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 adjectives have genders at some point? Do any modern nouns and adjectives still have gender and us non-linguists/laymen/uninformed just don't realize it?
I know some nouns do; actor/actress and steward/stewardess come to mind. I just remember trying to learn German verb conjugations and the der/die/das/die memorization was a PITA.
Update: So it looks like there is no definitive answer as to how or why English lost genders in general but I am still wondering if at some point English did have genders and if there are any holdout nouns or adjectives that still have a gendered form. I'm guessing based on this information that actress with the ‑ress is a feminine word leftover but does that mean the ‑or is a leftover masculine form.
It should also be noted that only a relatively small number of English nouns have distinct male and female forms; many of them are loanwords from non-Germanic languages (the suffixes ‑ress and ‑rix in words such as actress and aviatrix, for instance, derive from Latin ‑rix, in the first case via the French ‑rice)
Or are they referring to biological sexes and not word genders, or are they one in the same in this example?