This belittling form of woman was used in literary form around the 15th century. At first it was mainly used to describe small women. From the 18th century on, it was also used as a plural form and also as a term for young women (as opposed to girls). In Goethe , Lessing , Schiller and Mozart , among others , this term is used for a woman. The shape was often used as a nickname . At this time, too, females were already in use as a term for female animals (and plants).
Use of language
For a female, sexually mature individual there are some typical words in linguistic usage that are applied unspecifically to certain similar animal species or genera, without taking special zoological distinctions into account: One also speaks of a hunter's term .