It’s goodbye to the ‘Essex Girl’: Phrase to be removed from dictionary

John Dunne
·1-min read
<p>Reality TV star Gemma Collins has criticised dictionary term ‘Essex Girl’</p> (Ken McKay/ITV/Rex)

Reality TV star Gemma Collins has criticised dictionary term ‘Essex Girl’

(Ken McKay/ITV/Rex)

The phrase ‘Essex Girl’ with its associations with stilettos, dyed blonde hair and wild nights out is to be removed from the dictionary.

Oxford University Press will take the expression out following a campaign by the Essex Girls’ Liberation Front which has had backing from Essex born women including Dame Helen Mirren.

The group had been riled by the entry in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary for 'Essex girl': 'A name used especially in jokes to refer to a type of young woman who is not intelligent, dresses badly, talks in a loud and ugly way and is very willing to have sex.'

Author Syd Moore, who founded the group, said: “Women from the Congo had heard of the Essex girl. I thought: It's time to get rid of this once and for all.”

Her project was backed by another campaign group, Snapping the Stiletto, which was dedicated to stopping women being degraded.

The group's aim is to spread the message that the 'Essex girl' image does not represent all women from the county.

Reality TV star Gemma Collins, who appeared in The Only Way is Essex Essex, has criticised the use of the term in the dictionary and branded it ‘derogatory’.

Dame Helen Mirren, from Southend-on-Sea, and Penny Lancaster, from Chelsmford both donated shoes to a show organised by the group to show their support.

The term 'Essex girl' was coined to match the definition of the 'Essex man' coined by the political journalist Simon Heffer who hailed from the area.

He defined the Essex man as “young, industrious, mildly brutish and culturally barren.”

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