Really? I mean seriously?

Why, in 2008, are female college students being called “co-eds”? I can understand it, relatively speaking, in the context of a Girls Gone Wild commercial, but on CNN in a story about two female college students being murdered? Yech.

  • mcm

    That is one of my biggest pet peeves, and I’m so glad it’s not just me!

  • Rafter

    I’ve tried to post 3 times :( I think it will work this time!

    They say co-eds because it’s an adjective describing what kind of student they are… that’s also why they say female, otherwise it would be ambiguous. Co-ed denotes the type of college, thus the type of college student. Hope that makes things less annoying!


  •  Clayj

    Men are never referred to as “co-eds”… at least, I’ve never seen it done. And is a young woman who goes to a women-only college a co-ed even though the school she attends is not co-educational? Stands to reason that she would not be… but people will call her a co-ed anyway.

    Like so many words, “co-ed” continues to be used because of etymological inertia. At a time in the past, it was uncommon for women to attend college, and they became referred to as “co-eds” to distinguish them from the male students. Even though I am pretty sure women now outnumber men in colleges in the US, many people continue to refer to them as “co-eds” because that’s how they’ve “always” been referred to.

  • Bogey McDuff

    Hello Molly, this is off-topic, but today I just discovered your name, and then your blog. And I wanted to say that the only reason I watch television at the moment is to flip around in hopes of catching one of your Sonic spots. As the Advertising Age article put it, you are perfection.

  • http://www.contrivedcognitions.comrel=nofollow Nebuloso

    Would the phrase “girly she-students” be better?


    See? It could always be worse. 😀

  •  Friendo

    I can remember back in the 70’s when female college students were referred to as “co-eds”. I didn’t understand the use of the term back then and I still don’t understand it now.

    Doesn’t co-educational imply both men and women? Men and women co-existing on a school campus. So “co-ed” should refer to both genders.

    My brain’s about to explode just ruminating on it. Time for a margarita on the rocks!