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How Ladylike Are You?
by Zoe Samuel
Shutterstock

The word "lady" has a curious etymology: it's an Anglo-Saxon word that means "loaf-kneader," as in, "the one who makes the bread." This was in contrast to "lord," which comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for "loaf-guarder," or "the one who protects the bread." 

A lady was a special kind of female person, as distinct from a mere woman, who was more of a worker bee type; a lady was a boss, the counterpart of the lord and the one who made sure that the resources of the manor were managed wisely and profitably.

She was far more equal than her Norman counterpart, who was considered more of a retiring figure. A lady was a figure of power, to whom obedience was due. She ran the manor while the lord was away fighting and securing the land (guarding the bread, if you will).

All this is to say that being a lady isn't just about moving or speaking a certain way or dressing well. Sure, it's also about those things, but it's really about confidence in your role, about knowing who you are, and about not accepting lowered standards in the way you are treated or how you treat others. It's about respect given and received. So tell us about how you move through the world, and we'll see whether you're a true lady!

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