Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1931, American English, perhaps a shortening of morphadike, dialectal garbling of hermaphrodite; but bulldyker "engage in lesbian activities" is attested from 1921, and a source from 1896 lists dyke as slang for "the vulva."
[T]he word appears first in the long forms, bulldiker and bulldyking, both used in the 1920s by American blacks. No African antecedents have been found for the term, however, which leads to the possibility that this is basically just another backcountry, barnyard word, perhaps a combination of BULL and DICK. [Rawson]
: That woman lives with her dyke daughter and her dyke daughter-in-lawnoun
A lesbian, esp one who takes an aggressive role; bulldyke
[1930s+; origin uncertain and much debated; perhaps fr a shortening of morphodyke, dialectal and substandard pronunciation of ''hermaphrodite,'' perhaps influenced by dick, ''penis''; a source of 1896 lists dyke, ''the vulva'']