Back when I was buying a condo as an unmarried woman about a decade back, I was confronted with the term “spinster” in the legal documentation declaring that I *gasp* had no husband in the process of buying this home. Get your fainting couches ready. I don’t think this term for a single lass over a certain age is still being widely used in these documents now (though don’t quote me?), but at the time it was a wee bit jarring. I think it would have been far less jarring had I been confronted with the term THORNBACK, though. What’s a thornback you ask? Come with me on this journey of fantastic singlehood, friends…
Over on Twitter, user Sophia Benoit discovered the following:
Omg I just found out that spinster used to be reserved for women 23-26 and that after you turned 26 if you were unmarried you became a…. THORNBACK. How fucking great is that name!?
— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) March 13, 2019
“Omg I just found out that spinster used to be reserved for women 23-26 and that after you turned 26 if you were unmarried you became a…. THORNBACK. How fucking great is that name!?”
To my unbridled delight, there were many inspired new definitions for us unwed ladies that made us sound far more badass than any old spinster term could.
Check this chronology out and tell me you don’t now aspire to “RED MARY, OUTSIDE TIME AND SPACE, THE UNMAKER OF THE BONDS OF HEART, DESTROYER OF THE LABYRINTH, OBLITERATOR OF MENS”…
After 26: THORNBACK
After 36: DOOMWITCH
After 46: HENGEQUEEN
After 56: LIBERATED PAINMOTHER
After 66: THE UNBURDENED EMPRESS
After 76: RED MARY, OUTSIDE TIME AND SPACE, THE UNMAKER OF THE BONDS OF HEART, DESTROYER OF THE LABYRINTH, OBLITERATOR OF MENS
At age 84: JUDI DENCH https://t.co/6AARj5KbQY
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) March 13, 2019
Or how about “Fanged Dowager”…
Unite, friends, as thornbacks, doomwitches, hengequeens, and Judi Denches to beat back those social pressures and embrace your majesty.
Comments on Move over “spinster”: this old term for an unmarried woman is bad-ass
I’m disappointed I didn’t make it to Doomwitch/Lady of the Blade. Both are cooler than Cougar.
HA! Agree with you there. I think my personal fave is “The Unburdened Empress.”
How appropriate! As of yesterday, I’ve orbited the sun 57 times.
Color me LIBERATED PAINMOTHER!
[Insert creepy Willem Dafoe grin here…specifically this one: https://www.outerplaces.com/media/k2/items/cache/5ce77d30d0a91846dfb4e63b697fc12c_L.jpg ]
That is perhaps the perfect grin for this 😉
Also happy birthday!
I feel like I should have known about this list before I got married with lost of help from the Empire and also … before poly. because I wanna be called a thornback but I love my men.
Life is hectic and I’m far behind on my blogs so I’m only just getting to this but had to comment anyway:
I’ve been a knitter for many years, and took up spinning my own yarn a few years ago. I read somewhere that a spinster is literally a woman who spins. Before the Industrial Revolution, when fabric was woven from hand-spun yarn, spinning was an essential and valuable skill. A productive spinster could earn enough through spinning to be financially independent and therefore didn’t need to marry. So cool!