Ladies First

The surprising origin of this clichéd phrase

You have no doubt heard “Ladies first” being repeated over and over again throughout your life. It used to be an expected courtesy, and now it’s occasionally used in jest. But have you ever stopped and wondered where the phrase came from?

Maybe you thought it stemmed from a chauvinistic society who though women could not perform to the standard of men, and hence they were given the right to try things first.

Read also: Why It’s Not Just Women That Need Feminism

But alas, you are wrong. The origin of this phrase goes all the way back to Ancient Greece (as you may have guessed from the featured image). Specifically, Greek lovers and weddings.

It was tradition in Ancient Greece for lovers to have to prove their love for each other to the world. This was usually done by having the couple jump off a cliff. This is rather absurd, but the Greeks haven’t been one of the more rational ones when it comes to beliefs and customs.

Trust me, it was nowhere as enjoyable as this

Anyway, the man went first, and needless to say, usually suffered a horrible death at the hands of the torrential current or jagged rocks below. Seeing the man, the woman tended to get cold feet, and backed out of the relationship (by then, there was no more relation to back out from).

Men began to identify this problem, and starting thinking of ways to solve this. Eventually, they came up with an idea — what if they let the women go first? They would very politely and lovingly say, ladies first, leading to the women making that fatal jump first.

In hindsight, that does seem kind of cruel, manipulative, and oppressive. Who knew?

So the phrase was a method developed by Ancient Greek men to save their lives when told to proclaim their never-ending love for their wife. How it became a standard for courtesy, I don’t know (tell me in the comments if you do).

Give it a heart 💚 if you enjoyed it, and don’t forget to follow me too (it’s great motivation)!

If you liked the article, please share and subscribe. Sign up now, and get a free copy of my manifesto, “The World is Riddled With Irony, Hypocrisy, and Stupidity” when it comes out; a free excerpt of my upcoming book, “Berlin Has a Secret”, a free excerpt of my other upcoming book, “Dimensional Catastrophe”; free weekly short stories (four of which are exclusive to my subscribers), and much much more!