Exploring the Bible / Faith / New Testament

Should Christians Refer to Females as “Chicks”?

Here are a collection of Bible verses that you may want to reflect on when deciding whether it’s appropriate for Christians to refer to females as “chicks”. My reflection on the topic are below.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Colossians 3:8

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Ephesians 5:4

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Matthew 12:36

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Joshua 1:8

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 18:21

Language is a beautifully complex thing. I was recently called a “chick” by a close Christian friend and felt funny about it. What gives? Doesn’t this guy know the negative connotation that accompanies that word? And, come on, he’s a Christian! He loves the Lord. Doesn’t that automatically mean he’s morally on the up and up? That begs the question: is it moral or immoral to use a word that is not necessarily a curse?

“Chick” likely originates from one of these:

– Shakespeare in 1611
– an American cartoonist in 1910
– the Spanish word “chica”
– a continuation of the British slang “bird”
– a Canadian novelist in 1917
Pinocchio‘s creator in 1881-83
– Charles Dickens in 1853

A lot of sources cite Shakespeare:

The earliest use of “chick” as a term of endearment for a young girl was in 1611 — by Shakespeare in The Tempest (Act V, Scene I): “My Ariel; chicke That is thy charge.”

I personally don’t think the origins of this word matter whatsoever. If I did care about the origins, I would side with the people who say it’s from British slang calling girls “birds”, which seems to me to refer to them as conquests to be hunted. Regardless, the word has picked up derogatory, disrespectful, and objectifying undertones.

My friend who is OK with using this word and, in fact, used it to refer to me, believes that it’s “OK because he doesn’t define the word as anything negative”. But someone does. I do. I don’t like it. I don’t like even the trace or whisper of what it might imply. If someone you care about has an objection to a word, it boggles my mind to think you wouldn’t simply remove it from your vocabulary in order to be respectful. There’s plenty of other words!

This reminds me of 1 John 1:5-7 :

5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from allb sin.

Perhaps saying the word “chick” is not equitable with “walking in darkness”. It’s hard to know exactly where the line of “walking in darkness” is. But, why would you want to walk as close as you can to the darkness while still being in the light? Wouldn’t you want to be as far into the light territory as possible?



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