While I was watching 'dinnerladies' yesterday, I noticed that they referred to 'ladder' as (she) in lieu of (it), so I wonder if it was an idiom or accent.


  • One of the contexts was like this. Tony (referring to the ladder): Can you just move it back a foot? Stan: No, because it's wedged against the wall back there. Tony: Well just lift it up a bit? Stan (trying to lift the ladder up): No, she won't.
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    It would be helpful if you could quote the specific sentence where you observed this use of the word "she". – sumelic Dec 7 '18 at 11:01
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    It was probably a [fake] accent, as some other (Romantic) European languages have gendered common nouns. – AmI Dec 7 '18 at 11:01
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    If it's the third quote on this WikiQuote page you're asking about ("Get your brain around this..."), then "she" is referring to Glen, not the ladder. – TripeHound Dec 7 '18 at 13:58
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    Dunno what's usual in British English, but in the US "she" is used for the well-known case of referring to a boat, and often when referring to a motor vehicle as well. Plus it's often used informally when discussing objects (such as a ladder) being manipulated. (NB: I'm NOT using "object" or "manipulated" in a metaphorical sense!) The "rules" for this latter (or ladder) usage are buried in the heads of workmen, and not really available for detailed examination. – Hot Licks Dec 8 '18 at 23:48

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