Is there a word for female necromancer (sorry for repeat of title, but stackexchange complained about lack of body)?

closed as general reference by Matt E. Эллен, MetaEd, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, tchrist, Kristina Lopez Feb 14 '13 at 19:32

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    You could always use the body to provide a short explanation of why you are looking for the word. (Many times, an O.P. doesn't see that as "necessary," but such context is often more helpful than one might initially assume. For example, in this case, I might offer different advice, depending on if you were writing a science-fiction book set on another planet, versus a fictional work set in the Middle Ages, versus a historical account of the Salem witch trials.) Just a thought. – J.R. Feb 14 '13 at 10:13
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    Necromancers are people, not men specifically. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 14 '13 at 14:32
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    Welcome to English Language & Usage. This question is not really an English Language & Usage question because it is incomplete. Please edit to explain why you are asking, provide context, and show the results of research you did before asking. Thanks. – MetaEd Feb 14 '13 at 15:46
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    @Kris er/or is not the issue. That has nothing to do with being male or female. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 14 '13 at 15:51
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    It looks like this question will get closed as General Reference. What is the general reference which answers it? – Andrew Leach Feb 14 '13 at 17:09

Yes, there is, and it's necromancer. Even OED gives no other form of the word ever having appeared in print in this use.

The adjectival form of -mancy or -mance is -mantic. As that introduces a t, a female form of the word could be plausibly invented, though: necromantrix. Note that this is faux Latin, because the true Latin form of the masculine version would be necromantor. Using -trix here is justifiably deplorable — not least because the necro- part is Greek.

The word has been adopted by a Canadian singer.

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    If we're going to make up words, then necromantrix would be the one people would care to use because it sounds better than the others, despite the shatnez. I mean, come on, 'television', am I right? – Mitch Feb 14 '13 at 14:41
  • @Mitch C P Scott on television – Andrew Leach Feb 14 '13 at 14:46
  • There's no second r in the Danish band's name. So it's not the word. – Kris Feb 15 '13 at 6:54
  • @Kris You're right. Oops. Corrected. – Andrew Leach Feb 15 '13 at 7:38

If you are writing the story, you can make up one to use ... like necromanseuse or something. (Modeled on dancer -> danseuse)


It depends on just what you mean by necromancer.

It is often used for:

  1. One who performs divination by consulting the dead.
  2. One who magically raises the dead (often for divination, so overlapping with the previous).
  3. Magic-workers generally.

Sorceress and enchantress are female-specific terms within the third definition, as is one sense of hag.

Witch went through a brief period of being treated as usually female, though this is increasingly rare and likely to raise objections today. (If it's a fantasy-fiction use though, I personally as a male witch classify such uses as "things I probably won't have time today to care about either way.")

While voodooisant is often used in English for both sexes, sometimes the female-specific voodooisante is borrowed into English separately. On the other hand, since they've some particularly unfair associations with the second definition of necromancer that might be best avoided.

Circe has rare use as a synecdoche for female magic workers generally, rather than just that individual.

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    And here I was, thinking that "neck romancer" was a person with a vampire fetish... – MT_Head Feb 14 '13 at 17:07
  • @MT_Head that's not gender-specific either. Indeed, it seems to often be quite mixed with particularly non gender-specific preferences. ;) – Jon Hanna Feb 14 '13 at 17:33
  • So... Team Edward, then? ;) – MT_Head Feb 14 '13 at 17:40

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