betty (plural betties)

  1. (slang, slightly pejorative) An attractive woman; a babe.
  2. A short bar used by thieves to wrench doors open; a jemmy.
    • The powerful betty, or the artful picklock.
  3. (archaic, derogatory) A man who performs tasks that traditionally belong to a woman.
  4. (US, archaic) A pear-shaped bottle covered with straw, in which olive oil is sometimes brought from Italy; a Florence flask.
Pronunciation Proper noun
  1. A female given name.
    • 1866 Elizabeth Gaskell: Wives and Daughters: Chapter 10:
      People in the last century weren't afraid of homely names; now we are all so smart and fine: no more "Lady Bettys" now.
    • 1991 Peter Hedges, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Simon & Schuster (1999), ISBN 0671038540, page 60:
      But Mrs. Betty Carver respects tradition, and this, I'm afraid, is ours. - - - She smells like expensive soap and her teeth are shiny-white. She does not in any way look like her name. It's not her fault that she was born in a time when people believed in names like Wanda, Dottie and Betty. She's more of a Vanessa or Paulina.

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