man+(noun) combining form
James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Mon Oct 3 02:06:02 UTC 2005
In a message dated Fri, 30 Sep 2005 15:49:21 -0400, Carl Burnett
_Carl.N.E.Burnett.03 at ALUM.DARTMOUTH.ORG_ (mailto:Carl.N.E.Burnett.03 at ALUM.DARTMOUTH.ORG)
>But what about when the gender associated with a noun is usually
>assumed to be FEmale, but the speaker wants to emphasize that, in a
>particular case, it is associated with a male? I can only think of
>one solution to this problem that has been around long enough to have
>made its way into dictionaries: the word "manservant," which
>presumably arose out of a need to distinguish your valet/butler from
>all those female servants.
I would like to suggest an alternate explanation, namely that "manservant"
and "maidservant" (both dated "14c" in MWCD11) arose simultaneously as a pair
of contrasting words.
- James A. Landau
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