harridan

You might call the old lady next door who yells at you to stay off her lawn a harridan. When you see the word harridan, think of the Wicked Witch of the West — a mean-tempered, sharp-tongued old woman.

Calling an older, bossy woman a harridan is certainly not a compliment, although most harridans — aside from your strict old scold of an English teacher — probably won't be familiar with the somewhat obscure term. It comes from seventeenth century slang, probably stemming from the French word haridelle, or "old horse."

DEFINITIONS OF: harridan

1

n a scolding (even vicious) old woman

Type of:
common scold, nag, nagger, scold, scolder
someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault
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