Vernacular Spectacular #13: “bachelorette party” vs. “hen’s night”

Outside the long-running reality series, one doesn’t hear the word “bachelor” used to refer to unmarried men that often anymore, and hardly ever has an unmarried woman been referred to as a “bachelorette” (“spinster” skipping straight to “single woman”). Consequently, in the US, the only time in her life a woman might be called a “bachelorette” may be at the party to celebrate how she’s about to get married.

“Bachelorette party” sounds red-faced and boozy, and so captures the contemporary prototype pretty well. Hen’s night brings chickens into it. I get that they are female chickens and that it’s sort of like the counterpart of stag night, only instead of virile deer frolicking about there’s a bunch of clucking. Hen’s night is unequivocally the classier term, and sounds like something for which it’s perfectly fine to bring mum.

Jeremy’s winner: bachelorette party

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