Posted by: gillarbuthnott | May 3, 2014

In Praise of Broads

MV5BMjE5NTQxOTczNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTQ5NTc4__V1_SY317_CR6,0,214,317_AL_Last week I listened to a radio interview with Kathleen Turner, a woman with a voice that sounds  so marinaded in whisky and cigarettes that she is often addressed as ‘Sir’ on the phone. She belongs in my mind to the sub-species of women known as ‘Broads’, and that started me thinking about what a Broad is.

According to dictionaries, it’s an offensive term for a woman or girl, possibly implying prostitution, but that’s certainly not how I see it. I find it easier to put my definition of Broad in terms of what they will and won’t do, so here goes. A Broad:

  • Does not count calories
  • Or units of alcohol
  • She does not wear Spanx
  • Cannot be teetotal
  • Or size zero
  • Or under 30
  • Except – possibly – Deborah Harry, who may have emerged from the birth canal already a fully formed Broad.
  • If sexually harassed she is likely to deck the perpetrator verbally. Or possibly physically.

After some consideration, I think that the best possible definition of a Broad may simply be ‘A woman who is proud to be described as a Broad’

Now the type specimens of this group are Mae West and Miss Piggy, but The Husband and I have discovered that ‘Is she a Broad?’ is a very entertaining after-dinner game. These are a few we came up with:

  • Elsie Tanner
  • Camilla Duchess of Cornwall
  • India Knight
  • Baroness Trumpington
  • Lauren Bacall (there was some doubt about whether she was a Broad or a Siren)
  • Lady Gaga – maybe. (Definitely not Madonna: too much of a control freak)
  • Trainee Broad – Jennifer Lawrence
  • Caitlin Moran

There are, of course, lots more, but not very many contemporary ones. Are they in need of conservation? I want to find out what –  and who – people think a Broad is. Please post a comment!

And – coming soon to this blog – ‘Little Old Ladies – An Endangered Species?’



  1. I may look like a little old lady, but I am SO a broad!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: