"She's a Betty"?

Anyone know the true origin of the phrase “She’s a Betty” and it’s meaning? I’ve found references to Betty Cooper from the Archie comics, Betty Grable, Betty Boop and even Bettie Page. Definitions range from “an attractive woman” to “a plain woman” and very few references to any actual source. One website only cited the movie “Clueless,” which couldn’t have been the origin of the phrase.

Cute. From Betty Rubble from the Flintstones. That’s how it was used and defined when I was growing up. Vs. a Lisa who was a cute skank, from Paulie Shore…

Betty Grable?

I remember a guy who, when he saw an attractive female, would say, “Helllooooo, Betty!”.

No idea where it came from.

I always think of that term as surfer slang dudespeak.

Keanu Reeves (if he weren’t gay): “Whoa…Betty!”


When I was a kid (late 80s/early 90s), around here a Betty was a girl who dressed like the scene but didn’t really participate. The idea was that she was just there for the guys. Usually heard as skatebetty (dressed like a skateboarder, hung out with the skateboarders, but did not actually ride). So, kind of an insult.

Or Brendan Fraser.

Reeves is gay now? Did he become a Scientologist?

At least he doesn’t eat frogs.

The earliest recollection I have is Clueless.

I don’t remember why Betty = Hot, though. Maybe Bette Davis?

I first heard it in Encino Man, predating Clueless by 3 years.

From http://www.jasa.net.au/study/cslang.htm:

Not sure of the veracity of that cite, I also associate it with surf culture.

I would have though Betty (as in Archie) is the plain dark-haired one, as opposed to the rich blonde with the fancy name and everything else going for her. however, I never heard that expression before.

Betty is the cute, fun blond. Veronica is the brunette, high maintenance, rich girl with the princess complex and really not much of anything to recommend her.

Except being the “sub-deb Cleopatra of Riverdale”.


Cite #2

It’s like Ginger and Maryann. Ginger is supposed to be hotter, but it’s all clothes and attitude. Everybody really likes Maryann better. Betty is a Maryann, Veronica is a Ginger.

Man have you ever read an Archie comic?

Veronica was the hot stuck-up dark-haired girl. Betty was the plain-jane girl-next-door blonde.

I honestly don’t know. Best to ask David Geffen.

Yeah, that’s how I always heard the term: a skateboarder’s girlfriend, or a girl who hung out with the skaters, without skating herself.

I think in my high school they were called “Skating Betties” or “Skater Betties” instead of “Skatebetties” though.

Early 80’s skateboarding slang. A Betty detracted from the serious pursuit of skateboarding. A Betty wanted you to go together to see the latest chick flick (instead of skating).

A little contradictory as in skaters didn’t want to be “gay” but couldn’t be whipped by a Betty either.

Thrasher Skateboard Magazine had tons of stuff about Betty’s. The were skater “oaths” that included stuff about Betty’s not interfering with skating.

80’s. In my neck of the woods it was just the new term for “she’s a fox.”

No connection with the skate board vernacular though.