Google ngram: slut, bitch, whore

My latest Ngram experiment: I wanted to see if these words were more or less common in writing back in the day. It looks like “bitch” has seen a surge in popularity recently while “slut” and “whore” have fallen out of favor.

This seems like a terrible sign of the times until you add “lady”, “woman” and “girl” to the mix. We find that those words have been and are waaaaay more popular.
It’s interesting that, 200 years ago, “lady” was used just as often as “woman”; but, since about 1840, “woman” has become increasingly the preferred term. Google defines woman as “an adult human female.” It defines lady as “a woman (used as a polite or old-fashioned form of reference)” or “a woman of superior social position, especially one of noble birth.” So, basically, the word “lady” is considered an archaic honorific. This seems kind of weird to me. I mean, people use the word “lady” all the time. But then Google ngrams use databases of books and articles, while the word “lady” is often used in conversation, in song lyrics and in movies (e.g., Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies).

But I digress.

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