Advertisement

feminine/masculine words...

topic posted Mon, November 1, 2004 - 10:46 AM by  tina
Share/Save/Bookmark
does anyone know if there's a feminine equivalent to the word 'fellow'? my fellow stay-at-home moms and i want to know!
posted by:
tina
Advertisement
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: feminine/masculine words...

    Mon, November 1, 2004 - 3:33 PM
    I don't know that one but my friend made up a male counterpart to the term Broad...Slim.

    This also brings me to the sound of letters being either masculine or feminine. I struggled with my name (Margo) for a long time because it had what I considered a "masculine" sounding hard-G.
  • Re: feminine/masculine words...

    Wed, November 3, 2004 - 10:00 PM
    Is this one of those "polysemic" things?

    I always thought of "fellow" as having two distinct contexts:

    1. literary and gender neutral, as in "fellowship"
    2. modern colloquial with implied masculinity, is in "he's a peculiar fellow (fella)"

    Then again, I'm no English Major.
    • Re: feminine/masculine words...

      Sun, November 7, 2004 - 2:09 AM
      I agree that "fellow" (outside an academic context) is gender-specoifc, like "guys."

      I'm with BigSockGrrl and use "sister." One of my female friends and I were getting married a few months apart from each other and we sent emails back and forth addressed to "My Sister Bride."

      "Sister Moms" is a pretty cool feminine and feminist use of "sister" I think.
      • Re: feminine/masculine words...

        Sun, November 7, 2004 - 8:39 AM
        Because my obnoxiousness quota has not been filled for today, here's what an etymological dictionary has to say:

        O.E. feolaga "partner," from O.N. felagi, from fe "money" + verbal base denoting "lay." Sense is of "one who puts down money with another in a joint venture." Used familiarly since M.E. for "man, male person," but not etymologically masculine. University senses (c.1449, corresponding to L. socius) evolved from notion of "one of the corporation who constitute a college" and who are paid from its revenues. Fellowship (c.1200) in M.E. was a euphemism for "sexual intercourse." Fellow-feeling (1613) attempted to translate L. compassio and Gk. sympatheia. First record of fellow-traveler in sense of "one who sympathizes with the Communist movement but is not a party member," is from 1936, translating Rus. poputchik.
        • Re: feminine/masculine words...

          Sun, November 7, 2004 - 9:11 PM
          <Fellowship (c.1200) in M.E. was a euphemism for "sexual
          intercourse." >

          Okay everyone, sing it with me:

          Ohhh he's a jolly good fellow
          He's a jolly good fellow
          He's a jolly good fe-el-loooooow
          Which nobody can deny!
          So say all of us
          So say all of us...
    • Re: fellow

      Sat, December 4, 2004 - 8:23 PM
      Interesting discussion. I was just wondering about this (does fellow imply masculine?) the other day.

      Here are a few cuts-and-pastes from Webster, 1913:

      Note: Commonly used of men, but sometimes of women. --Judges xi. 37.

      2. A man without good breeding or worth; an ignoble or mean man.
      Worth makes the man, and want of it, the fellow.
      --Pope.

      3. An equal in power, rank, character, etc.
      It is impossible that ever Rome Should breed thy
      fellow. --Shak.

      5. A person; an individual.
      She seemed to be a good sort of fellow. --Dickens.

      Looks like it's not the most terribly masculine word now... and I hereby pledge to continue bashing it further and further into gender neutrality.
      • Re: fellow

        Sun, December 5, 2004 - 6:06 AM
        maybe if it were spelled in a more feminine way, i would feel more inclined to use it in the manner i originally was talking about; my fellow stay-at-home-moms...see, in that context it just struck me as all wrong,you know?
        we're (moms) all women...
        i wasn't including stay-at-home-dads or others in that thought so....
        i do like the dickens quote, though...and someone had called a woman i know 'handsom'....
        interesting.....gender.....
        • Re: fellow

          Sun, December 5, 2004 - 10:44 AM
          matronfolk!

          matriarch's coterie!

          =)

          As far as handom describing a woman, that is more generally accepted as their age advances, right?
          • Re: fellow

            Sun, December 5, 2004 - 11:48 AM
            What people seem to have lost sight off -- IMNSHO -- is the fact that just because a word is spelt the same, it does not follow that it has the same root or characteristics. Thus, 'fellow' as a noun may well have male connotations, but 'fellow' as an adjective does not need to.

            Just to give an example (since i'm feeling in an odd mood): Now i've resigned i can resign my contract!

Recent topics in "Word Freaks"

Topic Author Replies Last Post
Stuck on an incident DuckAmuck 2 March 20, 2014
polysemy and sememes..and zeugma...and syllepsis K 0 January 18, 2014
"Stink" JM 7 September 23, 2013
In- vs un- Using parkin... 12 September 20, 2013