Monday, August 10, 2009

English Words with Gender

I just came across a discussion of the use of "blonde" (fem.) and "blond" (masc.) in English.
"...it is one of the few adjectives in English with separate masculine and feminine forms." -from wikipedia

Which led me to seek other English words with gender. There aren't too many. Here's what I've found:

adding -ess
waiter/waitress
actor/actress
host/hostess
duke/duchess
lion/lioness
tiger/tigress
steward/stewardess
prince/princess
god/godess
heir/heiress
other ending changes
bachelor/bachelorette
alumnus/alumna
blond/blonde
fiancé/fiancée
doyen/doyenne
executor/executrix
masseur/masseuse
comedian/comedienne
hero/heroine

Then, of course, there are the words than end with "man" or "woman" like
congressman/congresswoman
businessman/businesswoman
postman/postwoman, etc, etc

All of those are differentiated by word endings. There are also instances of completely different words for different genders, like:

monk/nun
bachelor/spinster
landlord/landlady
sir/madam
father/mother
husband/wife
son/daughter
brother/sister
boy/girl
bull/cow
goose/gander
drake/duck
king/queen
gentleman/lady
nephew/niece
uncle/aunt
wizard/witch

These are the only two in which the masculine is formed from the feminine:
widow/widower
bridegroom/bride

Okay, my curiosity is sated. I can go back to bed now!

Maybe Cara will find this useful for French class.

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