Female equivalent of "creator"?

Or is it unisex?

I'm a programmer and I named a variable "creatingFunction", which sounds even worse than "creatorFunction".

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    Just stick with creator, it's unisex. – Hugo Oct 21 '11 at 15:01
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    Why would you need a feminine equivalent in this case anyway? – Barrie England Oct 21 '11 at 15:59
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    @dario_ramos nouns in English do not have gender, except, probably, when they represent a living thing. Function is neither male, not female, it is... just it. – Philoto Oct 21 '11 at 16:46
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    Now I won't look at them the same way... :P – dario_ramos Oct 21 '11 at 16:58
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    FWIW, the idiom in programming for a function that creates something is to call it a "factory." – Fraser Orr Oct 22 '11 at 2:19

I believe "creator" is unisex. In other contexts, the feminine might be "creatrix" (aviator, aviatrix), but probably not in this case.


The OED has creatrix, with a first citation dated 1595, and the most recent citation dated 2001. It also has creatress, with equivalent citations from 1590 and 1997.

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    These terms exist but are not used. – Mitch Oct 21 '11 at 14:50
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    Let me not delete that and let it stand; on investigation, 'creatrix' -is- used, but is negligeable in comparison to creator (ngram chart), but if you look at the examples for 'creatrix' they seem entirely out of the feminist literature. – Mitch Oct 21 '11 at 14:54
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    @Mitch: I don't think creatrix is exclusively used in "feminist literature". Nature, for example, has long been personified as female, and this usage doesn't strike me as at all odd. – FumbleFingers Oct 21 '11 at 17:09
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    In the context of the OP (a variable name) as well as any non-academic writing, it would look quite odd. – Mitch Oct 21 '11 at 17:19
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    @Mitch: OP's context is ludicrous. A feminised function name? Gimmie a break! – FumbleFingers Oct 22 '11 at 3:55

a person or thing that brings something into existence:
James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming
water—the creator of climate and weather

- (the Creator) used as a name for God.

ODO defines the word creator as a person or thing — not just as a person, let alone a person of specific gender. The dictionary does not define a feminine gender of creator, nor does it list the word ?'creatrix'.

Furthermore, per OP's comment above, the hypernym function may be feminine in Spanish, but in English it is neuter.

  • Yes, function is feminine in Spanish :) – stringparser Jan 10 '13 at 9:32

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