To be careless, negligent, or awkward, especially with regard to dress and neatness.
To be wasteful.
A slut, a sexually promiscuous woman.
(dated) A dirty and untidy woman.
* 1809 , Noah Webster, Esq., An American Selection of Lessons in Reading and Speaking: Calculated to Improve the Minds and Refine the Taste of Youth, to Which are Prefixed Rules in Elocution and Directions for Expressing the Principal Passions of the Mind , p24
* 1868' September 17, Lizzie Leavenworth, ''??'''Slattern''' Genius??''; quoted in '''2001 by Anne Russo and Cherise Kramarae in ''The Radical Women’s Press of the 1850s , page 202:
- 3. Cookery is familiar to her, with the price and quality of provisions; and she is a ready accountant. Her chief view, however, is to serve her mother and lighten her cares. She holds cleanliness and neetness to be indispensable in a woman; and that a slattern is disgusting, especially if beautiful.
* 1933 , Noel Coward, Private Lives: an Intimate Comedy in Three Acts , Act 3:
- How many times I have heard a woman called a slattern , because she could not keep a house in order, when had she been allowed to write out her sublime thoughts, which were all in another direction, she would have astonished the world with her genius.
- AMANDA: I’ve been brought up to believe that it’s beyond the pale, for a man to strike a woman.
- ELYOT: A very poor tradition. Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.
- AMANDA: You’re an unmitigated cad, and a bully.
- ELYOT: And you’re an ill-mannered, bad tempered slattern .
- AMANDA (loudly) Slattern indeed.
- ELYOT: Yes, slattern', '''slattern''', ' slattern , and fishwife.
- VICTOR: Keep your mouth shut, you swine.
* (untidy woman) moggy (archaic)