Questions regarding the grammatical gender of English words.

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2answers
105 views

Referring to someone when you only know their last name

Our company occasionally has to write letters to a third-party in response to a complaint. There are times when we only know the complainant's last name (usually with first initial). Typically, we ...
4
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1answer
360 views

Is villain masculine?

In India we generally use heroine as the female counterpart of a hero in a film. Is it grammatically acceptable? Further, is there any feminine counterpart for a villain either in tinsel world or in ...
0
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3answers
101 views

Sun and moon: male or female?

In other languages, the sun and the moon have definite genders: in French and many other romanic languages le soleil (the sun) is male and la lune (the moon) is female. In German and other germanic ...
3
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3answers
152 views

In cricket and football is it alright to refer to women as men?

I noticed when I was watching the match between England and Mexico in the Women's Football World Cup the other night, that the commentator would refer to a situation where the attacking side 'had a ...
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1answer
153 views

Politically correct substitutes for (fe)male and (wo)man

I assume feminists criticize the English language for the pairs man/woman and male/female, because both look as if one gender or sex was considered a special case for it is denoted by putting an ...
2
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1answer
74 views

Can I Switch from “it” to “he” or “she” when referring to an animal in a story? [closed]

This one is a question I can't seem to find an answer for. I do have a friend, a professional editor, who told me she saw no problem with me switching from "it" to "he" or "she" when referring to an ...
1
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3answers
303 views

Is English “genderless” or are inanimate nouns just neuter by default?

Some questions on ELU already touch on this subject, and they pose that English does not have grammatical gender which means that most of its inanimate nouns are referred to with it rather than he or ...
20
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12answers
8k views

What word means a “male temptress”?

I was trying to describe a man who entices others into making bad decisions. I have several closely related questions: Is it okay in English to refer to a man as a temptress? Is there a uniquely ...
0
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0answers
156 views

How to informally address a mixed gender group of people? [duplicate]

How to informally address a mixed gender group of people in the UK? Any alternative to 'guys' in 'would you guys like to do this and that?'
0
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1answer
41 views

Gender of “the self” [closed]

I'm editing a paper in which the writer (a native French speaker) refers to "the self" using masculine pronouns (him, his, himself). I would normally use "it" (and its, itself) in this situation. I ...
0
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4answers
233 views

Familiar form of address for a young, subordinate, woman that connotes respect (Female equivalent to 'Son')

A(n often male) paternal figure could use the term 'son' in a fatherly way without referring to his biological Son. Imagine a man has been verbally abused by a customer at work. His manger might say ...
0
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2answers
142 views

Is 'arrogant' a masculine word? [closed]

I was trying to think of a word to describe a female acquaintance and came up with arrogant, but immediately wanted to discard this as the word itself felt masculine to me. I later settled on ...
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3answers
192 views

Word for a man who is not gay but wanted to be female? [closed]

I searched this site and can't find a word that expresses my sense that I have always thought I would have been better suited as female, and I am attracted to the opposite sex (so would switch if I ...
0
votes
2answers
148 views

Why are words like “actor” and “waiter” considered male?

What is it about words like "actor" and "waiter" that causes them to be considered male, so that they have female counterparts (i.e. "actress" and "waitress")? Why are they not gender-neutral like ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Adjectives that Imply Nouns [closed]

Often we may see adjectives with nouns that are implied, but not explicitly written. I see this mostly with sports team names and demonyms. For example: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Is "Irish" a ...
4
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1answer
369 views

Terms for “natural gender” and “grammatical gender”

This post is partly inspired by previous posts, such as this one, on non-existence of grammatical gender in English. My question is mainly about what "natural gender" and "grammatical gender" are to ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Is the “female” in “female cousin” redundant here?

"My female cousin working for a finance company was dismissed. Disappeared along with her job were her confidence and smiling face." There is a very complicated system in Chinese for naming ...
7
votes
2answers
89 views

In the American regionalism “Put 'er there, pardner!” why is the hand a she?

In the American regionalism Put 'er there, pardner! (i.e. Let's shake hands) why 'er ? P.S. When someone is manipulating equipment, such as a crane or a hoist, to move a heavy load, someone ...
0
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3answers
941 views

Why are there no male or female terms for cousins in English? [duplicate]

In general English doesn't seem to cater well for identifying relationships between people, and the classic example seems to be the term 'cousin' because you can't really work out whether it is ...
5
votes
1answer
250 views

Is there an explicitly male version of “craftsman/craftsmanship”?

This is somewhat of a fringe question, I’m sure, but the recent question asking for a gender-neutral of craftsmanship thread got me thinking. Since the suffix ‑man has become something of a ...
24
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15answers
10k views

Gender-neutral alternative to “craftsmanship”?

It's straightforward to refer to a "craftsperson" instead of a "craftsman" if one doesn't want to imply a gender. But "craftspersonship", "sportspersonship", and the like seem pretty cumbersome. Is ...
13
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9answers
5k views

Is the genderless pronoun “they” appropriate and grammatical for a non-binary gender? [duplicate]

I recently had somebody tell me that a mutual friend of ours who is genderqueer prefers that people refer to him/her using the gender-indefinite pronoun they. In some cases, this almost seems okay: ...
3
votes
2answers
239 views

How to ask a mixed-gender group for their participation?

This question deals with the use of y’all in written vs. spoken English, gender neutrality and group dynamics. I often find myself writing emails to a group of both men and women asking if they ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Female or Male pronouns matter in this case? [duplicate]

As far as I understand, English nouns do not have a 'gender' so to speak - when I say the word 'manager' I may be referring to a woman or to a man, one cannot infer the gender just by hearing the ...
2
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2answers
67 views

The feminine of “He was a leading man of letters”

"William Shakespeare was a leading man of letters". What if we are talking about Florence Margaret Smith. Miss Smith was a leading...... Would you, native speakers, say "woman" ?
52
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12answers
5k views

A way of describing the lesbian parent that is not pregnant?

