – Scott Feb 21 '18 at 19:32
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    @NigelJ The epithet assumes femaleness is an attribute of the dim person, I don't agree that the dimness is attributed to the state of being female, otherwise all women would, apparently be 'blonde'. The root of the epithet is in the presumed tendency of a certain type of woman, not given to critical thinking, to bleach their hair. I expect you just had a blond moment when you tried to describe it. ;-) – Spagirl Apr 16 '18 at 11:40
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The correct term for a female dog, "Bitch", is often used as a pejorative term for women. Though, I wouldn't recommend its use...

  • thank you SamLovesCoffee! actually "bitchy" works in this context. and yes, don't try this at home kids... – user282874 Feb 21 '18 at 16:14
  • here's the part of the poem with your suggestion - i think it works, even though it changes the meaning a little. "The female decides whether a male is successful in the game of procreation, whether she is going to let him have a go. Those without success have compensated this with two words, autocratically calling it “bitchy”" – user282874 Feb 21 '18 at 16:15
  • Don’t you think the earlier part gives the whole thing away as a translation… it might be the best translation possible still, the result sounds alien. Either way, how did “… compensated this with two words…” shrink to that single ’bitchy’, please? I thought oerkelens’ Wiktionary doubt about Dame and dim seemed wholly sound, and wasn’t contradicted by anything else Google threw at me… particularly since several give dämlich as “dim-witted”. I also thought German had no room for variant spellings, and so would have no truck with an umlaut on dämlich. – Robbie Goodwin Feb 22 '18 at 0:43
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    How about airhead? But what justification is there for calling her dim-witted because she turns him down? – Xanne Apr 16 '18 at 9:18
  • @user282874 But you were apparently looking for a word which meant 'stupid', which bitchy doesn't. Does the need for it to be derogatory towards women override any other requirement? – Spagirl Apr 16 '18 at 11:30

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