Sissy (sometimes just Sis) is a relationship nickname formed from sister, given to girls to indicate their role in the family, especially the oldest female sibling. It can also be applied to girls as a term of affection from friends who are not family members.

For some girls and women, sissy is used so pervasively it replaces the given name. The actress Sissy Spacek, whose name is actually Mary Elizabeth, is a well-known person known as "Sissy".


Because of its origins in a feminine nickname, sissy is also a pejorative for a boy or man to indicate or imply that he is like a sister, that is, effeminate and fails to behave according to the traditional male gender role. Generally, it implies a lack of the courage and stoicism which are thought important to the male role. It might also imply interests seen as strikingly un-masculine. This pejorative may be given to anyone as an insult. Several variations, such as "sissy boy" or "sissy baby", exist and any term can become pejorative or insulting if preceded by "sissy" and applied to a boy or a man. Sissy is the male converse of tomboy, but has none of the latter's positive connotations. Even amongst gay men, behavior thought of as sissy or camp produces mixed reactions. Some men reclaim the term for themselves. (See also genderqueer). Other similar terms include "wimp", "wuss" and "femboy".

For some, sissy takes on more specific meanings in the transgender, infantilist, and BDSM communities (especially through forced feminization or petticoating practices.)

See also

External links

  • Sissies @ glbtq: The Online Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
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