Every male/female word

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dhs100
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Every male/female word

Postby dhs100 » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:14 am UTC

I'm trying to build a paired list of every male/female word equivalent (that’s used in English, even if it’s not strictly Englsih). I thought it would be easy…and it sort of is, but I can’t think of a logical way to work through them. Obvious stuff I’m after is “he/she” and slightly less obvious stuff is “marquess / marchioness”. I have the following list, which if you could add to would be nice…but it would be very cool if someone had a more logical approach to the problem? I’d also be interested to know if there’s a word which explains what the hell I’m on about? My language skills are not up to it!

Thanks people.

He
She

him
her

his
hers

himself
herself

man
woman

boy
girl

husband
wife

brother
sister

aunt
uncle

grandma
gradpa

niece
nephew

mother
father

(wiki lists of animal pairs…bitch/dog, etc.)

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Bobber » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:34 am UTC

You are missing a whole bunch of professions which are still at least sometimes split into male and female, such as actor/actress and steward/stewardess.
You are also missing titles, such as mister/mistress, count/countess and baron/baroness.
Furthermore, you could include mythical creatures such as demon/demoness and vampire/vampiress.

The last thing that occurred to me is sir/ma'am, but I don't know if these can be considered a pair.

I’d also be interested to know if there’s a word which explains what the hell I’m on about?
Maybe you could call it a gender categorization of the English vocabulary? Or perhaps a vocabularical genderization! I really like the latter.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby steewi » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:14 am UTC

The phrase you're after is "marked gender", or more specifically "lecically marked gender".

It's common, of course, in languages where every nown has a gender (or noun class), but English has it to a degree.

Slightly OT: languages like French, Spanish, etc. which have gender on all nouns don't really have the feminist movement that calls for the removal of gendered nouns like chairman, etc. I suspect it's because the gender marking is so pervasive it would ruin the language to take it out, and it's not really an issue, because the gender marking is pretty even.

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Qaanol » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:33 am UTC

misandry
misogyny

But how about gender-specific words that don't have a parallel for the other sex? For instance, the above in adjectival form: "misogynous" is a word, but "misandrous" is not. (Of course, that won't stop me if I ever have cause to use it, but it isn't in the dictionary.)

And of course some simple ones:

male
female

masculine
feminine

But what about words that are in perfect parallel in spelling, but whose meanings are not paired? Such as, "emasculate" and "effeminate".
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Angel on the Steps » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:13 pm UTC

I think there are a few French pairs that haven't been fully assimilated into English, like fiancé/fiancée and brunet/brunette... the only question being whether usage actually respects the gender mark (I've seen some people use "fiancé" for either males or females, and pairs like blond/blonde are very much a stretch in English).

Speaking of which, what about bride/groom?

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Velifer » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:51 pm UTC

Male and female extend to critters too, and you've opened up one hell of a list there. Just with chickens:

pullet/cockerel
hen/rooster, cock, (or rarely in English, chanticleer) ...and capon for a castrated male.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Bobber » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:21 pm UTC

I just remembered host/hostess.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby eekmeep » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:49 am UTC

Lad/Lass?

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Cheshire » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:24 am UTC

duke/duchess?

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Laogeodritt » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:01 am UTC

Angel on the Steps wrote:I've seen some people use "fiancé" for either males or females, ...
To me, this is just an error; "proper" English should distinguish fiancé and fiancée.

Mind you, I'm a native French/English speaker and really value preservation of etymology (including pronunciation of non-assimilated loanwords), so perhaps I'm not quite representative of English speakers.

As for the topic:
god - goddess
masseur - masseuse (from Fr.)
emperor - empress

And... I can't think of anything else not mentioned.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Simbera » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:58 pm UTC

Some ones I like include Duke/Duchess and Viscount/Viscountess, but in all seriousness you will be here forever and a day. It's not like it's a short list, and adding the -ess suffix to words is a commonly accepted way of making new gender-specific words, so the list is always growing (even though ones like actress have grown out of favour, assimilated into a gender neutral actor, the words still exist). The ones for humans alone are many, let alone when you start getting into animals (or even into things like eunuchs)

I personally would start consulting dictionaries if you want to do this properly.

