Certain it is, that he was a great favorite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual, with the amiable sex, took his part in all family squabbles; and never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle.

Does amiable sex mean women? Is it a well-known expression? I couldn't find any translations of this phrase.

  • 4
    This could surely be inferred from the fact that the author applies it to the "wives of the village". Phrases such as "fairer sex" or "gentler sex" to mean "women" are common in older books. Apr 2, 2016 at 21:43
  • 1
    From the title I thought it was a cuter way of saying "friends with benefits" :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 3, 2016 at 11:32

1 Answer 1


Amiable sex is actually an expression that has been used for a long time, mainly in the past, to refer to women:

  • ... and even adored as well as elsewhere, but when they do not inspire any lively sentiment, the men seldom pay them those attentions which our politeness prodigally and indiscriminately bestows upon every individual of the amiable sex.( From Love Customs in Eighteenth-century Spain)

  • Newman listened with an uncommitted smile and was glad, for his own sake, that he had fine feelings; but he men— tally repudiated the idea of a Frenchman's having discovered any merit in the amiable sex he himself didn't suspect.(From The American)

  • 3
    If it's been used for a long time one would assume it was not in the future.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 2, 2016 at 22:27
  • 1
    you should get rid of the hyphen, the word mentally hasn't been broken and doesn't continue to the next line.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 3, 2016 at 11:30

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