I've stumbled on the こおんな ( 小女 ) word, which is labeled as archaic. However, of the three meanings given (small woman, young woman, young maid), the third one is additionally labeled as "sensitive".

I'm wondering why, as none of the websites I found mentioning it say why (jisho.org, japandict.com, and a few others which I didn't remember)

I'm guessing it might have sexual connotations (like, maids having to service their master), but I'd rather get the real explanation than a mere guess.

1 Answer 1


精選版日本国語大辞典 has the following:

③ 年少の雇い女。小婢(しょうひ)。

and 小婢 redirects to 下女, which means


So I suppose the sensitive tag is due to the connotation of "lower-ranked".

  • Thank you for the explained search :)
    – Kzwix
    Nov 10, 2022 at 14:38

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