Because "shorty" is only the latest in a grand tradition of weird things to call ladies. All from Captain Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.
  1. Athanasian wench
    A "forward" girl
  2. Barber's chair
    "She is as common as a barber's chair, in which a while parish sit to be trimmed," a prostitute
  3. Biddy
    A chicken (young wench)
  4. Bingo mort
    A female dram drinker
  5. Chicken-breasted
    A woman with a small chest
  6. Flat cock
  7. Gill
  8. Harridan
    An old, worn-out woman
  9. Horse godmother
    A masculine lady
  10. Mopsey
  11. Munster heifer
    An Irish woman, particularly with thick legs
  12. Quean
  13. Slamkin
    A female sloven
  14. Trull
    A soldier or tinker's female companion
  15. Warming-pan
  16. Wrinkle
    A woman with a large number of illegitimate children (a wrinkled stomach from childbearing)