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For males, it's gentleman; and for females?

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Was going to reply Madame but then realized that's for Messer. By the way, I don't see how "analogy" tag relates to gender. –  Christian Jan 20 '11 at 11:55
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As an aside, my 19th century French dictionary has the following definition for gentleman: “title given in England to any well-educated man”, which I thought was kind of nice... –  F'x Jan 20 '11 at 14:24
    
I would avoid using those kind of sex-specific nouns unless I knew my audience was OK with them. –  Nick Jan 20 '11 at 19:34
    
That's so simple question. But good to have it here –  iSid Jan 21 '11 at 9:01
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2 Answers 2

Gentlemen is to male as lady is to female. Ladies and gentlemen is used to address the audience during a speech, and ladies and gents are used on the signs of public toilets for women and men respectively.

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I heard from an old lady a reallady would be the best word –  rbhattarai Jan 20 '11 at 7:42
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@rbhattrai: The term reallady doesn't exist; although you can sound pompous by saying something like: "She's (you're) a real lady". The definition of "real lady" and "perfect gentleman" are subjective. –  Sid Jan 20 '11 at 8:42
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Lady is the term, although the term gentlewoman exists.

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@iamsid: Gentlewoman sounds a little archaic to me, like something out of a Jane Austen novel [though I can't quote it here :-)]. Perhaps they used gentlewoman to distinguish it from lady, so it didn't sound like the title. I have never heard the word gentlewoman being used in speech. –  Tragicomic Jan 20 '11 at 9:23
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I wouldn't say gentlewoman is Jane Austin. Much older than that (or perhaps newer, pretending to be older). Medieval fantasy, perhaps. –  TRiG Jan 20 '11 at 10:13
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Quite an amiable woman would be Austen? :) –  zoul Jan 21 '11 at 8:56
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@Tragicomic, @TRiG: The term exists in Shakespeare, for example: When didst thou see me heave up my leg and make water against a gentlewoman's farthingale? (Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV Scene 4, and no I didn't just make that up!). In addition a number of other plays have a character known only as "Gentlewoman" :-) –  psmears Feb 18 '11 at 21:30
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I would expect "gentlewoman" to mean a high-born woman (as "gentleman" once meant a high-born man). –  Charles May 26 '11 at 18:45
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protected by Will Hunting Nov 11 '12 at 19:25

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