[Vocabulary] lecher

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birdeen's call

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Can a woman be called a lecher? The M-W Dictionary says it's a man who engages in lechery. So how would we call a woman who engages in lechery? Or maybe we don't use the word "lechery" to mean this kind of women's activities?
 

emsr2d2

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Can a woman be called a lecher? The M-W Dictionary says it's a man who engages in lechery. So how would we call a woman who engages in lechery? Or maybe we don't use the word "lechery" to mean this kind of women's activities?

I use the alternative spellings "letch" and "letchery". As far as I'm concerned they can apply to both genders. I have been known to "letch" at hot Spanish male tennis players!

Interestingly, I'd never seen the word "letcher/lecher" before. I have always heard the person who engages in letchery called a letch, same as the verb.

"That guy over there's a real letch! He's been staring at those girls in short skirts for the last 15 minutes!"
 

birdeen's call

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Thank you! I've never heard the word "letch"! Good to learn. But what is its meaning? You say it can be someone who stares at girls in short skirts. So it doesn't mean a promiscuous person, but a lust-driven one?

I find The Free Dictionary says there is a slang word "lech".

I thought the word "lecher" was a little bit dated, like ones you can hear in the church. Is that right?

I don't see the word "letchery" with the "t" in dictionaries...
 

emsr2d2

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Thank you! I've never heard the word "letch"! Good to learn. But what is its meaning? You say it can be someone who stares at girls in short skirts. So it doesn't mean a promiscuous person, but a lust-driven one?

I find The Free Dictionary says there is a slang word "lech".

I thought the word "lecher" was a little bit dated, like ones you can hear in the church. Is that right?

I don't see the word "letchery" with the "t" in dictionaries...

That's interesting. I must admit I'd never actually looked up letchery! Here's a link to a dictionary showing the alternative spelling "letch" though - I think I probably just automatically converted it to letchery. It's not a word I would say I've used often enough to consider, especially not in writing!

letch - definition of letch by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

Instead of the online dictionaries, I looked it up in the Chambers Dictionary, which is my dictionary of choice (and the official dictionary for Scrabble!). It gives:

lech/letch: Lust, a lewd desire, a lecher
lecher: an excessively lewd man (lewd = lustful, obscene)

To me, lustful behaviour is different to promiscuousness. It doesn't necessarily involve a sexual act, but simply the desire for one. I'm not surprised that it only refers to a "lewd man", but I can assure you that I have heard plenty of females referred to as le(t)ches. I imagine that when the word was coined, women were probably considered incapable of such desires, whereas these days, as we all know, gender makes no difference!
 
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