Idiom question

Victoria Neufeldt vneufeldt at M-W.COM
Tue Jan 25 20:42:04 UTC 2000

Me too, I guess, back in Saskatchewan, Canada a long time ago.  And even
later, when we knew better, we routinely referred to dogs as "he" and cats
as "she".


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> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Natalie Maynor
> Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2000 2:30 PM
> Subject: Re: Idiom question
> Mike Salovesh wrote:
> > Yes, in U.S. English there is a bias toward thinking that generic "dog"
> > implies male.  Listen, for example, to the frequent use of the pronoun
> > "he" for any canine without regard to the animal's actual sex.  "Cat",
> > on the other hand, often implies "female" even if used as a generic --
> For the first five or so years of my life, I thought that dogs were
> males and cats were females.  Then our dog had puppies.
>    --Natalie Maynor (maynor at
> PS: I also thought that ponies were baby horses.

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