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby aurumelectrum13 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:35 am UTC

Ooh! Ooh! Do archaic pairs count? How about:

Doctor-Doctress

Author-Authoress

And hey! "Feminist" doesn't have one (though I guess it would be "masculist"?)

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby BrainMagMo » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:44 am UTC

aurumelectrum13 wrote:Ooh! Ooh! Do archaic pairs count? How about:

Doctor-Doctress

Author-Authoress

And hey! "Feminist" doesn't have one (though I guess it would be "masculist"?)


And of course, Jew-Jewess.
Oh The Great Gatsby.

Does English have any gendered adjectives?
Hunk=male
Pretty=(usually) female.
Not exactly a pair.

Comedian-Comedienne
Bro-???(Ho?)
Guy-Gal/Doll

Bastard-Bitch
Asshole/Dick-Whore/Slut

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Avenarius » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:25 am UTC

steewi wrote:languages like French, Spanish, etc. which have gender on all nouns don't really have the feminist movement that calls for the removal of gendered nouns like chairman, etc.

Actually, I'm a Spaniard, and I can tell you that we have a feminist movement with much bigger goals than yours. As you say, the only gender-related "problem" with English are those words like chairman, so feminists don't really have much to grumble about.
On the other hand, Spanish is more complicated, since every word is either male or female. The rule which worked till about ten years ago was that the plural used the masculine form, so you have el profesor for a male teacher, la profesora for a female teacher, and los profesores for both male and female teachers. If you're talking about a group os female teachers, you have las profesoras. Quite simple an quite regular (we do have some excepcions, like man and woman, which are "hombre" y "mujer", but they are few).
What feminists claim is that a non-sexist use of Spanish has to make clear in every instance of a plural word that there are members of both genders. So, teacher has to be translated as "los profesores y las profesoras", that is, the male teachers and the female teachers. If that were to be used always, a sentence like "the teachers told the students they wanted to talk with their parents", instead of being translated as "los profesores dijeron a los alumnos que querían hablar con sus padres", would have to be translated as "los profesores y las profesoras dijeron a los alumnos y a las alumnas que querían hablar con sus padres y con sus madres", which is, more or less, "the male teachers and the female teachers told the male students and the female students that they wanted to speak with their fathers and mothers".
Anyway, the problem is bigger. I have with me a pamphlet from the "Gender-Equality Observatory", a University institution that is sponsor by the Government (that's where our money goes to, apparently), in which many more examples are given on how to speak "correct" Spanish. I'll just mention one: it says that, since adjectives also have gender, a sentence like "estamos agradecidos" (we are thankful), has to be reformulated as "les agradecemos" (we thank you), so that it is gender-cool. The aim of this pamphlet is, apparently, the elimination of adjectives and some other parts of speech which subjugate women, and the creation of a new Spanish language in which sexist thought cannot be expressed. The ideals behind that can be good, be the impossibility of disliked thoughts reminds me too much of Nineteen Eighy-Four.
Anyway, those changes are so complicated and illogical I don't think they will come to reality. Even people who try to stick to those principles sometimes infringes them. And, in general, people think they are a stupidity, so I have my hopes high on this.

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Kewangji » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

mat/mattress?
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby steewi » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:41 am UTC

Avenarius wrote:
steewi wrote:languages like French, Spanish, etc. which have gender on all nouns don't really have the feminist movement that calls for the removal of gendered nouns like chairman, etc.

