One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A domineering, powerful, or belligerent woman; (occasionally) specifically one of south-east Asian origin.
1940s. From dragon and lady, after Dragon Lady, the name of a villainous female character of south-east Asian appearance in the comic strip ‘Terry and the Pirates’, drawn by the American cartoonist Milton Caniff.
dragon lady/ˈdraɡ(ə)n ˌleɪdi/
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