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Farewell to the ‘Essex girl’: Phrase will be REMOVED from the dictionary

Farewell to the ‘Essex girl’: Phrase will be REMOVED from the dictionary after campaigners said definition invokes ‘offensive’ stereotype about women who are ‘very willing to have sex’

  • Campaigners have successfully had ‘Essex girl’ removed from Oxford Dictionary
  • Essex Girls’ Liberation Front said phrase is a ‘very offensive’ stereotype
  • Dictionary defines ‘Essex girl’ as a ‘young woman who is very willing to have sex’ 

It’s the phrase which immediately conjure up an image of a young woman tottering in sky-high stilettos with peroxide blonde hair.

But now campaigners have succeeded in having ‘Essex girl’ taken out of the dictionary because the definition invokes a ‘very offensive’ stereotype.

The decision by the Oxford University Press represents a victory for the Essex Girls’ Liberation Front.

The group – founded by novelist Syd Moore – had taken exception to the entry in the Oxfrd Advanced Learner’s Dictionary for ‘Essex girl’: ‘A name used especially in jokes to refer to a type of young woman who is not intelligent, dresses badly, talks in a loud and ugly way and is very willing to have sex.’

Miss Moore told the Times newspaper: ‘Women from the Congo had heard of the Essex girl. I thought: It’s time to get rid of this once and for all.’

Campaigners have succeeded in having ‘Essex girl’ taken out of the dictionary because the definition invokes a ‘very offensive’ stereotype. Pictured, promo for ITV’s TOWIE

Novelist Syd Moore told the Times newspaper: 'Women from the Congo had heard of the Essex girl. I thought: It's time to get rid of this once and for all'

Novelist Syd Moore told the Times newspaper: ‘Women from the Congo had heard of the Essex girl. I thought: It’s time to get rid of this once and for all’

Her project was backed by another campaign group, Snapping the Stiletto, which once received a lottery grant of £200,000.

The group’s aim is to spread the message that the ‘Essex girl’ image – popularised by reality TV show The Only Way is Essex – does not represent all women from the county.

Dame Helen Mirren, from Southend-on-Sea, and Penny Lancaster, from Chelsmford both donated shoes to a show organised by the group to show their support.

The group had taken exception to the entry in the Oxfrd Advanced Learner's Dictionary for 'Essex girl': 'A name used especially in jokes to refer to a type of young woman who is not intelligent, dresses badly, talks in a loud and ugly way and is very willing to have sex'

The group had taken exception to the entry in the Oxfrd Advanced Learner’s Dictionary for ‘Essex girl’: ‘A name used especially in jokes to refer to a type of young woman who is not intelligent, dresses badly, talks in a loud and ugly way and is very willing to have sex’

The term ‘Essex girl’ was coined to match the definition of the ‘Essex man’ coined by the political journalist Simon Heffer who hailed from the area.

He defined the Essex man as ‘young, industrious, mildly brutish and culturally barren’.

Such men were seen as key to Margaret Thatcher’s personality.

But they became the butt of jokes for their hard working and hard partying attitudes to life.

In 2016, the OED refused to remove its definition of an ‘Essex girl’ despite a petition signed by 3,500 people.

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