What Exactly Is A Dame?


So, what exactly is a Dame?


The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a dame as a:

  1.   -woman of rank, station, or authority
  2.   – the mistress of a household
  3.   – the wife or daughter of a lord
  4.   -a female member of an order of knighthood
    and, my personal favorite……….
  5. -an elderly woman

I don’t know about you, but that is the driest, most boring definition I can imagine. Ok…so being a woman of authority…that works.  We are all daughters, and some Dames are wives.  Some are even, (gasp), elderly.  But that is where a dictionary dame and a true Dame….a Dame with a capitol “D”….part company.

When I hear the word ‘Dame’ I think of women with chutzpah, strength and attitude.

Gutsy women

Mae West was a Dame, as was Marlene Dietrich.  My all time favorite Dame is Jessica Tandy.  Jessica Tandy was in her 80’s when she skinny-dipped on screen in“Camilla”.  Only a true Dame would have done that!

And, Remember Whoopi Goldberg telling Reebok what they could do with their shoes on the David Letterman show?  Yep…she is definitely a Dame.  As a matter of fact, pretty much all of the View women are Dames!

These women are tough, beautiful, smart, loving, opinionated, brave, funny and talented.   Most of all, they are not afraid to let their Dame-ness shine out.  No hiding their lights under a bushel for these women.

So what about the other Dames out there?  Those that aren’t famous?  Let me tell you……Dames are everywhere!   When Trail Dames started up in 2007, Dames started crawling out of the woodwork.  They came from homes, jobs, suburbs and cities.  Some of them were 90 years old and some were only 20.  They truly were every shape and size, and came from every facet of society.  I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what would bind us all together.  There were some very disparate mind sets and I didn’t know if just being women was enough to provide a common ground for us all.

Throughout the last year, however, the deeper attributes of these women came out and through those, we found our connections.   You see, being a Dame isn’t just about being gutsy and strong.  It is also about being gentle and kind.  It is about letting your guard down and allowing the women around you to see your human-ness.  It is about feeling scared, but doing it anyway.

I see Dames on every hike we take.  A hiking trail will bring the Dame out in a woman faster than you can say ‘switchback’.  You can always hear belly laughter pealing out through the trees, and sometimes you can see the tears from an overwhelming week working their way to the surface.  You see Dames help each other up and over logs, and you see them give space to those needing some peace.

Yes, there are Dames everywhere.  And not a single one of them is represented by Merriam Webster.

What about you?  Who is your favorite Dame and why?  Click the comment button below and tell us about her……

Anna aka Mud Butt

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