Actually, I'm a Spaniard, and I can tell you that we have a feminist movement with much bigger goals than yours. As you say, the only gender-related "problem" with English are those words like chairman, so feminists don't really have much to grumble about.
On the other hand, Spanish is more complicated, since every word is either male or female. The rule which worked till about ten years ago was that the plural used the masculine form, so you have el profesor for a male teacher, la profesora for a female teacher, and los profesores for both male and female teachers. If you're talking about a group os female teachers, you have las profesoras. Quite simple an quite regular (we do have some excepcions, like man and woman, which are "hombre" y "mujer", but they are few).
What feminists claim is that a non-sexist use of Spanish has to make clear in every instance of a plural word that there are members of both genders. So, teacher has to be translated as "los profesores y las profesoras", that is, the male teachers and the female teachers. If that were to be used always, a sentence like "the teachers told the students they wanted to talk with their parents", instead of being translated as "los profesores dijeron a los alumnos que querían hablar con sus padres", would have to be translated as "los profesores y las profesoras dijeron a los alumnos y a las alumnas que querían hablar con sus padres y con sus madres", which is, more or less, "the male teachers and the female teachers told the male students and the female students that they wanted to speak with their fathers and mothers".
Anyway, the problem is bigger. I have with me a pamphlet from the "Gender-Equality Observatory", a University institution that is sponsor by the Government (that's where our money goes to, apparently), in which many more examples are given on how to speak "correct" Spanish. I'll just mention one: it says that, since adjectives also have gender, a sentence like "estamos agradecidos" (we are thankful), has to be reformulated as "les agradecemos" (we thank you), so that it is gender-cool. The aim of this pamphlet is, apparently, the elimination of adjectives and some other parts of speech which subjugate women, and the creation of a new Spanish language in which sexist thought cannot be expressed. The ideals behind that can be good, be the impossibility of disliked thoughts reminds me too much of Nineteen Eighy-Four.
Anyway, those changes are so complicated and illogical I don't think they will come to reality. Even people who try to stick to those principles sometimes infringes them. And, in general, people think they are a stupidity, so I have my hopes high on this.

Ouch! I thought it had passed unnoticed. *sigh* The world is actually mad.

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Qaanol » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

Kewangji wrote:mat/mattress?

/thread
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Bobber » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:
Kewangji wrote:mat/mattress?

/thread
No no, it's thread/threadess.
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Osha » Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

excuse me if I'm repeating any

nephew and neice
wife and husband
Lords and Ladies
Ladies and Gentlement
guys and girls
grandmother and grandfather
grandma and grandpa
granny and gramps
father and mother
sister and brother
son and daughter
princess and prince
king and queen
spinstress and ?
seamstress and ?
maid and ?
widow and widower (weird huh?)
sorcerer and sorceress
witches and wizards (from harry potter)
sir and ma'am
first lady and first ?
archer and archeress

and that's all that I can think of off the top of my head.

Edit: Not!

matriarchy and patriarchy
matriarchal and patriarchal
maternal and paternal
manly and womanly
patron and matron (not really actually)
maternal and paternal

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Silas » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:22 am UTC

Don't forget (what I think is) the last vestige of grammatical gender in English adjectives: blond/blonde.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby poxic » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:39 am UTC

And brunet/brunette, which is also dying out, I think, though in the opposite direction. And witch/warlock, not witch/wizard, which is a more modern and fictional opposition (Pratchett, Rowling).

(The historic opposition between witches/warlocks and wizards was in the nature of the magic practise, not in the gender. I think wizards were assumed to be male, though. Their female counterparts might have been sorceresses, or else I'm muddling up my history.)

Did we forget?:
Dominator vs. Dominatrix
Administrator vs. Administratix (latter word is still used in legal documents)
Executor vs. Executrix (also still used in legal crap)

There are weird, unmatched pairings, too:
Laundress (vs. launderer? I don't know the masculine form, if there is one)
Tailor vs. Seamstress
Spinster vs. Bachelor
...

