1. a young woman [note synon. use in Kendall, Flowers of Epigrammes (1577): ‘Which are three ills that mischief men [...] The fem, the flud, the fire’].
|West Point Scrap-Book 337: Fem. –A woman–girl–young lady.|
|Colored Cadet at West Point 53: ‘A fem,’ ‘femme.’ — Any female person.|
|in Lucky Bag No. 3 107: Drag –To drag a femme to a hop is to escort her [HDAS].|
|‘West Point Sl.’ in Howitzer (US Milit. Academy) 292–5: Drag —To accompany; as, to drag a femme.|
|Daily Nebraskan 22 Feb. in DN IV:ii 128: Unless the storm lets up cabs will be necessary in many cases to protect the thin wearing apparel of the ‘fems’.|
|Sel. Letters (1981) 24: Had me practically married off and entangled with any amount of femmes.letter 30 Apr. in Baker|
|Showgirl iv 52: Eight femmes and a pair of male hoofers take up the burden when she is off.|
|Dames Don’t Care (1960) 67: I was kinda sorry for her an’ I think she is a swell femme.|
|Popular Sports Spring [Internet] I never seen him in a barroom or even chasing the femmes.‘Twin Lose or Draw’ in|
|Billboard 2 Nov. 42/2: Seeing that the featured fem gets speedy service on a hotdog from the chili parlor.|
|‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxiv 4/5: fem: Female.|
|Serial 32: Ads for ‘open-minded fems. with whip fantasies’.|
|Love Is a Racket 86: Obviously having a thing for that femme in particular.|
2. (also femmie) an effeminate homosexual man.
|Scarlet Pansy 354: They drew themselves closer together as a femme pushed in beside Clarence and tried ‘to make him’.|
|CUSS 116: Fem [...] Femmie An effeminate male.et al.|
|Rushes (1981) 78: Was that the cowboy who turned femme so quickly?|
|Quiet Fire 74: Also [...] the little male prostitute, prick peddler, if you say ‘Hmmm, you’re not what I’m looking for, fella, I like the fems, the ladies,’ they quickly find that maybe they could do that.|
|Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s [Internet] Femme – A lesbian or gay man who acts and dresses effeminately.|
|Guardian 27 Jan. 22: He was an old-school masculine gay — the kind who embraced physical toughness in travel as an affirmation of character. No ‘fem’ he.|
|Plainclothes Naked (2002) 104: Old Tony Z and Mini-Mac. Are they that way? Little lovebirds? Maybe they’ll be bunkies in Lewisburg. Up there in Section Three, the Femme Tier. Bitch City.|
|My Lives 282: Butch-femme role-playing might have approximated traditional male-female interactions.|
3. a feminine lesbian.
|in Gay/Lesbian Almanac (1983) 625: Femme [is] common in gay parlance.|
|Call Girl 118: Among female homosexuals the ‘femme’ acts the role of a woman.|
|in Hellhole 62: The bulldykes and the femmes is called the lower and the higher class [...] The wife is the lower class.|
|Cross of Lassitude 266: ‘You gotta be a Butch,’ Stan advises Frankie, ‘a stone Butch.’ ‘I’m no tackhead,’ Frankie evades. ‘You’re no Fem either,’ Stan compliments.|
|Macho Sluts 29: I don’t consider myself a femme – I just turn on to aggressive and strong women.|
|Prison Sl. 59: Fem An individual who takes on the female role in a homosexual relationship.|
|Indep. Mag. 30 Oct. 39: Did I perhaps look ‘butch’ in my black jacket and trousers to Lynda’s ‘femme’ in Miyake?|
|(con. 1964–8) Cold Six Thousand 242: Talk to Greta, the barkeep. She’ll set you up with two femmes for fifty.|
4. the ‘female’ partner of a couple whether hetero- or homosexual.
|AS XLV:1/2 57: femme, fem n Passive member, male or female, of a homosexual relationship.‘Homosexual Sl.’ in|
|Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 126: They object to […] Butch, French anything, Femme, Stud, Submissive, Dominant, Hermaphrodite, and Soixante-neuf- which is 69, in case you didn’t know; 68 is ‘you suck me and I’ll owe you one’.|
|Wizard of La-La Land (1999) 210: Straight or gay, it’s usually the femme who plays the tune and the men who dance to it.|
(US campus) a female-only college.
|DN II:i 34: fem, n. A woman, dame. [...] 34: fem-sem, n.1. A seminary for women. 2. A girl at college or seminary.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|Girl Proposition 1: He thought he had seen some 24-carat Tizums when he had attended College and hung around the Fem Sem, but the Girl that he now beheld was in a class by herself.|
|(ref. to 1858)(ed.) Making of Michigan 272: I have previously mentioned the ‘Fem Sem,’ a short name for the Michigan Female Seminary, at Lansing [...] There was some visiting of the girls at their college during the summer of 1858.|