Women’s bowls trousers, crops and shorts or Ladies’ bowls trousers crops and shorts?
Imagine you are with a friend in the Bush Hill Bowls shop, browsing the bowls trousers. Jerry approaches and says “Excuse me, women, how can I help you?”
Shocking, isn’t it. Yet you wouldn’t bat an eyelid if Jerry had said “Excuse me ladies, how can I help you?
Clearly woman and lady, women and ladies, are not always interchangeable. You might think it’s no big deal to describe women’s bowls shorts as ladies’ bowls shorts. Yet, not to put too fine a point on it, would a lady ever wear shorts?
Nancie Colling MBE, life member of the English Women’s Bowling Association (EWBA), notes that the Association’s founder president, Mrs Clara Johns, “was a little lady, vivacious, with dark twinkling eyes and a good sense of humour.”
As a founder of the EWBA, she was also, presumably, a little woman.