Can't think of any more at the moment, but there are more, I'm sure.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby aurumelectrum13 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:32 am UTC

I think I'd pair valet with maid, because their traditional jobs are the same. Also:

editor v. editress (editrix)
pimp v. madam
dragon v. dragoness
vampire v. vampiress
werewolf v. wifwolf
barman v. barmaid
first lady v. first gentleman (Though, if we ever have a female president, he would probably be termed "first spouse")

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby poxic » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:52 am UTC

For oddity's sake, midwife is actually a gender-neutral word. It used to be mitwif, "with [wife|woman]", a description of a person who helped a woman give birth. Granted, they were nearly all women themselves, but there are modern male midwives who kinda wish a word could be made to indicate "a male midwife". (Mid-husband? Historically incorrect and lexically baffling. :) )
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby stolid » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:26 am UTC

terminator / terminatress? :D

You guys covered most of them...
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby AVbd » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:23 pm UTC

aurumelectrum13 wrote:first lady v. first gentleman (Though, if we ever have a female president, he would probably be termed "first spouse")

I'm not American, so I don't know, but I thought that the first lady wasn't necessarily the spouse of the president. Something like the keeper of the... something... or something...‽

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Laogeodritt » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

@AVbd: Nah, the "First Lady" title is always given to the spouse of a male President, Governor of State, and some mayors (usu. of larger cities; according to Wikipedia, anyway).
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby boatierra » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:55 am UTC

I just happen to be working on my own list of equivalent female/male words when I found this post. So I added some of the suggestions made from here to what I already had.

I started putting together a list f/m words a few years ago based on the length of the words itself. I've always noticed that in English the feminine of words is usually longer than the masculine of words. So I started to collect words to see if I could find any where this was not true. So far I've found 13. I'm sure there are more out there this is just what I've found.

I'll post my list. It's in alphabetical order based on the first word listed which is always the feminine.

F
M

----------------------------------

Aunt
Uncle

Bride
Bridegroom

Dame
Knight

Empress
Emperor

Feminine
Masculine

Lady
Gentlemen

Laundress
Launderer

Misandrist
Misogynist

Niece
Nephew

Sister
Brother

Widow
Widower

Wife
Husband

Witch
Warlock

******************

Actress
Actor

Administratrix
Administrator

Ambassadress
Ambassador

Anchoress
Anchor

Archduchess
Archduke

Archeress
Archer

Authoress
Author

Aviatrix
Aviator

Bachelorette
Bachelor

Barmaid
Barman

Baroness
Baron

Baronetess
Baronet

Benefactress
Benefactor

Cateress
Caterer

Chairwoman
Chairman

Coadjutrix
Coadjutor

Coheiress
Coheir

Comedienne
Comedian

Conductress
Conductor

Countess
Count/Earl

Daughter
Son

Demoness
Demon

Divorcée
Divorcé

Directress
Director

Dragoness
Dragon

Dudette
Dude

Duchess
Duke

Editress
Editor

Electress
Elector

Enchantress
Enchanter

Executress/Executrix
Executor

Female
Male

Fiancée
Fiancé

Gladiatrix
Gladiator

G-dess
G-d

Governess
Governor

Headmistress
Headmaster

Heritress/Heritrix
Heritor

Hostess
Host

Huntress
Hunter

Inheritress/Inheritrix
Inheritor

Instructress
Instructor

Jointress
Jointer

Lass
Lad

Ma’am
Sir

Masseuse
Masseur

Marchioness/Marquise
Marquess/Marquis

Margravine
Margrave

Mayoress
Mayor

Mediatress/Mediatrix/Mediatrice
Mediator

Millionairess
Millionaire

Mistress/Miss/Mrs/Ms
Mister

Mother
Father

Murderess
Murderer

Noblewoman
Nobleman

Oratress/Oratrix
Orator

Portress
Porter

Postmistress
Postmaster

Priestess
Priest

Princess
Prince

Prophetess
Prophet

Proprietress
Proprietor

Protectress
Protector

Queen
King

Sculptress
Sculptor

Seamstress
Tailor

Schoolmistress
Schoolmaster

Sempstress
Sempster

Songstress
Songster

Sorceress
Sorcerer

Stewardess
Steward

Taskmistress
Taskmaster

Testatrix
Testator

Traitress
Traitor

Toastmistress
Toastmaster

Tutoress
Tutor

Usherette
Usher

Vampiress
Vampire

Victress
Victor

Vicereine
Viscount

Votaress/Votress
Votary

Waitress
Waiter

Wardess
Warder

Woman
Man

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Qaanol » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:18 pm UTC

