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 flâneur, which has the French feminine form flâneuse and plural flâneuses.

When pluralising in English, should I ignore gender, use one over the other or use the french pluralisation?

Is there an English rule for mixed gender noun pluralisations?

  • 2
    Just because flaneur is an English word doesn't mean 'flaneuse' is: the OED contains one but not the other. Both male and female saunterers are flaneurs, which seems to obviate the problem. – Tim Lymington Jan 22 '14 at 19:30

Only a pair of flaneuses is a pair of flaneuses. A pair of flaneurs is a pair of flaneurs. That includes flaneurs of different genders. If you want to emphasize that it's a flaneur and a flaneuse, or more generally X flaneurs and Y flaneuses, you would have to say just that, "X flaneurs and Y flaneuses".

And to the best of my knowledge, none of this is any different from what you'd do in French.

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    That's definitely what you'd do for French. – Peter Shor Jan 22 '14 at 13:26
  • Agreed. This isn't an English word at all, so treat it like you would the French. English has lots of words in other languages which follow their rules for pluralizing, like 'alumnus' and 'alumni' from the Latin. – swbarnes2 Jan 22 '14 at 23:56

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