A friend of mine is in a long term relationship with her female partner. After deciding they wanted a family, my friend's girlfriend got pregnant. Normally when talking about a couple expecting a ...
1
vote
2answers
456 views

Is 'liege' masculine?

'Liege' seems to most often refer to a man. Is that because most lords in history and fiction are men, or because 'liege' is a masculine noun? If the latter, is there a feminine counterpart?
4
votes
4answers
567 views

Etymology of “manhole”

I don't think man stands for male here, I think it stands for human—it is a humanhole. Does it have this name because its purpose is to provide access to the sewer for men?
7
votes
4answers
573 views

Gender neutral term for “maiden name”?

The term "maiden name" is only used to describe the name that a woman had before marriage, and as such, is not gender neutral. However, it occasionally occurs that a man will take his partner's last ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Which is more correct: gender or sex? [duplicate]

I've always used "gender" when I want to talk about whether a person is male or female. But I came across this comment on a similar question here: Correct usage is "sex" for humans and other ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a gender-neutral prefix for “parent”?

The prefixes "patr-" and "matr-" refer, respectively, to father and mother--e.g., a patriarch is a father who rules a family, and a matrilineal society is one where property is passed from mother to ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Can a female proprietor be called as “proprietor”?

I know the female version of proprietor can be called as proprietress or proprietrix. But I want to know whether a female proprietor can also be called a proprietor? Or does proprietor only indicate ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What do you say when you don't know someone's gender? [duplicate]

For example, I want to refer to someone on the internet, but I don't know this person's gender. Which personal-pronoun do I use? (as article I mean he, she, it, etc)
0
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1answer
131 views

How do I pluralise a word that has a masculine and feminine singlar forms, for a mixed group?

This may be an ill-defined question since it arose from trying to pluralise a word that has come from French, I wanted to pluralise a pair flaneurs of different genders. Flaneur comes from the French ...
4
votes
1answer
453 views

“Motherland” vs. “fatherland”

What are the different connotations of motherland and fatherland? NOAD defines both as "a person's native country," though it adds "esp. when referred to in patriotic terms" for fatherland. The words, ...
9
votes
3answers
699 views

Gendered terms — particularly female — becoming neutral?

I have been hearing that many gendered terms are simply being absorbed into the masculine equivalent, while many other words are retaining their usage. A few examples are the terms "actress" becoming ...
0
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2answers
204 views

What's the neutral measurement unit for masculine and feminine?

When we want to know how tall or how short someone is, we can query for his tallness, shortness, or height (neutral measurement unit). Is there such a neutral measurement unit for the adjectives ...
7
votes
2answers
993 views

Is “woman” really interchangable with “female” as an adjective?

I listen to BBC Radio 4 a fair bit. They pretty much always use "woman" as opposed to "female" - like "a woman pilot". To me this just sounds completely wrong, and most stuff I can find online about ...
14
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13answers
6k views

Feminine equivalent for Casanova [duplicate]

Is there a feminine equivalent for "Casanova" without negative connotations?
5
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6answers
933 views

Is there a female or gender-neutral equivalent to the colloquial “man”?

I don't know how to define the usage of man I'm talking about*, so I'll do it with examples: Hey, man, what's up? C'mon, man, don't make me do this. Is there a female or gender-neutral ...
2
votes
1answer
581 views

Female equivalent for “wet dreams”? [closed]

As I understand, the term wet dreams applies only to masculine gender? Then, unless it's unisex in nature, is there a specific term applicable to feminine gender?
8
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2answers
2k views

What happened to word gender in English?

I know English is a Germanic language and I know at least the German language still has genders — three of them in fact — masculine, feminine, neuter. So did the English nouns and ...
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votes
4answers
656 views

What’s the male equivalent of “menopause”? [closed]

If women go through men-o-pause, do men go through women-o-pause? Is there an etymological equivalent? What is the antonymic Greek word to meno- (or rather, to μηνο-)? There might be a medical ...
6
votes
4answers
483 views

Term for security checkpoints separated by sex

In some places, a security checkpoint has two areas, one for checking men, and another for checking women. I'm looking for the term which describes this segregation by sex. This would be the opposite ...
4
votes
3answers
388 views

“à la” + masculine

I'd like to say I'm baking a cake à la Ramsey. Here, à la means in the style of. My problem is: what if Ramsey is male? The French la goes with feminine nouns. So, should I write the following? ...
4
votes
1answer
595 views

Do vocal pitch and timbre differ by accent?

Guys from the UK and India seem to have higher-pitched voices than Americans. Similarly, I have heard comments from Japanese-American women that they make an effort to lower their voices when speaking ...
0
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1answer
246 views

Pronouns and declension for merged/hermaphroditic entities

I have a pair of friends who since entering into a relationship have become rather disgustingly effusive and clingy, to the point where people around them have begun referring them an 'it' [singular], ...
1
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0answers
49 views

Addressing someone with no specified gender [duplicate]

How do you address someone whose gender is not specified, when you are writing something? Take this as an example: The teacher said we should go; ____ said we are good pupils. Would you insert ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Default gender for pronouns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is using “he” for a gender-neutral third-person correct? I’m sure this is a duplicate, but I've heard that when the gender is unknown you are to use he instead of he or ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of “-ix” as a feminine variation?

Some words are made feminine by altering the suffix to be -ix. Examples: dominator → dominatrix executor → executrix rector → rectrix What is the origin of this variation? From my 5 years of ...