Difference Between Woman and Lady (With Table)

All girls can become women, but not all women can become a lady.” This is a famous quote that is often used to differentiate between the two nouns that are used to describe the female gender of the human race.

Though people may think a Woman and a Lady are synonymous with each other, both the words used to identify, a female have a slight difference between them. However, The use of these words depends on the situation, the context of the speech, and the person speaking something.

Woman vs Lady 

The difference between a Woman and a Lady is that a Lady is a term known to call a female. A Woman, on the opposite side, is a gender that is used for a female human being. Also, A Lady can be termed as a more sophisticated term than Woman.

Woman, a two-syllable word, is used to name a female human being. A particular girl has to be over the official age of being an adult, that is, 18, in most countries of the world to be called a Woman. The word has been in use since the 1300s.

Lady is another word used to identify an adult female. It is assumed that a Lady is more behaved and is considered more respectful comparatively. It was popular in earlier times to call the wife of a duke or a queen/princess a Lady. Though it depends on the person speaking, now Lady is not only limited to royalty and is used in normal conversations as well.

Comparison Table Between Woman and Lady

Parameters of ComparisonWomanLady
DefinitionA female who has surpassed adolescence and now is an adult.A term used to describe a well-behaved female human being.
Word came fromOld English word “wifmann”The old English word “hlæfdige.”
CharactersFiveFour
Plural formWomenLadies
Another meaningA certain type of title or job position in an institution or any other working place.A title that is given to a woman of high class/society.
ExampleChairwomen, Frenchwoman, etc.Lady Diana Spencer, First Lady, Cleaning Lady, etc.

What is Woman? 

A Woman is a It can be used to call a female that is above eighteen years of age but preferably is used for above twenty-five years. The word arises from the old English word “wifmann”, which translated into “woman-person” The word progressed to wimann to wumman and ultimately, become Woman.

There are many phrases that use the word Woman. Women’s Rights is one of the most used Woman Phrases. It is used to identify a feminist movement from the around 19th century.

Unlike Lady, it is not used as a Royal title but is used to describe job titles like Chairwomen, etc. And in certain places, especially in the United States, it is used in anger by people in a fight or in an offensive way like “Shut up, Woman.”

What is Lady? 

A Lady is a word used to signify a female. It is a more polite and respectful way to address an adult female. The word came from the old English word “Hloefdige”, meaning “loaf Woman”, in earlier centuries, it was used only for royals and for the wives of Dukes, who used to be homemakers. It is compared to a gentleman, meaning it is considered more royal is compared to a Woman.

Another use for the word can be as a title to show respect and honor the woman in a royal family in the United Kingdom, for example, Lady Diana Spencer, who was the princess of Wales. And in the United States, it can also be used as an offensive way to call out a girl, for example: “Calm down, lady!”

To identify a female below 18 years, another term “young Lady” is used, and for an elder lady, “Old Lady.” Unlike Woman, this term has evolved, and there have been changes in its meaning, now it does not adhere to royal titles only but has been updated to form many new meanings.

Main Differences Between Woman and Lady 

  1. Lady is a more sophisticated or rather a more posh word that is used to describe a woman. On the other hand, a Woman, though equal to a female adult as well, is considered somewhat more ordinary and less than a Lady.
  2. Lady is also used to represent certain terms as well, like First Lady and in titles of some royal families. Though this is not that popular in today’s world, it is used now as well, just in a smaller number. A Woman is not used in these royal titles.
  3. In scientific researches and newspaper reports, Woman or female is that word that is used to describe the information or the incident. The word Lady is not often used for this purpose.
  4. A woman is a gender used to describe a female human. On the contrary, Lady is a term often used to represent a well-behaved female.
  5. At first, Lady was used to describing a female who used to do household chores and a female who married a duke. The word is revolved now, and the meaning has now changed. On the contrary, Woman has retained its meaning that signifies an adult female human being.

Conclusion 

Though every female is a woman, not everyone is a lady. It can be simpler to explain if we compare it as to how every male can be a man but not every man can be a gentleman. It totally depends on an individual’s way of thinking and conversing to choose from the words.

Both of these words can be used interchangeably, it is just there are certain titles or ways that are being used from centuries that are used nowadays as well, for example, First Lady of the country or the cleaning Lady, Woman can be used in exchange for them, but the term Lady is used from the starting and people often stick to them.

References

  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110968835.32/html
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=SLe8aysY2HEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=women+vs+lady&ots=t5DIVaOqEM&sig=rPlltPmS3RZ4kdrEGw3tuyIJb-E#v=onepage&q&f=false
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