Womanhood has its own set of edicts and idioms. When we’re old enough to understand the difference between heels and flats and invest in our first training bra, we’re suddenly initiated into the sacred and complicated world of being a girl.
And it’s a scary world out there. From Closure (“A Zen-like state that is achieved once a breakup has been completely processed and every potentially romantic you have toward your ex has been tracked and exterminated”) to Girl Scout Cookies (“The SCUD missile of dessert items, Girl Scout cookies can blast through the most impenetrable of diets and make rubble of ironclad New Year’s resolutions faster than you can say “I’ll take for boxes of Samoas”), Anna Lefler’s humorous The Chicktionary: From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know is a cute and light look at the fairer sex — in all its forms.
Easily readable and the sort of book you idly flip through while out at lunch with your sister, I can see The Chicktionary being passed between girlfriends looking for a giggle. Lefler’s tongue-in-cheek look at womanhood prompts answers that are both factual and hilarious, as in the case of denim rage. Never heard of it? Behold: denim rage is “Seething and/or outbursts of anger caused by wearing uncomfortable jeans,” Lefler writes. “Denim rage can strike at any time, but tends to be particularly severe after lunch. Denim rage is often mistaken for having a jackass for a boss, as both conditions provoke similar symptoms.”
Wordsmiths like me will appreciate the hilarious but deadpan explanations for many phenomena, and I was delighted to discover there were actual definitions for some of the stupid things I feel (see: denim rage) or crazy things we all do (like mall crawl: “A routine trip to the mall for the purpose of, um, going to the mall”). I could see The Chicktionary operating well as a guidebook helpful to the men in our lives, but opening a random page to a discussion of feelings, fat pants or periods might make their brains explode. Better shared with your sisters and girlfriends.
If you’re seeking a humorous volume to pass an afternoon with a bottle of white, The Chicktionary would make a great companion. Some of the definitions would make excellent Post-It notes for boyfriends, husbands, fathers or brothers; sometimes it’s just easier to spell it all out for them. If we think they can handle it.
4 out of 5!