How broad is ‘broad’?

A friend of mine posted an Onion article about “broads” in the workforce. Besides my failure to fully appreciate the satire, I started wondering—what, when, where, and why did we begin calling women broads? Who came up with it? Where did it originate? Was it intended to have negative connotations? I know that I have used it endearingly, to describe women who just have a chutzpah about them, an extra oomph that makes them feminine and powerful and cool. However, I know that this is not the way that many people use the term. 

 

Next project?

Indeed.  

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