20 words that women would like to see banned

BIRD is most definitely not the word, according to a new study published today

Wednesday, 28th September 2016, 12:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 1:57 pm
Top five pet names women want banned

British women want to banish ‘bird’ from the social dictionary with nearly 60 percent branding it their most hated pet name.

Taking to task phrases they deem derogatory, a survey of more than 2000 British women placed ‘mumsy’, ‘hormonal’ and ‘ball breaker’ among the top 10 words they would like to see banned from day to day vocabulary.

The findings released as part of a new campaign from Special K inspiring inner strength in women, revealed women are tired of being labelled ‘hysterical’ and ‘high maintenance’, and according to open responses, also aimed to silence words such as 'Feminazi' and 'baren’ from daily lingo.

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Former Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts

Where it was once believed to be an endearing term for your male co-worker to call you ‘honey’ or ‘gorgeous’, 40 per cent of women said they felt ‘patronised’ when subjected to a pet name especially in the workplace.


1. Bird - 56 percent

2. Doll - 45 percent

Special Ks new Strength Is campaign

3. Chick - 42 percent

4. Babe - 38 percent

5. Queen Bee - 33 percent

But it isn’t just men handing out the sexist slurs in the office, more than a quarter of women described the use of pet names such as ‘babe’ or ‘doll’ by their female peers as ‘patronising’ or ‘belittling’ (13 per cent).

Former Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts

According to the Special K research, on average women claimed to hear men use these undermining terms seven times a month- interestingly the same amount as other women.

British women claimed they felt their strength as a female is undermined four times a day.

Infuriated by the gender balance, a whopping on third of young women (16-24 years old) confessed they had been told to ‘man up’ in the workplace.

Keen to strike a balance, 72 per cent of women said they would like to see more often women described ‘confident’, or ‘resilient’ (46 per cent) and ‘courageous’ (35 per cent).

Special Ks new Strength Is campaign


1 .Hormonal - 68 percent

2. Drama Queen - 56 percent

3. Bitchy - 53 percent

4. High Maintenance - 51 percent

5. Hysterical - 50 percent

6. Ball Breaker - 49 percent

7. Diva - 48 percent

8. Highly Strung - 46 percent

9. Mumsy - 42 percent

10. Princess - 40 percent

11. Attention Seeking - 35 percent

12. Emotional - 31 percent

13. Manipulative - 28 percent

14. Bossy - 27 percent

15. Controlling - 25 percent

16. Difficult - 21 percent

17. Sexy - 20 percent

18. Aggressive - 19 percent

19. Sassy - 16 percent

20. Feisty – 14 percent