I’m rather surprised the wikipedia does not already have a list of these words.

Here are a few that have not yet been mentioned:

Czar/Czarina
Hero/Heroine
Shepherd/Shepherdess

For the one-sided words:

<male ballet dancer>/Ballerina
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby quona » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

The male equivalent of a ballerina is, to my best knowledge, a ballerino. Or at least that's what I've heard them called within the ballet community.

Therefore:

Ballerino
Ballerina

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Velifer » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:<male ballet dancer>

...also danseur.
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby boatierra » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:21 am UTC

Tsarina
Tsar

Tzarina
Tzar

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Qaanol » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:51 am UTC

Adonis/Belle
Debutant/Debutante
Latino/Latina
Villain/Villainess
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Re: Every male/female word

Postby boatierra » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:28 am UTC

Americana
Americano

(Português)
Brasileira - Brazilian
Brasileiro - Brazilian

(Español)
Brasileña - Brazilian
Brasileño - Brazilian

Chicana
Chicano

(Español)
Japonesa – Japonese
Japones – Japonese

(Português)
Japonesa - Japanese
Japonês - Japanese

(Español)
Judia – Jewish
Judio – Jewish

Latina
Latino

Mexicana
Mexicano

You could do this for many nationalities/ethnicities/religions, either in English or within Spanish or other Romance languages (though maybe not all). Or really anything that ends in an -ish, -an, or -ese then translated. I'm not going to include every derivation in my personal list of words mostly because I'm sticking to English and also the list of words would/may seem infinite.

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:21 am UTC

Don't lots of languages with grammatical genders that correspond to male and female tend to have a huge number of words that have forms for each?

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby boatierra » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:30 am UTC

Pretty much.

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Re: Every male/female word

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

Which is why the OP specifically mentions words used in English.
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handiangel
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:19 am UTC
Location: Bath, UK

Re: Every male/female word

Postby handiangel » Sat May 07, 2011 9:42 pm UTC

@boatierra Impressive list.
However, I would have thought that the female equivalent of 'tutor' would be 'governess'? Historically, children of wealthy families had either tutors or governesses, tutors being male and for sons, and governesses being female and for daughters.

Some of my own to add... sorry if I repeat any.

Waiter - Waitress
Barman - Barmaid
Mayor - Mayoress
Monk - Nun
Boyfriend - Girlfriend
Godfather - Godmother
Merman - Mermaid
(Smurf - Smurfette ;) )
Giant - Giantess
Gay - Lesbian
camp - butch (these are gender-specific to me...)

That's all I've got for now...

mzellman
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:50 pm UTC

Re: Every male/female word

Postby mzellman » Mon May 09, 2011 4:48 pm UTC

tempter/temptress

navigatr85
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:21 am UTC

Re: Every male/female word

Postby navigatr85 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:35 am UTC

poxic wrote:Spinster vs. Bachelor
Shouldn't that be Bachelorette vs. Bachelor? I think "spinster" specifically refers to an elderly unmarried woman. But I'm pretty sure "bachelor" can refer to an unmarried man of any age.

stolid wrote:terminator / terminatress? :D
In "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines", they refer to the the female terminator robot as a "terminatrix." :mrgreen:

scratch123
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:18 pm UTC

Re: Every male/female word

Postby scratch123 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

Here is an old one I learned on wikipedia:
murderer/murderess


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