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1. a woman with considerable scholarly, literary, or intellectual ability or interest. 2. a member of a mid-18th-century London literary circle. (noun) derogatory; usually a scholarly or intellectual woman

The word "bluestocking" often comes up in romance novels where various well-meaning but vapid aunts, chaperones, and matrimonially-minded mamas scoldingly remind their daughters that no eligible male ever married a bluestocking.

These women are heroines. Well-read, articulate, sparkling with grace, wit, and charm, they can quote Voltaire, host a dinner for ninety, and waltz effortlessly. The historical counterpart to these fictive characters were brainy pioneers who courageously spoke their mind and explored "unwomanly" pursuits.

Thankfully, the modern bluestocking does not have outdated beliefs to contend with and can be as intellectual or as irreverent as she chooses.