Bodice ripper


      • to describe a type of romance novel
        Refers to a genre of romance novels that typically feature dominant male characters and sexually explicit scenes

      • to criticize or mock
        To criticize or mock something for being overly dramatic or sensationalized, often used in regards to literature or media

    Examples of Bodice ripper

    • Her novels were criticized for being nothing more than bodice ripper romances.

      "Bodice ripper" is a pejorative term used to describe a subgenre of romance novels characterized by steamy sexual scenes, often involving physical violence or forced seduction. In this example, the phrase "bodice ripper romances" is used to imply that the author's novels are formulaic and sensationalistic, lacking in substance or literary merit.

    • Many readers love a good bodice ripper, with its dramatic plot twists and intense emotional connections between the characters.

      Here, "bodice ripper" is used to refer to this subgenre of romance novels in a more positive light. The example highlights the fact that although these novels may be criticized by some for their explicit sexual content, they still have a devoted fanbase who enjoy the genre's dramatic plot twists and emotional connections between the characters.

    • After a long day at work, all she wanted was to curl up with a good bodice ripper and escape into a world of passion and romance.

      In this example, "bodice ripper" is used as a euphemism for a steamy and romantic novel. The phrase is used to describe the type of novel that the speaker enjoys reading as a form of escapism, implying that these novels offer a respite from the stresses of everyday life and allow the reader to indulge in a world of passion and romance.

    • The author's latest novel seems to have moved beyond the simple bodice ripper of her earlier work, exploring more complex themes and character development.

      Here, "bodice ripper" is used as a way of distinguishing the author's earlier work from her current output. The phrase is used to imply that the author's earlier novels were formulaic and focused exclusively on steamy sexual content, while her more recent work is more sophisticated, exploring deeper themes and character development. The example highlights the fact that an author's work can evolve and change over time, and that criticisms of an author's earlier work may not be applicable to their later output.

    • The latest romance novel by Jane Doe has received criticism for being a classic example of the "bodice ripper" genre.

      The phrase "bodice ripper" is used figuratively here to describe a genre of literature, specifically romance novels, that are known for being overly sexually explicit and often involving scenes of violence towards women. The use of "bodice ripper" in this context implies that the novel in question contains excessive and graphic scenes of intimacy and physical aggression, which many critics believe detracts from the overall quality and literary merit of the work.

    • After reading the latest bodice ripper by Jane Doe, I was left feeling disappointed and violated.

      The use of "bodice ripper" in this sentence is a metaphorical representation of the author's negative experience reading the novel. The phrase "left feeling disappointed and violated" implies that the reader was dissatisfied with the quality of the story and felt like she had been subjected to unwanted or disturbing content. By comparing the novel to a "bodice ripper," the speaker is suggesting that the novel's explicit sexual content and portrayal of violence towards women left her feeling uncomfortable and offended.

    • Some critics argue that the "bodice ripper" genre is an outdated and misogynistic relic of past publishing trends.

      In this example, "bodice ripper" is used as a pejorative term to describe a genre of literature that many people view as antiquated and damaging to women's portrayal in popular culture. The use of "outdated" and "misogynistic" implies that the "bodice ripper" genre perpetuates outdated and oppressive attitudes towards women's sexuality and relationships, and that it should be rejected in favor of more progressive and empowering portrayals of women in literature.

    • Despite the criticisms leveled at the "bodice ripper" genre, there are still many devoted fans who find solace and pleasure in its steamy pages.

      In this final example, the use of "bodice ripper" is jocular and slightly tongue-in-cheek, as the speaker acknowledges that there is still a large and devoted following for this genre of literature, despite the criticisms that have been levied against it. The use of "steamy pages" also connotes the explicit sexual content that is a hallmark of many "bodice ripper" novels, implying that fans of this genre enjoy the highly sensual and arousing nature of its content.


    The idiom "bodice ripper" is primarily used to describe a certain type of romance novel, one that is known for its explicit and often unrealistic depictions of sexual encounters. However, it can also be used to criticize or mock anything that is overly dramatic or sensationalized, often in a lighthearted manner.

    This term is often associated with the romance genre of literature, specifically those that were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. These novels were known for their steamy and often graphic depictions of sex, as well as their focus on dominant male characters and submissive female characters. The term "bodice ripper" originates from the covers of these novels, which often featured a muscular, shirtless man tearing off the bodice of a woman's dress.

    Origin of "Bodice ripper"

    The term "bodice ripper" first appeared in the late 1970s, during the peak of popularity for these types of romance novels. It is believed to have originated from the phrase "bodice-buster," which was used to describe novels that were known for their sexually explicit content. However, the term "bodice ripper" quickly gained more widespread use and became the go-to phrase for this genre of literature.

    The origin of the term itself can be traced back to the covers of these novels, which often featured a strong, dominant male character ripping the bodice of a woman's dress in a moment of passion. This image became synonymous with the genre and has remained a defining aspect of the term "bodice ripper" to this day. While the term may have negative connotations for some, it remains a widely recognized and used phrase in popular culture.