Definitionbawdy, saucy, impudent minx who is sexually playful; a shameless woman considered brazen or immoral. A contemptuous or playful term often accompanied by a qualifier:
-- (a) William Powell to Ginger Rogers in Star of Midnight (1935): ' You're a shameless hussy.'
-- (b) John Wayne to Gail Russell in Angel and the Badman (1947): ' You're a shapely hussy.'
-- (c) Virginia Mayo: ' If I... I'd be a brazen hussy ' in Wonder Man (1945).
-- (d) In Who Framed Roger Rabbit , Jessica Rabbit is a: ' painted hussy '.
ETYMOLOGY: From the legitimate Middle English huswif meaning housewife or mistress of a household, a frugal, strict woman who ran all the domestic aspects of family life. Rosalie Maggio, The Dictionary of Bias-Free Usage (1991): Derived from housewife, this word has taken the low road while its innocuous, affectionate mate, hubby, has taken the high road.' When used adjectively Rosalie Maggio recommends the following alternatives: bold, brazen, seductive, shameless, immodest, immoral, indecent, bold-faced, etc. See playgirl for synonyms.
QUOTES: Commenting on her role in Hell's Angels (1930) in which she wore low-cut evening dress and said to Ben Lyon: ' Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable? ' Jean Harlow said: ' I wore a low-cut gown and overnight I became a hussy.'